Season on the Line


Written by Shawn Pfautsch

Directed by Jess McLeod

Based on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick


PRICES: $15 for Previews, $25 and 35 for Regular Run

TIMES: Performances are Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays and Mondays at 7:00pm. 

RUN TIME: Three one-hour acts and 2 intermissions (Don't worry! As our Reader Recommended review says, "The 200-minute running time may sound long, but I can't imagine what I’d cut." )

PARENTS' GUIDE: Season on the Line is recommended for adults and teens, and you can read more in our Parents' Guide!


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Jeff Awards Recommended



- TimeOut Chicago


"VERY FUN NEW SHOW... startlingly frank and expansive....[It] took considerable guts."
- Chicago Tribune (If you like meta, come read this!)


"READER RECOMMENDED! Its smart pleasures are open to everybody."
- Chicago Reader


Melville’s Pequod crew is transformed into the fictional Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances, and an aging artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. Still reeling from a scathing review and badly failed production of his Moby-Dick 20 years prior, the director is hell-bent on mounting the perfect new vision to vindicate himself and save his company from ruin. 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 forms, the play swings from soliloquy to encyclopedic investigation to action-adventure story.  Season on the Line is our 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 great white whale.


Leonora Dickson is the Production Sponsor for Season on the Line. Development of Season on the Line has been supported in part by the Boeing Company and University of Chicago's Summer, Inc. residency. 



Show Dates: Sep 12 2014 to Oct 26 2014 Location:

Chopin Theatre

1543 W. Division St, Chicago


  • Jess McLeod



  • Mickey
  • Andy Lutz
  • Bob Kruse
  • Chris Walsh
  • Danny Bernardo
  • Jessica Dean Turner
  • Maggie Kettering
  • Elizabeth
  • Marvin Quijada
  • Mary Hollis Inboden
  • Allison Latta
  • Sean Sinitski
  • Tiffany Cox
  • Shane Kenyon
  • Thomas Cox
    Ben Adonna
  • Ty Olwin
  • Molly Lyons
  • Rawson Vint


  • Jon Woelfer
    Scenic Supervisor
  • Will Dean
    Lighting and Sound Supervisor
  • Jerica Hucke
    Costume Manager
  • Sydney Rosenfeld
    Wardrobe Supervisor
  • Stage Manager
  • Rachael Koplin
    Assistant Stage Manager


  • Scenic Designer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Izumi Inaba
    Costume Designer
  • Composer/Sound Designer
  • Jessica Redish
  • Jerry Galante
    Fight Choreographer
  • Adam Goldstein
    Dialect Coach
  • Diana Lawrence
    Music Director
  • Emma Deane
    Model Designer
  • Eleanor Kahn
    Props Master
  • Tamara White
    Assistant Props Master
  • Sarah Watkins
    Assistant Scenic Designer
  • Rebecca Barrett
    Associate Lighting Designer
  • Emily Arnold
    Assistant Costume Designer
Season on the Line -- Trailer

Epic theater in just 53 seconds!


Boldly interrupting another rehearsal, Artistic Director Ben Adonna gathers the Moby-Dick ensemble to read chapter one of the book, “Loomings” for inspiration. From its famous first line, the reading is no easy feat, but hearing it aloud spurs a love of the theater and the actor’s craft in our green narrator.

A Manilla Folder

Our Narrator, a novice Assistant Stage Manager new to the world of theater, tours us through the fictional Bad Settlement Theatre Company’s employee welcome packet, complete with mission statement and color brochure. Ty Olwin as The Narrator.

A shipload of rave reviews for our Moby-Dick adaptation, Season on the Line!


"VERY FUN NEW SHOW... startlingly frank and expansive.... frequently amusing, GENUINELY VULNERABLE story. [It] took considerable guts."

- Chicago Tribune (If you like meta, come read this!)



- TimeOut Chicago


"Highly entertaining, bitingly satirical... providing every theatergoer with a shipload of ideas to ponder and more fun than a pod of whales." 

Chicago Theatre Review


"READER RECOMMENDED! McLeod's sharply articulated production fills the stage with vivid characters... its smart pleasures are open to everybody. "

- Chicago Reader

"The script is a particular star, providing plenty of comic turns. The winning cast’s vibrant characters turn on a dime. Non-theater folk will get the same kick I did from watching this art-imitates-art experience."

-Stage and Cinema

"It is indeed a love letter. A big sprawling messy exuberant love letter, sealed with a big wet kiss."

- GapersBlock


"This 'Season' is a rich homage to theater, community, and passion and it is told with infectious energy and humor."

-Chicago Stage Standard

Season on the Line: Rehearsal!

Photos from our rehearsal process of the play about making theatre with special attention on the scenes about rehearsal. Yeah, it's pretty meta up in here!

Bad Settlement Theatre Company has a website! is live!
They may be fictional, but that's not stopping Bad Settlement from living on the interwebs! Check out what they have planned for their 20th Anniversary Season, who's making it all happen, and most importantly (to them), what the critics are saying. It's make-or-break in their crucial season on the line. Ha!