Herman Melville - J.O. Eaton Portrait - 1870 - by Permission of Harvard University
Portrait by Joseph Oriel Eaton, 1870, by permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University [*61Z-4]
(click to view larger image)

Leviathan

whale-trp200Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies appears three times a year in March, June, and October. We welcome articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing on the life, works, and influence of novelist and poet Herman Melville (1819-1891). Click here for more information.

Melville Electronic Library

mel-thumb-crpd-3The Melville Electronic Library is an online resource for Melville texts. Housed on a Hofstra University server, MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.

Johns Hopkins University Press

jhup-logoTo join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.

Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Three New Melville Plays at Arrowhead: The Melville Trilogy


Arrowhead


"Melvilles & Morewoods"

by Sally Filkins

 

A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville

 

"Melvilles & Morewoods" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA , Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings July 5th through July 21st at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $25 and include a pre-show reception at 7pm.

 

"Melville's Women"

by Sally Filkins

 

A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville

 

"Melville's Women" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from August 9th through September 2nd at 7:30 pm. Pre-performance reception at 7pm. Tickets for "Melville's Women" are $25. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville, Haunted"

 

"Voices" Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, will present a new historic Pittsfield play, "Melville, Haunted," during October at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home and museum on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. "Melville, Haunted" is the first in a series of three original plays being developed by "VOICES" for production at Arrowhead during the next twelve months. "Melville, Haunted" will be followed by "Melvilles and Moorewoods" and "Melville's Women." "VOICES" is currently the resident theatre company at Arrowhead. During the 2011 Summer Season, "VOICES" collaborated with Berkshire Historical Society to produce "Shades of the Revolution" and "Sentimental Journey" for Pittsfield's 250th Anniversary.

 

"Melville, Haunted" opens on Thursday October 18th at 7:30 pm and plays Friday October 19, Saturday October 20, Thursday, October 25, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. All performances are at 7:30 pm at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield.

 

------------------------------------------------

"Melvilles & Morewoods"

by Sally Filkins

 

A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville

 

"Call me...Ishmael." At Arrowhead in the summer of 1851 young Herman Melville is feverishly writing the final chapters of his masterpiece "Moby Dick." Beset by publishers deadlines and financial problems, and beleaguered by embattled Melville relatives and fractious house guests, all resident at overcrowded Arrowhead, Herman Melville seeks refuge in the madcap entertainments created for him by his friend and neighbor, the captivating, indefatigably social Sarah Morewood.

Set in the grounds and farmhouse at Arrowhead where Herman Melville and Sarah Morewood actually entertained their summer houseguests, friends, and neighbors during the summer of 1851, "Melvilles & Morewoods" presents the mid-victorian social scene at a time when the Berkshires were on the cusp of becoming a summer resort for wealthy 19th century urbanites. The play culminates in Melville's study where Melville is frantically penning the Epilogue of "Moby Dick." The study, overlooking Mount Greylock, is the room where, inspired by "Greylock's Majesty," Melville really did write "Moby Dick."

 

"Melvilles & Morewoods" is a joint presentation of Berkshire Historical Society and "VOICES" Theatre Company. Written and directed by Sally Filkins, "Melvilles & Morewoods" features Kevin Wixsom as Herman Melville and Diane Arduini as Sarah Morewood. Anya Krawcheck is Melville's wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville. Sally Filkins plays Melville's sister and transcriptionist, Augusta Melville. Brooks Sherman is Melville's publisher, Evert Duyckinck. Tony Corbett is Evert's young brother, George Duyckinck. Sudy Bell portrays Melville's mother, Maria Melville. Rodelinde Albrecht is Sarah Morewood's sister, Ellen Brittain. Will Demick and Lindsay Dewinkeeler play Melville's younger brother Alan Melville, and his wife Sophia Melville. In the study's dream sequence, Brooks Sherman plays Billy Budd from the Melville novel of the same name. Will Demick is Harry Bolton and Tony Corbett is Carlo, both characters from Melville's "Redburn." Costumes are by Jane Bove.

 

"Melvilles & Morewoods" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA , Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings July 5th through July 21st at 7:30pm.

 

Tickets are $25 and include a pre-show reception at 7pm. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. Because "Melville's and Morewoods" contains scenes of mild, explicit sexuality and insanity, parental discretion is suggested for children under 12.

For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville's Women"

by Sally Filkins

(A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville)

 

"Melville's Women" is presented jointly by Berkshire Historical Society and "VOICES" Theatre Company. Performed at Herman Melvile's Pittsfield farm, Arrowhead, in the rooms where the Melville family actually lived, worked and wrote, "Melville's Women" explores the torturously entangled relationship between Herman Melville's family of women and his books.

 

In the autumn of 1851, strained and depleted by the impossible creative demands of writing "Moby Dick," Herman Melville's always disorderly genius is fragmenting into madness. At Arrowhead, the volatile author is surrounded by an adoring throng of strong-minded Melville women. Melville's mother, Maria Melville, wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville, and sisters, Helen, Augusta, Kate and Fanny Melville are all living at Arrowhead, and all competing to serve Herman, around whose needs, moods and writing the household at Arrowhead revolves.

Melville, anguished by the critical reception of "Moby Dick," is channeling his nervous energies into writing a new novel, "Pierre." To the Melville women's great dismay, the emotionally autobiographical "Pierre" replicates themes of adultery, incest, suicide and murder which darken the Melville family history. Ultimately, "Pierre" compromises Melville's sanity and derails his literary career.

 

Melville is rescued from total physical and emotional collapse by the tender devotion of his gentle wife Elizabeth Shaw Melville - "Lizzie."

 

"Melville's Women" is written and directed by Sally Filkins. Veteran actor Kevin Wixsom returns to Arrowhead as Herman Melville. His wife, gentle "Lizzzie," is played by Diane Arduini. Sudy Bell is Herman's mother, Maria Melville. Melville's sisters are played by Sally Filkins as Augusta Melville, Lindsay Dewinkeleer as Kate Melville and Anya Krawchek as Fanny Melville. Rodelinde Albrecht is Eleanor Melville Thomas Metcalf, Melville's eldest grandaughter.

Jane Skorput is the Melville's Irish servant girl, Mary O'Brien. In the dream sequences from Melville's "Battle Pieces" and "Pierre," Tony Corbett plays the young Pittsfield Civil War hero General William Bartlett. Brooks Sherman is Colonel Thomas Plunkett and Will Demick is Sergeant Thaddeus Pomeroy. Sudy Bell portrays domineering dowager Mrs. Glendinning. Tony Corbett is her son, Pierre Glendinning. Anya Krawchek plays sweet Lucy Tartan and Lindsay Dewinkeleer dark-eyed temptress Isabel Blanford. Brooks Sherman is Glendinning Stanley, and Will Demick is Frederick Tartan. Costumes are by Jane Bove.

 

"Melville's Women" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from August 9th through September 2nd at 7:30 pm. Pre-performance reception at 7pm. Tickets for "Melville's Women" are $25. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville, Haunted"

 

"Voices" Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, will present a new historic Pittsfield play, "Melville, Haunted," during October at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home and museum on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. "Melville, Haunted" is the first in a series of three original plays being developed by "VOICES" for production at Arrowhead during the next twelve months. "Melville, Haunted" will be followed by "Melvilles and Moorewoods" and "Melville's Women." "VOICES" is currently the resident theatre company at Arrowhead. During the 2011 Summer Season, "VOICES" collaborated with Berkshire Historical Society to produce "Shades of the Revolution" and "Sentimental Journey" for Pittsfield's 250th Anniversary.

"Melville, Haunted" will be presented within the context of a Candlelight Tour of Arrowhead. A dessert buffet, presided over by the ghost of Nathaniel Hawthorne, will follow the play.

 

Time and dimensions are fluid in "Melville, Haunted." Herman Melville is bedeviled and beguiled by ghostly visitations not only from his family and friends, but also by characters from his novels - Moby Dick, Typee and Billy Budd. Through a series of ghostly encounters played out against the backdrop of Arrowhead, "Melville, Haunted" explores the inextricably intertwined relationships that existed among Melville, his circle of intimates, and the people he created in his books. The play is introduced by a scenario from Billy Budd, Melville's last novel, and concludes with Melville in the throes of creating Moby Dick, which was written at Arrowhead in 1851.

 

"Melville, Haunted," incorporates original material as well as excerpts from Melville's novels. The play was written and directed by "VOICES" Artistic Director, Sally Filkins. Veteran Pittsfield actor Kevin Wixsom is featured as Herman Melville. Kevin most recently appeared with "VOICES" as Pittsfield Industrialist Lemuel Pomeroy in "Shades of the Revolution." Tony Corbett, who played the title role of "Crippled Billy" in Mixed Company's "The Cripple of Innisman," during Summer 2011, is Ishmael. Charles Wright of Dalton portrays Melville's beloved friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter. Diane Arduini, most recently seen as Irish Mill Girl Mary O'Hara in "Shades of the Revolution," is Melville's exotic island love, Fayaway. Sally Filkins plays Melville's sister Augusta Melville. Sudy Bell is Melville's mother, Maria Melville. Billy Budd is played by Tony Corbett of Lanesborough. Berkshire Historical Society Director Betsy Sherman will lead the Candlelight Tour of Arrowhead. Costume design is by Jane Bove of South Lee.

Tickets for "Melville, Haunted," which includes the Canlelight Tour, performance and dessert buffet, are $25. As a limited number of people can be accomodated in the museum rooms at Arrowhead, reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman at Arrowhead at 413-442-1793, or "VOICES" at 413-442-1928 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville, Haunted" opens on Thursday October 18th at 7:30 pm and plays Friday October 19, Saturday October 20, Thursday, October 25, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. All performances are at 7:30 pm at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield.

From the Galleries

MEL Camp 2008 Hofstra Univ
(click for slideshow)
MEL Camp 2008 Hofstra Univ

Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

 

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.

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