By Samuel D. Hunter

Directed by Shana Wride

May 14 - Jun 14, 2015

Low-priced Previews May 14 - 22, 2015

On the outskirts of Mormon Country, Idaho, a six hundred pound recluse hides away in his apartment, eating himself to death. Desperate to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter, he reaches out to her, only to find a viciously sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen. Big-hearted and fiercely funny, The Whale tells the story of a man's last chance at redemption, and of finding beauty in the most unexpected places.

"Vibrant and provocative. Hunter explores his material with sharp-eared skill and sensitivity." - Village Voice


Smoking and Drinking: Characters smoke and drink a variety of substances
Violence: None
Sex: Graphic sexual situations
Other: LGBT and religious topics
For which audiences: R

Running Time: 1:50


Judy Bauerlein (Liz)
Judy is delighted to be making her debut with Cygnet Theatre. New York and regional credits include: The Kitchen NYC, La Jolla Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Wilma Theatre, Lincoln Center Director's Lab, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, and Bread and Puppet Theatre. Most recently she appeared in the world premier of Jay Scheib's adaption of Anton Chekhov's Platonov at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Kitchen NYC. San Diego: Killer Joe and The Car Plays (dir. Lisa Berger) and Thistle (dir. Tom Dugdale). Film: Jesus' Son, Deconstructing Harry (dir. Woody Allen and opposite Robin Williams), Diary of a City Priest (opposite David Morse), Drunks, and Free Land. She is an associate professor of theatre at CSU San Marcos, and is on faculty at the La Jolla Playhouse Conservatory for Young Performers.
Melissa Fernandes (Mary)
Melissa is excited to be back at Cygnet with this incredible team. She was last seen at Moonlight in the San Diego premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim. San Diego Theatre: Cygnet (Resident Artist): Assassins, Company, Little Shop of Horrors (nominee,SD Critics Circle), Cabaret (nominee, SDCC), A Little Night Music, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol. New Village Arts: The Full Monty, Same Time, Next Year, The Seven Year Itch, Into the Woods (nominee, SDCC). Moxie Theatre: Mud Blue Sky, Drink Me, Dog Act. Diversionary (Associate Artist): Falsettos, The Rocky Horror Show, Bunbury, 5th of July, Never the Sinner. North Coast Rep: Dancing at Lughnasa, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Holiday Memories. Regional: Sierra Rep: Little Shop of Horrors; La Jolla Playhouse: Harmony. Education: MFA- Musical Theatre, SDSU. She will be appearing next in Eternally Bad at Moxie Theatre.
Craig Jorczak (Elder Thomas)
Craig is thrilled to be making his Cygnet (and San Diego!) debut. Recent credits include Biloxi Blues, The Awesome 80's Prom, and The Black Crook. He also appeared in two evenings of short plays, Too Little Too Late and Too Much Too Soon, with the New York based theatre company Lesser America, of which he is a proud member. AEA, NYU Tisch: Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Love and thanks to family, friends and Alli.
Erin McIntosh (Ellie)
Erin is a Los Angeles based actress whose recent credits include roles on MTV's Awkward, the Ron Howard produced new media project The Fourth Door, as well as Liongate's The Mooring. Theatre credits include Luigi (Inkwell Theater), My Brother (The Lillian Theatre), The Last Act of Lilka Kadison (The Falcon Theatre) Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Underground Theatre Company), The Diary of Anne Frank (Spotlight Theater - AriZoni nomination, Best Actress), Fiddler on the Roof (Regional Theatre of the Palouse) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (TFT). She grew up in the exact same neighborhood in the exact same small town in Idaho where this play takes place. (She can't believe it, either.) She would like to dedicate this performance to Traci - here's looking at you, kid.
Andrew Oswald (Charlie)
This is Andrew's third show with Cygnet; he appeared as Harry in Company and he was an Assistant Director on Man of La Mancha. He recently directed Baby with the Bathwater at the Diversionary Theatre. Also at the Diversionary, he portrayed George Tessman in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Jason in Boys and Girls, and Hank Hadley in Regrets Only. Andrew is a graduate of The Pacific Conservatory of The Performing Arts and The North Carolina School of the Arts. In New York, Andrew was the Co-Artistic Director of Bedtime Sketch Comedy, directed and helped to create the Circus/Theatre piece Subterranea with Suspended Cirque, and directed the 8o'clocks' original production of As I Am Fully Known. Favorite roles include Malvolio in Twelfth Night, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, The Captain in The Sound of Music, and Lucifer / The Pope in Doctor Faustus.


Creative Team

Samuel D. Hunter (Playwright)
Mr Hunter's plays include The Whale (Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, GLAAD Media Award, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play) and A Bright New Boise (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), and his newest plays include The Few, A Great Wilderness, Rest, and Pocatello. He is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, a 2012 Whiting Writers Award, the 2013 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, the 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, and the 2008 PONY/Lark Fellowship. His plays have been produced in New York at Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Clubbed Thumb and Page 73, and around the country at such theaters as Seattle Rep, Victory Gardens, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Old Globe, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, Marin Theater Company, and elsewhere. He is a member of New Dramatists, an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens, a member of Partial Comfort Productions, and was a 2013 Resident Playwright at Arena Stage. A native of northern Idaho, Sam lives in NYC. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, The Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard
Shana Wride (Director)
Shana is an actor and director that has worked both locally and regionally. She was recently seen in Baby with the Bathwater at Diversionary Theatre. Other acting credits include: Beatrice in Intrepid Shakespeare's production of Much Ado About Nothing; Faded Glory and Broken Glass (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Private Lives (Cygnet Theatre - San Diego Critic's Circle Craig Noel Award); The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler and Next Fall (Diversionary Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Festival, Los Angeles); Indoor/Outdoor (The Colony Theatre); Macbeth, Fen, Wooden Breeks, Measure for Measure (Open Fist Theatre); Women Who Steal, A Christmas Carol, Suds, Working, Six Women with Brain Death (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Love's Labor's Lost (Idaho Shakespeare Festival); Heidi Chronicles and Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Gaslamp Quarter Theatre); New, Shadowy Waters, No Time Like the Present (Sledgehammer Theatre). Directing credits include: Mistakes Were Made (Cygnet Theatre); Walter Cronkite is Dead (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Boys & Girls and Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins (Diversionary Theatre); Or (Moxie Theatre); Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Compass Theatre). While living in Los Angeles, she co-hosted the nationally syndicated radio show, "Women Aloud" with actor/comedienne Mo Gaffney.
Brent Eugene Beavers (Assistant Stage Manager)
Cygnet: Debut (and so excited about it!). The Old Globe: The Twenty-Seventh Man, 2012-2014 Summer Shakespeare Intensives, Engaging Shaw, Allegiance (NYC Workshop). La Jolla Playhouse: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Suzette Who Set to Sea, Side Show, Platonov. New Village Arts: The Full Monty. MOXIE Theatre: Mud Blue Sky. Brent is a native of Poway, CA, and a proud graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.
Missy Bradstreet (Makeup Designer)
Missy has previously designed wigs and make up for Trouble in Mind, A Discourse on Wonders of the Invisible World, Crumbs From the Table of Joy, Mud Blue Sky, Skinless, A Raisin in the Sun, Coming Attractions, Or, Bleeding Kansas, Wet or Isabella the Pirate Queen Enters the Horse Latitudes, Blubonnet Court, Pulp (MOXIE); A Trip to Bountiful (New Village Arts); The Who's Tommy, The Three Penny Opera, The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea (SD REP); Learn To Be A Latina, No Exit, Yank! (Diversionary).
Melanie Chen (Sound Designer)
Melanie is excited to design her first show at Cygnet Theatre! She has designed over 50 productions in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Most recently, she worked on North Coast Repertory Theatre's production of Unnecessary Farce and Diversionary Theatre's production of Baby with the Bathwater. She also made her debut as a projection designer in North Coast Rep Theatre School's production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Coming up, she returns to New Village Arts to design Sylvia. Chen holds an M.F.A. in Sound Design from UC San Diego.
Sean Fanning (Set Designer)
Sean is a Southern California based scenic designer and Resident Artist of Cygnet, where he has designed over twenty productions including Sons of the Prophet, Pageant, Maple & Vine, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, Shakespeare's R&J, Mistakes Were Made, Man of La Mancha, Parade, and many more. Elsewhere: Globe for All, A Doll's House, Plaid Tidings, KINGDOM (The Old Globe); Honky, In the Heights, Walter Cronkite is Dead (San Diego Repertory); West Side Story (San Diego Musical Theatre, Spreckels Theatre); Menopause The Musical (Harrah's Las Vegas); Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Old Globe/USD). He holds an M.F.A. in Scenic Design from San Diego State University. See more of his work at
Ryan James Heath (Stage Manager)
Stage Management Credits: Sons of the Prophet, The Motherf***ker with the Hat, Maple and Vine (Cygnet Theatre, ASM), DNA Reading Series (La Jolla Playhouse, SM), Pericles, Reckless, Antigone (Old Globe/USD MFA Acting, ASM) Marry Me a Little, The Divine Sister, Birds of a Feather, The Pride (Diversionary Theatre, SM), References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Freedom of Speech (MOXIE, SM), Merry Wives of Windsor (Livermore Shakespeare Festival, SM), I Hate Hamlet (The Western Stage, SM). Production Assistant Credits: Kingdom City, Side Show (La Jolla Playhouse), A Doll's House (The Old Globe). Ryan has earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from San Diego State University.
Phil Johnson (Assistant Director)
Phil performed on Broadway in Les Miserables, in the Canadian production of Sunset Boulevard, toured with Les Miz and the 1st National Company of Miss Saigon. Acting work includes: Man Who Came to Dinner (SD Critics Circle Craig Noel Award) at Coronado Playhouse; A Midsummer Night's Dream at Intrepid Shakespeare Co. (Craig Noel Award); Pageant, Mistakes Were Made, Little Shop of Horrors at Cygnet Theatre. For theatres he has written and performed: She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D! (co-writer, at Diversionary Theatre, this summer at NY Fringe), Hound of the Baskervilles (solo comedy show, winner of the SD Foundation Creative Catalyst Grant), Mistletoe, Music & Mayhem (cowriter) for North Coast Rep, and Say Cheese (Backstage West Critic's Pick, LA) in L.A., Chicago, and in San Diego. Phil writes, produces and performs an original sketch comedy show Casa del Haha with Senor Phil at Diversionary Theatre.
Veronica Murphy (Costume Designer)
Cygnet Theatre: The Turn of the Screw, Bug, Yellowman, Fences, A Number, Sons of the Prophet; Lamb's Players Theatre: The Sneeze, Tartuffe, Amadeus, Flight, Oklahoma Rigs, Lettice & Lovage, The Diviners, Becoming Memories, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Boys Next Door, The Diary of Anne Frank, Much Ado About Nothing, Barefoot in the Park and a host of others. Veronica is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder, with partner Walter Ritter, of Write Out Loud. She is the 2013 recipient of the Deborah Salzer Excellence in Arts Education Award and a 2015 10News Leadership Award.
Anthony Paulin (Assistant Lighting Designer)
AJ currently holds his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from California Baptist University, and is seeking his MFA at SDSU. Lighting Designer: Mr. Doctor, Water By the Spoonful (SDSU); Sondheim on Sondheim (Moonlight Amphitheatre); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fresh Off Broadway (CAT); HMS Pinafore, Androcles and the Lion, Switchfoot, Gungor (CBU); Associate Lighting Designer: Les Miserables (Theatre Royale); Assistant Lighting Designer: Les Miserables (SDSU); Master Electrician: Spamalot, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady (Moonlight Amphitheatre); Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser (SDSU).
Syd Stevens (Properties Designer)
Syd is a multitalented fine artist, photographer, filmmaker and multimedia designer. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University. Syd has contributed to numerous theatre productions, music videos, television productions, TV commercials and has worked both behind the scenes and in front of the camera on motion picture film productions. Syd has had many public art, photography and digital multimedia exhibitions. He is also a community activist and covers current local events as a photojournalist and blogger. At Cygnet, Syd was charge artist for The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Fool for Love and True West. Other theatres include: Bailiwick Theater, Diversionary Theatre, J*Company Youth Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company, Moxie Theatre, Northwestern University Theater Department, San Diego Jr. Theatre, SDSU Department of Theatre, UCSD Department of Theatre & Dance. Syd has two National Youth Theatre Awards for Outstanding Set Design.
R. Craig Wolf (Lighting Designer)
Craig has taught and designed lighting nationwide for both theatre and dance. Credits include designs for New York's Dance Theatre Workshop, Theatre Artaud in San Francisco, Japan America Center in Los Angeles, SRT in Santa Rosa, and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. In addition, Craig is resident designer for Native Voices at the Autry and senior designer for Mountain Light Company in Denver. Head of the Design Area and Professor of Stage Design at San Diego State University, Mr. Wolf is the co-author of Scene Design and Stage Lighting, now in its tenth edition. Craig is pleased to be designing for Cygnet Theatre again this season.
Taylor Wycoff (Dramaturg)
Taylor is delighted to be continuing her work as dramaturg for Cygnet Theatre. Previous dramaturgical credits include Sons of the Prophet, True West, Fool For Love, Pageant, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Spring Awakening, Maple & Vine, A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play, Playwrights in Process, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, Company, Shakespeare's R&J, Assassins, Gem of the Ocean (Cygnet); Red Planet Respite (Circle Circle dot dot); Kita y Fernanda, Yellow Face (Mo'olelo). She has presented at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference and the Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium. She has taught for Playwrights Project and Kids Act, and is a graduate of the Young Audiences Teaching Artist Institute. Taylor received her BA in Theatre and International Relations from the University of San Diego.

More to come.

Designer Showcase - May 19th @ 6:00PM
Go behind the scenes of The Whale with the design team to get a glimpse into the process of creating this exciting production. Begins at 7:00pm, with Happy Hour beforehand. This is a FREE event. RSVP Required. Please contact the box office at 619-337-1525.
Social Media Night - May 22nd @ 6:45PM
Start your Friday night right! Local crooners GirlBoy will be in concert prior to the evening's performance. Enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather on our outdoor Elaine Lipinski patio while you take advantage of half off beer and wine during our extended happy hour from 6:45 - 8 pm. Then head in for a unique theatre experience. Share your thoughts on the show as you tweet from your seat. Follow @CygnetTheatre using #TheWhale to get behind the scenes information, live as it's happening. Show your check-in or post on Instagram or Facebook for a free gift.
Out Night @ Cygnet - May 27th @ 6:30PM
Cygnet is proud to present an evening for our theatre loving friends in the LGBT community. Enjoy a pre-show mixer before the performance on Cygnet's beautiful Elaine Lipinsky Patio. Everyone is welcome! A theatre ticket for the evening's performance is required to attend.
Theatre on Tap - May 29th @ 7:00PM
Join Cygnet and Helm's Brewing Company for Theatre on Tap! Enjoy a pre-show beer tasting, and mix and mingle with other craft beer lovers. The complimentary tasting begins at 7 pm, followed by an 8:00 pm performance. A theatre ticket for the evening's show is required to attend. Must be 21 to partake.
Friday Forum - May 29th @ 8:00PM
Friday Forum gives you an opportunity to chat with the cast and director following the performance on the first Friday after opening night.
Wine Tasting Night - Jun 4th @ 6:30PM
Join Cygnet and Ascension Cellars for a pre-show Wine Tasting. The complimentary wine tasting begins at 6:30pm followed by a 7:30pm performance. A theatre ticket for the evening's performance is required to attend.
CygNext Night - Jun 5th @ 7:00PM
Members of our CygNext: Under 30 Club can join us before the show for a pre-show mixer. Grab something at the concession bar at Happy Hour Prices and mingle with fellow CygNext members.
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