Following a successful streamed production of Little Women in February, the FHS Theatre Department is now preparing a live spring production of the musical Big Fish. The cast of 33 began rehearsing in February, following revised state performing arts protocols, and they are so excited to be able to perform for live audiences.
Big Fish revolves around the relationship between Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman, and his adult son, Will, who looks for what is behind his father's seemingly implausible stories (“fish tales”). The story shifts between two timelines. In the present-day real world, sixty-year-old Edward Bloom faces his mortality, while his son prepares to become a father himself. In the storybook past, Edward ages from a teenager in 1950s Alabama; joins the circus; encounters a Witch, a Giant, a Mermaid; and finds the love of his life, Sandra. The stories meet as Will discovers the secret his father never revealed. It is part-fantasy, part-love story, part-reconciliation tale, and a singing, dancing journey that’s equal shares Country and Broadway. Bring your Kleenex!
In Ferndale’s production of Big Fish, the cast is led by senior Josiah Aho as Edward Bloom. His true love Sandra is played by senior Sophie Driediger and his skeptical adult son Will by sophomore Josiah Fox. Will’s new wife Josephine, played by senior Corinna Milton, helps bring father and son back together. The cast is highlighted by senior Sophia Bianco who performs as the Mermaid and serves as Assistant Choreographer and Dance Captain; seniors Izzy Slisz and Anna Jensen who alternate as the Witch; junior Jonathan Lolkema who plays the Giant; senior Carl Kennerley as Edward’s nemesis Don Price; senior Nicholas Mutchler and junior Bryant Larrabee who alternate as Don’s sidekick brother Zacky; senior Nicole Dyches as Edward’s high school sweetheart Jenny Hill; junior Jacob Peterson as circus owner Amos Calloway; senior Grace Richins as the longtime family doctor; and senior Heidi Longwell as the mayor of Edward’s hometown. Middle school students Collin Pringle and Garin Walker play young Will and Will’s son.
Ensemble members playing multiple roles are Hope Albright, Lauren Bell, Carolyn Cox, Tjasia Huynh, Paloma JoseDay, Payton Lee, Ty Lindsay, Addie Lupo, Tyler Nelson, Tyler Sager, Matthew Schlichting, Dimitri Schonborn, Katrina Trubnikov, Jessica Van Beek, Ty Warner, and Tamia Welch. The varied music styles in the show give the talented ensemble a chance to show off their skills in contemporary dance, tap, ballet, acrobatics, and even an enthusiastic stomp.
Facilitating the magic behind the scenes are stage crewmembers Ethan and Sabrina Anderson, Savannah Bennett, Stage Manager Camryn Campbell, Alida Dahmer, and Abby Poast. Tech crew are Audrey Bell and Trinity Vick on sound and Emma Brockett and Finne Grahame on lights. Annika Brockett is the lead student set artist.
Live performances of Big Fish will be presented April 23, 24, 30, and May 1 at 7:00 pm in the FHS Auditorium. To accommodate COVID capacity and distancing restrictions, all seating will be reserved. Tickets will be available to purchase in advance as well as at the door and will be $15 for Adults and $12 for Students/Seniors. Advance purchase information will be shared soon.
For those who may not be ready to attend an in-person production, as well as for friends and family who live far away, Big Fish will also be filmed and streamed on-demand in May.