Starbuck in Orson Welles’s ‘Moby Dick—Rehearsed’

Starbuck is Hamlet-like in pursuit of Ahab’s white whale.


After playing Sherlock Holmes for The Shakespeare Project‘s holiday special, Chris returned to the company to essay another well-loved literary figure: Moby-Dick‘s Starbuck, in Orson Welles’s adaptation of the Melville novel.

Moby Dick—Rehearsed features a framing device where a Shakespearean theater company puts down their rehearsal sides for King Lear and takes up a new play based on the novel. The actors in the troupe are known only by character traits: Actor with a Newspaper, The Young Actor, The Cynical Actor, The Old “Pro,” etc. Chris played the Serious Actor, whose role in the company was Second Lead (Kent in Lear, Richmond, Iago, Mercutio). He plays the sometimes Hamlet-like Starbuck, the second adversary (after the whale) to the Actor-Manager’s Ahab.

Directed by David Skidmore, Chris featured opposite John Kishline as Ahab and Daniel Millhouse as Ishmael, with Kamran Abbassian, Josh Carpenter, Kayla Carter, Razz Jenkins, Khnemu Menu-Ra, Henry Michael Odum, Mary Ringstad, Stephen Spencer, and Charles Stransky (who gave the sermon as Father Mapple).

Jacqueline Krupka was the music director and George Zahora composed music and designed sound.