Whales of August

  • Written by David Berry

Directed by John Riley


March 14 – 23, 2014
It’s the shores of Maine in August, 1954 where we get to know two elderly, widowed sisters near the end of their lives. As they spend their summer, once again in this seaside house, the surroundings cause them to recall their relationship as young women. They reflect on the passage of time, and the bitterness, jealousies and misunderstandings that slowly festered over the years and kept them from establishing a true closeness in their relationship.This moving drama, also a popular film starring Lillian Gish and Bette Davis, was described by the New York Times as “not about the pathos of aging, but a call for choice and renewal” in the lives of its five elderly characters.

Directed by John Riley, a veteran of Dayton theater and film, the production will feature some of the area’s finest talent: Dave Gaylor, Chuck Larkowski, Dodie Lockwood, Marcia Nowik, and Gayle Smith. All of the actors play characters in their seventies and eighties who, according to the playwright, shun the label “senior citizen,” and who confront the life-altering choices that are the focus of the play, with maturity and grace.

Working on an ambitious set during the day and directing rehearsals at night might be daunting to some, but director Riley relishes every minute of his return to the show that was his very first directing experience and which still holds special meaning for him. Like the characters in the play, Riley does not seem to have time to sit back and relax, despite his age; after working in film for the last thirteen years, he is still up to the challenge of live theater, especially at the Dayton Playhouse, the theater where he first discovered his love of the art


Dave Gaylor, Chuck Larkowski, Dodie Lockwood, Marcia Nowik, and Gayle Smith.