Published on February 5th, 2018 | by The Local Staff


Big Fish Hits the Stage March 13th

The South has long been a region rich in the tradition of storytelling, each generation passing
down myths and legends that ask questions germane to human existence: “Who am I?” “Who
are you?” “How do our lives connect?” “Why does that matter?” Based on Alabama native
Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions and the 2003 film directed
by Tim Burton, the musical Big Fish is a whale of a tale in the best Southern tradition. As quoted
in the play, “This is Alabama; we have stories under every leaf and vine.”
Magically and mystically, Big Fish addresses those questions of existence, using mythical
creatures to illustrate and illuminate our path of understanding. Set in central Alabama, father
and son Edward and Will Bloom have spent a lifetime trying to love and understand one
another. Edward, a traveling salesman, has filled his son’s ear with colorful stories of giants,
mermaids, witches and werewolves as the canon of his life. Son Will wishes for more — a father
who is real and present, someone to play catch with and, later, a parent who can stand silently
and proudly by at Will’s wedding reception.


Southeast Alabama Community Theatre (SEACT) and sponsor Home Helpers are bringing to
the stage an enchanting and powerful telling of this Alabama tale, based on a novel by an
author from Alabama, and performed by Alabamians, March 13-17 at the historic Dothan Opera
House. That makes it no surprise that the Alabama Bicentennial Commission has endorsed
SEACT’s production as an official ALABAMA 200 Bicentennial Event.
Directors Mary Helen and Danny Richards, along with choreographer Patti Rutland Simpson
and conductor Phillip Burns, lead a talented troupe of actors, dancers, and singers in bringing
the Big Fish story to life. Mary Helen and Danny are no strangers to SEACT as both directors
and performers. Mary Helen most recently directed 2012’s The Full Monty, with Danny’s
assistance as vocal director, and she appeared as Deirdre in the 2012 production of I Hate
Hamlet. Danny was last seen on stage in his award-winning performance as Jean Valjean in
SEACT’s blockbuster 2015 production of Les Misérables.
Both Mary Helen and Danny are thrilled to be back at the helm of another exciting musical
production. For Danny, “It was definitely the music that drew me in. Danny Elfman’s score is
smart and powerful, and it’s challenging for our incredibly talented cast. It’s not just about the
lead actors- there are show stopping moments to shine for everyone.” As for Mary Helen, it’s the
story that hooked her, “I absolutely love the magical, mystical elements of the show. The
threads of human connection woven throughout the storyline are truly mesmerizing. It takes you
on a fascinating journey that touches the heart and delights the soul.”
Behind the scenes, the Big Fish production team has been hard at work on some exclusive
special events to share the excitement about the show with the Wiregrass. SEACT and the
Dothan-Houston County Library System will host “An Evening with Daniel Wallace,” author of
the novel on which both the movie and the musical are based. Wallace will join the director and
actors from SEACT’s upcoming production to talk about his novel and story development. There
will be refreshments available, a question and answer period, and books will be available for
purchase and signing.


The author event is Saturday, February 17 at the downtown location of the Dothan-Houston
County Library at 6:30 PM. It is free of charge but requires a ticket for entry. Anyone may ask for
a ticket at the front desk of either Dothan library branch during regular business hours. This
event is a part of and supported by the ALABAMA 200 initiative, to support, create, and execute
events and activities that commemorate the stories of our people, places, and path to statehood
in celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial.


In another first, SEACT will also host an exciting evening of “Showtunes Karaoke with the Cast
of Big Fish” on Friday, February 23 from 8-10 PM at The Cellar, 1481 Westgate Parkway. The
cast will share a bit of the magical music from Big Fish and guests are invited to join in the fun
and sing their favorite showtunes from other Broadway shows. Seating begins at 7:45 PM and
there will be a cash bar and light refreshments available. For those who would like to enjoy
dinner at The Cellar prior to the show (5-8 PM only) you may call 334-712- 0622 for reservations
With a cast of 44 plus a full orchestra and a talented crew to make the magic happen, Big Fish
will reel you in March 13-17 at the Dothan Opera House. Tickets are on sale to the public
February 26 at SEACT.com or the Dothan Civic Center Box Office 314-615- 3175.

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