Jessica Dean Turner


Austin native Jessica Dean Turner will be featured in Season on the Line, a world premiere adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick by the House Theatre of Chicago, starting September 12.

The play is an adaptation of Moby Dick, translated into the story of a struggling theatre company ailed by many woes and a singular focus: the first-ever production of Moby Dick. Dean Turner plays a variety of characters in the play.

The first production of the company’s 13th season, at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Friday, Sept. 12 – Sunday, Oct. 26. The play is written by Company Member Shawn Pfautsch and directed by Jess McLeod, in her House debut.

Pfautsch’s modern adaptation, Season on the Line, is a love letter to American theater featuring a 19 person cast. Melville’s story of the hunt for the white whale is transformed into the Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances and a tyrannical artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. A novice assistant stage manager joins the ranks at the top of the company’s make-or-break season and is thrown quickly into the fray. Mirroring Melville’s unconventional form, Season on the Line is the young narrator’s look back at the industry he has grown to love, even as those around him pay the ultimate price in pursuit of their own great white whale.

The cast for Season on the Line features Equity guest artists Thomas J. Cox* as Artistic Director Ben Adonna, and Maggie Kettering* as his right-hand and stage manager, Day Starr. Guest artist Ty Olwin steps into the role of our narrator, mirroring the reflections of Melville’s Ishmael. House Company Member Marika Mashburn (last seen in Death & Harry Houdini) steps into the role of Elizabeth, a company director helming a wacky avant-garde production in the company’s season. House Company Member Abu Ansari (also last seen in Death & Harry Houdini) appears as a Ugandan actor and voice of reason. Returning guest artists Christopher M. Walsh and Mary Hollis Inboden both play designers stretched to their limits by the outrageous demands of the season. Guest artists Danny Bernardo, Tiffany Yvonne Cox, Shane Kenyon, Bob Kruse, Andy Lutz, Molly Lyons, Marvin Quijada, Jessica Dean Turner, and Rawson Vint fill the ensemble with actors, designers, and technicians. Sean Sinitski completes the ensemble as the primary object of obsession, the chief theater critic.

Previews begin Friday, Sept. 12 and run through Sept 20, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. The press opening is Sunday Sept 21. Regular performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m. The running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes. Preview tickets are $15, regular run tickets range from $25 to $35. $10 for student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available for all dates, seats permitting.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 773.769.3832.