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Erven and Cast Excited about ‘The Whale’s’ Real Life Issues

From+left%2C+Cat+Evangelho+and+Joshua+Plowman+have+chemistry+reads+during+callbacks+for+%E2%80%9CThe+Whale%E2%80%9D+on+Jan.+12.+
From left, Cat Evangelho and Joshua Plowman have chemistry reads during callbacks for “The Whale” on Jan. 12.

From left, Cat Evangelho and Joshua Plowman have chemistry reads during callbacks for “The Whale” on Jan. 12.

Photo by: Noah Villaverde

Photo by: Noah Villaverde

From left, Cat Evangelho and Joshua Plowman have chemistry reads during callbacks for “The Whale” on Jan. 12.

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Fresno City College Theatre Arts instructor Chuck Erven said he is looking forward to directing “the Whale”, because of the exploration of certain character dynamics and themes.  

“The Whale” by playwright Samuel D. Hunter will feature guest artist Brad Myers as the play’s protagonist Charlie, a 600-pound reclusive man trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

After an audition of more than a dozen students, Erven announced that the cast includes Aleah Muniz and Jocelyn Rodriquez (Liz), Claudio Laso and Joshua Plowman (Elder Thomas), Cat Evangelho (Ellie) with Ciara Montana as her understudy, and Bridget Manders (Mary).

Laso said his audition for the play was a personal best.

“I felt very confident in the monologue I had prepared, and the callbacks were great,” Laso said. “It was fun reading the material because this show is very well-written.”

Erven said that additional story elements make the play stand out.  

“It’s very intimate and very honest; I love the characters, the message and its indictment of certain societal values,” Erven said. “At its core, the play is about the reconciliation between a father and his daughter.”

He added, “It is also a redemption story in which Charlie finds a way to feel he has done something right in his life.”  

Photo by: Noah Villaverde
Brad Myers practices scenes with auditioners during callbacks for “The Whale” on Jan. 12.

Erven said the issues in the play are relevant. “It fits with issues that are very universal and relevant today. The students can connect with these roles very well,” he said.

Laso agrees with Erven on connecting with the roles.

“I hope to bring an honest depiction of someone who wants to truly do good,” Laso said. “People should watch this show because it is beautiful, raw and life-changing and will leave you feeling heavily impacted.”

“The Whale” plays  on March 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and March 4, 9 and 10 at 2:30 p.m. in Studio 105. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $12 for students and seniors and $8 for a group rate.

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Erven and Cast Excited about ‘The Whale’s’ Real Life Issues