Storms of November Artist Profile: Zach Morgan

The Storms of November is a modern maritime legend, a tale of courage in the face of the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. Since September, our cast and crew have been immersing themselves in the history of the Great Lakes. We have explored the people and places of Lake Superior and the shipping trade, learning of storms and shipwrecks and the people who sail its waters. We thought it would be great to highlight our amazingly creative production team by asking them a few questions about the show, character, and the nimbus creative process.


Actor Zach Morgan

What do you find most interesting about your character?

 Bobby fits like a glove--an easy extension of who I am as a person; painting on the layer of First Mate Ore boat worker is a familiar veneer, but I get to extend my own personality with a little more formality, studying the trade in my own time, and tools, weather, daily life. I enjoy the pace of the show; slower, more deliberate, and thoughtful. The elements of nature are often neglected or needless in many urban plays, but not a word is spoke without the though of your performance surface, the boat, moving under me or the wind and spray of the lake on my skin.

What did you learn on our field trip or during table work that you found most interesting?

Life on the Great Lakes is life in a very treacherous environment. Living mostly as an inland dweller, I rarely give much thought to shipping trades.  But it's so helpful, not to read or watch a video, but to actually sit in a mess hall, feel the size of the various cabins and hallways, to further understand the trade; and it's rewards and challenges for a member of this vocation.

What is your personal connection to the North Shore (or the Great Lakes)?

I always loved vacations as a child to the North Shore; Duluth and Grand Marais in particular. When I graduated from college, I lived on the Grand Marais for five years before moving to Minneapolis.  That was long enough to witness the beauty and danger of such an inland sea. In that time, I was able to sail on it, play games in the winter jumping from one loose, floating piece of ice to another; but I also lost a couple friends to the lake--even in mild weather, it is unpredictable and merciless.

How does working in a devised environment change your approach to your work?

Collaboration is critical.  We are all fallible people, who are depending on our fellow artists around us; Writers, directors, designer and actors alike.  There seems to be a greater sense of friendship and comradery amongst everyone.  And there is no time for off-stage drama; with everyone supporting each other, we walk away with an always positive result.  I believe the audience experiences this as well.

Is there a work of maritime literature that you particularly enjoy, and if so, why?

Moby Dick. Because it is the greatest piece of American literature written.

Is there anything about Great Lakes Shipping that you find particularly interesting?

Yeah. Big boats are really cool!

Enough said.