Today's Nantucket

White Heron Theatre Announces Its 2021 Nantucket Season

April 22, 2021 0 comments
White Heron Theatre Nantucket

The White Heron Theatre Company of Nantucket today announced its 2021 Nantucket summer season program, which will feature in-person performances for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  The season will include the Tony Award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher performed outdoors at the Oldest House, along with two entertaining solo performance pieces to be presented indoors at White Heron’s North Water Street theatre.

“This year’s season is a unique one. We have a blockbuster– Peter and the Starcatcher — performed outdoors. In keeping with our mission for new work for the American stage, two solo performer comedies to be staged indoors with socially distanced seating,” said Lynne M. Bolton, White Heron Artistic Director. “By performing both outdoors and in the theatre, we have maintained our commitment to exceptional quality theatre and new work while creating new and safe experiences for our audiences.”

First, White Heron will produce the Tony Award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, music by Wayne Barker, and directed by Lynne M. Bolton.  This enchanting play with music follows the adventures of a courageous little girl who leads a band of orphans to save the world from an infamous pirate.  A prequel to Peter Pan, this special presentation will take place outdoors at the Oldest House on Sunset Hill, enhancing the theatrical magic of this story while also providing a safe environment to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Performances will take place from July 20, 2021 through August 6, 2021.

“This play is a spectacle — brilliant costumes, singing, dancing, pirate ships and great storytelling. And I think at the end you’ll feel a bit wistful about time spent as a child imagining great adventures,” said Bolton. “Because Peter and the Starcatcher is performed outside due to a fabulous partnership with the Nantucket Historical Society, audiences can sit on a blanket or in a seat provided by the theatre and share a picnic with their family and friends. The play is a theatrical adventure, and it adds to the excitement when you can experience it outside under the stars.”

White Heron then will produce the North American premiere of The Half written by Game of Thrones star Richard Dormer, and directed by Michael Kopko.  This piece follows an actor during his preparation in the 30 minutes before curtain, also called “the half.”  About to tackle a one-man Hamlet for the first time, the unnamed actor expresses every emotion possible as his nerves begin to get the better of him.  One of the hits of the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival, The Half will offer an entertaining and humorous peek at life in the theatre.  Performances for The Half will begin on August 13 and will be in White Heron’s repertory through September 5.  Due to social distancing requirements and regulations, theatre’s capacity is limited to 40 seats per performance at this time.

“The Half is a tour-de-force one man play that is funny, poignant and redemptive,” said Producing Director and Co-Artistic Director Michael Kopko. “It’s a revealing look into the actor’s process, and how life reflects art, which in turn reflects life.  We feel lucky to be the first theatre in North America to present this wonderful play.”

White Heron Theatre’s 2021 Nantucket summer season will close with See Monsters of the Deep, a world premiere by Mark Shanahan and Steve Pacek and directed by Shanahan.  See Monsters… tells the story of Morton Plank, who ventures out in his small boat named “Courage” to confront a mysterious sea monster lurking Nantucket Harbor.  He soon becomes part of an infamous prank pulled by the eccentric Tony Sarg.  This delightful production will run in repertory with The Half starting August 9, 2021 through September 2, 2021.  Due to social distancing requirements and regulations, theatre’s capacity is limited to 40 seats per performance at this time.

“We all need a chance to laugh at ourselves,” said Bolton. “This play takes us on a nostalgic journey through 1920’s Nantucket and brings us out the other side remembering a different island and a different world. Nantucket acts as a catalyst to help a young man face his fears and laugh at himself in the wonderful world of Tony Sarg – Nantucket’s famous balloon maker and cartoonist.”

Due to popular demand, the White Heron will also revive its beloved production of A Nantucket Christmas Carol, adapted by Mark Shanahan from the Charles Dickens classic and directed by Graydon Gund.  This version of the fabled holiday story is set on Nantucket in 1840, making it both a holiday tradition and a celebration of our local history.  Performances run from November 25, 2021 through December 4, 2021.

Tickets for the White Heron’s season are now available.  For tickets and other information, please visit our website at www.whiteherontheatre.org or call (508) 825-5268.

July 20, 2021 – August 6, 2021
Peter and the Starcatcher
A play by Rick Elice based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson; directed by Lynne Bolton
The Neverland you never knew.
There was a whole lot of adventure before Peter met Wendy!  In this Tony Award-winning best play of 2012, a brave girl leads a band of orphans to thwart a notorious pirate in this imaginative prequel to the classic Peter Pan.  With its gorgeous music, an incredible ensemble of actors playing over 100 characters both familiar and new, and performed outdoors at the Oldest House on Sunset Hill, audiences of all ages will be entranced by a delightful evening of theatre.  Join us under the stars and fly back to Neverland. Way back.

August 13, 2021 – September 5, 2021
The Half
By Richard Dormer; directed by Michael Kopko
A mid-life crisis a half-hour before curtain.
The “Half” is the 30 minutes in the dressing room before the curtain rises, which feels like an eternity for one actor about to perform his one-man Hamlet for the first time.  The show must go on, but can he?  White Heron is proud to offer the North American premiere of this delightful comedy of an ambitious performer taking on this great Shakespearean play – and a lot of personal demons.

August 9, 2021 – September 2, 2021
See Monsters of the Deep
By Mark Shanahan and Steve Pacek; directed by Mark Shanahan
Sometimes it’s good to rock the boat.
Hang on to your seat for a true-ish Nantucket mystery!  The quiet, unassuming Morton Plank is haunted by his child memory of a boating accident that occurred under uncanny circumstances.  He sets out on his boat named “Courage” to face his fear and discover the truth and becomes a part of Nantucket history.  This world premiere blends innovative theatricality with first-class storytelling to create a performance full of magic and fun.

November 25 – December 4, 2021
A Nantucket Christmas Carol
Adapted by Mark Shanahan from Charles Dickens; directed by Graydon Gund
Let the holiday spirits light your way.
The spirit of the island meets the spirits of the holidays!  The whale oil trade has made Ebenezer Scrooge a wealthy man, but islanders know him better for his hard heart and miserly ways.  The apparition of his partner, Jacob Marley, and the three spirits of Christmas visit to remind him that “mankind is his business.”  This clever weaving of the beloved tale with Nantucket history creates a wholly original experience for the whole family.

White Heron Theatre Company is a professional, not-for-profit theatre company producing transformative, professional productions of classical and contemporary plays. For more about visiting Nantucket, go to The Insider’s Guide to Nantucket planning pages.