Herman Melville's "Moby Dick"
A Storytelling Adaptation by Dean Verger


  Storytelling, close your eyes and see the show
image from the original book of Moby Dick

(to contact Dean, email: deanverger@gmail.com)
The year was 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?
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 provides the audience with room to approach and fill all the spaces with their thoughts, experiences, and imagination.

Listen to the introduction

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 Duncan Gillis.

October 2013 Tour Details
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.
School Performances:

October 15th,  Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School, Vancouver

October 16th, Windermere Secondary School, Vancouver

Open to the Public:

October 20th, 7pm. Moving Heaven and Earth, main floor, St Mark's:
1805 Larch/ 2nd Ave, Kits, Vancouver, B.C.  entry: $6
For more information contact Mary Gavan marygavan@telus.net

October 23rd, 7:30pm.   Merlin Theatre, Victoria B.C.  hosted by the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild  tickets: $10
For more information contact Lee Porteus at leeporteous@shaw.ca
Note: as of Friday September 20th, only ten tickets remain

October 25th, 7pm Tales for the Telling at the MacMillan Arts Centre, tickets: $10
133 McMillan Street, Parksville, B.C.
Tickets at the door or advance tickets from Fireside Books, 144 Middleton Avenue, Parksville or
Marva Blackmore at storyteller.marva@shaw.ca

October 26th, 7:30pm  Hosted by the  Around Town Tellers at the Nanaimo Yacht Club,
400 Newcastle Avenue, Nanaimo.B.C. tickets: $10

photo of Dean Verger telling 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 the story in one hour.  In the crafting of the adaptation, the hardest part was deciding which parts were crucial, and which could be dropped. 

Dean has told the story to a number of audiences, including out in the countryside on the top of a hill at night during a meteor shower, just 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):
photo of Dean Verger
To download a high quality image of the photo of Dean wearing his reading glasses (left) click here (5.7 MB).
photo of Dean in sweater
To download a high quality image of the photo of Dean playing his hand crafted Nathan Curry mandolin (left) click here (8 MB).