The White Heron Theatre Company of Nantucket is approaching its 12th season and is boasting a line-up of shows for all theatergoers who may find themselves vacationing on Nantucket this summer.
The White Heron, a not-for-profit theater company, was formed in New York in 2004 and has since moved to Nantucket, and will have a permanent home in the historic district of Nantucket as of July 2016.
The new theater, which will be located at 5 North Water Street behind the Whaling Museum, will house a 160-seat theater, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, dressing rooms, a lobby and meeting space and offices. The new facility will cost approximately $5 million. The new theater will be the first that is dedicated only to the production of Equity Theatre, theater education and the development of new plays.
“The ability to produce and develop great professional productions and new plays in our own space will enhance the cultural and economic vibrancy of the island,” said Michael Kopko, executive director of White Heron. “Our year-round programming will help keep the lights on in downtown Nantucket by bringing visitors, students, playwrights, directors, actors, set designers, teachers and fans of the theater to the island year-round.”
Lynne Bolton, founder and president of the White Heron Theatre, spoke on what the new location will mean for this summer, stating, “This is a unique summer for us. While our theater building is being constructed, we are performing at the Dreamland Theatre — a movie theater and performing arts center on the island.”
This summer, the upcoming performances include a collaboration with New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, which will be a reading of a new play called “The Harvest” written by Samuel Hunter and directed by Gordon Edelstein on July 1 and 2, performances of a Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning play “The Gin Game” by D.L. Coburn on July 6-22 and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang will take the stage in August directed by Martin Platt.
On “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Bolton commented “The play is about how three grown siblings deal with their summer house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania after their parents die. We have a stellar cast with a spectacular set on the main stage at the Dreamland. This one is not to be missed.”
Bolton is very optimistic about the future of the White Heron after the building of the new theater.
“The new theater will affect not only the future of White Heron but the future of Nantucket as well,” she stated. “Once the new theater is built, we will be able to hold a 10-week season of summer theater. In the shoulder seasons, we will be able to host seminars and workshops under the auspices of our educational arm, The Nantucket Theatre Institute. Part of our mission is to create new work to send out into the American theater … and we can bring visitors to Nantucket during the shoulder seasons that will be an economic boon for the island.”
With the new theater to look forward to, along with upcoming plays and productions, the White Heron has a lot to offer for the coming seasons.
“Audiences make theater happen,” Bolton said. “Live performance is unique and exciting because of the interaction between the characters on stage and the audience.”
To order tickets, visit www.whiteherontheatre.org or call 508-228-2156.