Wallace State Theatre to present ‘Big Fish The Musical March 12-15

Wallace State Community College Theatre students Jorelle Webster, left, Riley Adams, center, and McCoy Cleghorn, right, practice the “Alabama Stomp” with other cast members during rehearsal of “Big Fish The Musical.” The play will be staged March 12-15 at the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, March 12-14 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15. Tickets are $10 or $5 for children younger than 12. For more information, contact Heather Gillikin at 255-352-8277 or heather.gillikin@wallacestate.edu.

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The work of an Alabama author with ties to Cullman County will be staged March 12-15 by the Wallace State Community College Theatre program. “Big Fish the Musical” based on the 1998 book “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions” by Daniel Wallace, will be presented March 12-15 in the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre on the Hanceville campus of WSCC. Wallace is scheduled to be at the college March 12, where he will speak to students at an afternoon appearance and be on hand for an opening night reception. 

“Big Fish The Musical” is a two-act play that goes back and forth from history to present time as 60-year-old Edward Bloom reflects on his life while his son Will prepares to welcome his first born. We watch Edward’s adventures from his teen years through adulthood, as he encounters unique characters like the witch, a giant, a mermaid and love of his life, Sandra. As the story unravels, Will discovers secrets his father never revealed.  

The cast includes Riley Adams as Edward Bloom; Eli Parker as Will Bloom; McCoy Cleghorn as Sandra Bloom; Jady Pipes as Karl; Chloe Nutt as Jenny Hill; Samuel Hewitt as Amos Calloway/Red Fang; Jorrelle Webster and Isabella Garlowich as The Witch; Doc Porter at Young Will; Conner Gully as Don Price; Caleb Douglas as Zacky Price; Marie Bean as Josephine; Talia Ponas as Dr. Bennett; Beatriz Ianucci as Mermaid; Claudio Ramirez as Mayor/Fisherman; Deanna Brunetti as Schoolteacher; Courtney Bryant as Nurse; Isaiah Washington as General Patterson; John Isaac Richter as Will’s son; Boyd Porter as Cub Scout. 

The fictional town of Ashland (Ashton in the musical) where Wallace’s books “Big Fish” and “Watermelon King” are set was inspired by Wallace’s childhood trips to Cullman to visit his grandparents who once owned the All Steak, according to numerous interviews with the author.  

“Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions” is the Common Read selection for the 2019-2020 academic year. A piece of literature is chosen each year as the Common Read and used across campus in multiple subjects, bringing together students, faculty and staff in discussions and activities centered around each selection.   

Along with its adaption into a Broadway musical, the book was also made into a blockbuster film directed by Tim Burton and starring Ewan McGregor. Wallace was involved in all adaptations of his work, including a cameo appearance in the film.  

Wallace will attend the March 12 opening night performance and a 5:30 p.m. invitation-only opening night reception in the Student Center. Earlier in the day, Wallace is scheduled to speak from 1 to 2:15 p.m., in the Burrow Center Recital Hall. The public is invited to attend and can RSVP at www.wallacestate.edu/bigfish

“Big Fish The Musical” will be presented Thursday-Saturday, March 12-14 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m., in the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre. Tickets are $10 and $5 for children younger than 12. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by contacting Heather Gillikin at 256-352-8277 or heather.gillikin@wallacestate.edu.