A Storytelling Adaptation by Dean Verger
Storytelling, close your eyes and see the show
1851. Moby Dick had just been published. That novel became the victim
of unlucky timing. A whaling ship had been recently sunk, with all
hands, by a whale. It was not until the 20th century that the novel
found its audience portraying the whaling industry, the society of the
day, and one man’s obsession. But the obsession is not the only texture
in this tale. There is humour, and lots of it. This book has now been
adapted into a
one-hour telling of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” as told by Dean
Verger, with the occasional mandolin tune.
But what is
Storytelling, where you can close your eyes and see the show.
It is the precursor to acting. Imagine sitting around the fire late at
night, or quietly huddled together hiding from inclement weather. One
of the elders begins to fill the space with words. The words in turn
elicit shared memories, bringing to life emotions, colours, smells, and
adventures. There is no need for accents. The listeners
know them already. No need for costumes. The audience's imagination
clothes the teller in a truer raiment that can be stitched from cloth.
Like acting, the telling is from memory. Storytelling is minimalist.
And in so being
audience with room to approach and fill all the spaces with their
thoughts, experiences, and imagination.
Listen to the
An excerpt from a live show, recorded from the audience seats at the
Ottawa Fringe Festival in front of a full room, with music performed by
October 2013 Tour
The tour was a resounding success. The
public performances were well attended, or sold out. The high school
shows saw almost 500 students follow Moby Dick.
15th, Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School, Vancouver
October 16th, Windermere Secondary School, Vancouver
Open to the
Heaven and Earth
, main floor, St Mark's:
1805 Larch/ 2nd
Ave, Kits, Vancouver, B.C. entry: $6
information contact Mary Gavan firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30pm. Merlin Theatre, Victoria B.C. hosted by the
Victoria Storytellers’ Guild tickets: $10
information contact Lee Porteus at email@example.com
Note: as of Friday September 20th, only ten tickets remain
Street, Parksville, B.C.
Tickets at the door or advance tickets from Fireside Books, 144
Middleton Avenue, Parksville or
Marva Blackmore at firstname.lastname@example.org
Avenue, Nanaimo.B.C. tickets: $10
||In 2010 Dean Verger
picked up a book he had heard much about but had not yet read. It was
touted as a dark book, its plot driven by the obsession of one man.
But, as Dean began reading he discovered humour. Dean decided he wanted
to tell the tale. In Herman Melville's Moby Dick there is a story
within the novel. The summer was then spent plotting out how to tell
story in one hour. In the crafting of the adaptation, the
hardest part was deciding which parts were crucial, and which could be
Dean has told the story to a number of audiences, including out
the countryside on the top of a hill at night during a meteor shower,
outside Balderson, the town known for its cheddar.
Dean Verger has been telling and acting for thirty-five years. He has
appeared on the Astrolabe Theatre stage during Canada Day, in schools
and libraries, and venues across Canada. His time on stage includes
Orpheus, Ottawa Little Theatre, and Ottawa’s Theatre for Children. Dean
has told at various festivals including the Strawberry Festival, the
Ottawa Folk Festival, and the Ottawa Storytelling Festival. Past
performances include an adaptation of William Goldman’s “Princess
Bride”, and numerous tales of the sea, from life on the rugged shores
of Newfoundland to maritime ghost stories.
Dean has also hosted radio shows on Ottawa’s community radio station CKCU. And, in a previous life, he
owned and operated a little folk cafe known as Rasputin's that helped nurture
Ottawa's folk scene.
|Photos (taken by Colette Laplante):
|To download a high quality image of the photo of Dean wearing his reading glasses (left) click here (5.7 MB).
|To download a high quality image of the photo of Dean playing his hand crafted Nathan Curry mandolin (left) click here (8 MB).