‘Big Fish’ Brings Family and Emotion to The Opal


‘Madisonian’ reporter Zoe Bullock (center, gold dress) performs with the cast of ‘Big Fish’

Zoe Bullock, Staff Reporter

Madison Theatre wrapped up its Big Fish The Musical production on November 11-13, 2022. Madison Theatre has been hard at work rehearsing for the show since September 2022. 

Big Fish tells the story of Edward Bloom, both in his youth and towards the end of his life. Edward is known to tell fantastic stories about witches, giants, mermaids, and more. He falls in love with his wife, Sandra, and has a son, Will. Will faces his father and the secrets he may have held while preparing for the birth of Will’s son.

The show starred Saba Chabukashvili as Edward Bloom, Izabela Jett as Sandra Bloom, Karson Couch as Will Bloom, Mia Mires as Josephine Bloom, Zoe Bullock (yours truly) as The Witch, and Preston Kuppler as Karl the Giant. 

“I think the main thing that made this so much different than any other show is that it was a single cast. It made it so much different and brought me back to my freshman year,” Jett remarked. 

The Madison Consolidated Theatre program performs ‘Big Fish’

In the past years, Madison Theatre has been double-casting its productions or casting two actors in the same role. This way, someone is always ready in case of illness or quarantine in recent years. However, this is one of the first shows where the creative team felt it was safe to cast only one person in each role.

This show was also very different, emotionally, for the actors. Actors must portray the fun, playful side of the show, but they also have to get in touch with their emotional side at the show’s end. The emotional hurdles provided a challenge for actors, but it was also a great learning opportunity to strengthen their emotional range.

“The show was so much fun, and I learned a lot about expanding my range as an actor,” Karson Couch explained.

The focus on bringing “the feels” also made the show very touching to audiences. As I was greeting audience members, there were very few dry eyes in the lobby.

Saba Chabukashvili plays Edward Bloom in the MCHS Theatre production of ‘Big Fish’

“From my perspective and what many people have told me, they were blown away by the performance. Many audience members said how well we did for high school students and that this was probably one of the best shows they had gone and watched,” Jett added. 

The cast of Big Fish also grew significantly closer through the process. Having spent an immeasurable amount of time together, the script took the entire Big Fish cast on an emotional journey. We supported each other as we produced this fantastic show for audiences. Saba Chabukashvili expressed, “I thought it was a great experience and told a great story that everyone can enjoy and relate to. The cast was great and supportive, and I learned a lot.”

From this reporter’s first-hand point of view, the show was genuinely familial both on and off the stage. 

Big Fish embodied what theatre is all about. It brought joy, laughter, and tears to audience members and brought people together uniquely. Behind the scenes, students of all ages and backgrounds were brought together to create art and tell a story that is genuinely significant to today’s society.

Jack Heckler, who played Don Price, concurred, “Big Fish is what theatre is all about; reality with a dash of insanity.”