Melvillapalooza is a collection of ten new works by artists and companies from across the US taking their inspiration from Herman Melville. Melvillapalooza includes musical adaptation, performance poetry, and full-length plays ranging from short story adaptations to biographical fantasies. Additional events include readings of Melville's works, and discussions with contemporary authors and scholars of Melville's influence. The shows are divided into six different programs (the "Voyages"), each consisting of one or two presentations. All in all, Melvillapalooza includes ten individual performances by solo artists and theater companies, each presented four times over the festival.
by Dan Evans
a LuLu LoLo Production
Wrestling with writer's block as he tries to finish Moby Dick, Melville follows a downward spiral until an archangel and a prostitute offer assistance.
Adapted by Scott Barrow
A Stages on the Sound Production
An adaptation of Melville's story of a virtuous sailor whose innocent defiance of tyranny leads to his inconsequential martyrdom at the hands of the British fleet.
Mr. Melville's Playhouse
by David Lally
A fantastical meeting between Melville and his most famous creations. By the creator of "Little Edie and the Marble Faun".
Ishmael, Mon Amour
By Michael Bettencourt
Beginning where Moby Dick ends, Ishmael and Ahab confront a white-suited whale in an afterlife of mutual discontent.
The Composition of Herman Melville (abridged)
a new full length play by Rick Mitchell, with music by Max Kinberg
An examination of the author's early success, fall from popularity, and family difficulties, set against the background of the abolitionist movement and the Civil War. Including fragments of Melville's text, a play-within-the-play based on an 1840s, theatrical freak show and Melville's first and most popular novel, Typee, the production draws divergent histories and fictions as the author's "intentions" begin to turn against him..
a musical play by Danny Ashkenasi
produced by Frederick Byers Productions
An adaptation of Melville's ironic story of a man whose inflated view of his own worth and his dismal view of his age and leads him to a hubristic downfall. Ashkenasi's adaptation is a blend one-man-play, chamber opera, and traditional literary adaptation to seek the off-beat humor, and spiritual and satirical themes of the story. By the creator of "The Telltale Heart, a musicabre"; "beTwixt, beTween, and beTwain"; and "The Song of Job: 9/11".
Melvilliana: A Suite of Poems
written and performed by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell
In this cycle of poems, lauded poet Angela Alaimo O'Donnell recites from her work inspired by the writings of Melville. Conceived as an homage to the author and his themes, the poems will be given a dramatic interpretation by the poet.
The First Lowering
by Laura Livingston
Ishmael and the crew of the Pequod go out in the whale boats, for the first time of the voyage, to chase a pod of whales. A cast of ten performs Melville's text, almost as an athletic event, evoking the ship, the whale boats, the chase, the ocean, the whales, a storm, a capsizing, and a rescue at sea. By the author of Pearl of Great Price (Hawthornucopia), Inconvenient River (Twainathon), and The Purloined Detective (Poefest.)
by Alejandro Morales, directed by Scott Ebersold
a Packawallop production
In a not too distant future, after an economic collapse, luxury liners shelter the very rich from the squalor of the cities. Summoned by his superior Lucas Brown, William Bell must entertain Edwards, a drunk passenger. In a dark bar on board the ship, the connections between all three men are illuminated forcing them to confront what they desire and what they'll never possess. Inspired by Melville's Billy Budd.
A Tanglewood Tale
A staged reading of a full length play by Juliane Hiam
From 1850-1851, Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne's became neighbors and friends in the Berkshire Mountains. While Hawthorne labored at the "House of the Seven Gables", and Melville finished Moby Dick, both men struggled with critical acceptance and financial security. This historical drama, first produced by Shakespeare and Company in 2001, is drawn from their and their families' journals and letters.