CHICAGO — A Dead Whale Productions continues their inaugural season with the world premiere production of Artistic Associate Tyler Garamella’s Hog’sBelly: A Fable Noir, directed by Founding Artistic Director Dane Eissler. A Dead Whale is proud to continue their commitment to challenge theatrical convention by creating edgy and original theatrical events by all means necessary. Hog’sBelly opens Thursday, July 20th; and closes on Saturday, July 29th at Gorilla Tango Theatre in Bucktown, Chicago.
A playfully dark mix of film noir and fable, Hog’sBelly dissects the destructive power of fear and hate through the eyes of the disgruntled rats and roaches of a dingy sewer underneath the recently closed chain restaurant, Hog’sBelly. Garamella’s play follows a naive but determined rat-detective, Danny, as they scour the shadowy sewers to solve the death of their mentor, the fatherly Ezzy. The sewer has never been in such disarray as the regular waves of food-scraps from Hog’sBelly have stopped flowing into the sewer, leaving the now-civilized rat-citizens hungry and desperate for direction before they return to their more primal, animalistic ways. With no other options, the rats turn to the mysterious and powerful Senka for help. It becomes a race against the clock for Danny to save his sewer from its own gnarly animal instincts.
Tyler Garamella, originally from Lindenwold, NJ, is thrilled to see his play making its long-awaited debut after its original conception as an undergrad passion project at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. Founding Artistic Director Dane Eissler, who accompanied Garamella at Rowan University, has known about the play for years now:
“Ever since I read the first draft of the script back in college, I’ve wanted to direct it,” says Eissler. “It’s not your typical living room drama… it’s really not your typical anything! There’s an entire sewer system that needs to be created, not to mention a broad spectrum of outrageous non-human characters! It’s exactly the kind of theatrical challenge I love to tackle. It’s weird, it’s dark, and it’s dangerous. The perfect show for A Dead Whale!”
Featuring a cast of six, Hog’sBelly features Natalia Via as Danny, the hard-boiled rat-detective. She is joined by an incredible ensemble of performers including Brandon Nelson, Elizabeth Quilter, Olivia Frisch, Joshua Bomba, and Hannah Simpson, who are tasked with playing the other twenty-some characters.
Garamella’s fantastical script, directed by Dane Eissler, will be brought to life through the work of an incredible design team. Meghan Erxleben’s light design will pay tribute to the classic shadowy film noir aesthetic using mostly actor-operated flashlights, while Krystal Dawson’s sound design will create the wet and dreary ambiance of a deteriorating sewer. Sara Mitchell, also the production’s assistant director, will be creating the added layer of shadow puppetry, while director Dane Eissler will take on double duty in building the other puppet characters.
Hog’sBelly: A Fable Noir runs July 20-22 and 27-29 at 7:30pm at Gorilla Tango Theatre [Bucktown] at 1919 N. Milwaukee, just off the Western Blue Line. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased through Gorilla Tango’s Box Office in person, by phone: 773.598.4549, or online at www.gorillatango.com