With summer well on its way, many students are configuring their schedules to ensure they have just the right balance of work, sleep, beachtime - and of course, time for their summer reading. For many NHS students, summer theater is also thrown into the mix. We are fortunate to live on an island with a wonderful theater community, one that presents young people with great opportunities. Summer theater on Nantucket has always been popular with visitors and residents alike, and this summer season will not disappoint. The island’s companies, including the Dreamland, Theatre Workshop of Nantucket (TWN), White Heron Theatre Company, and On The Isle, all have great programs lined up for this summer, and all have either cast or are in the process of casting students.
This summer, TWN is performing Barefoot in the Park, Fully Committed, Mamma Mia!, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? For younger players, Laura Gallagher Byrne, director of education (see article on page 7) is directing Goosebumps. On The Isle, a small but mighty theater company in Sconset, will perform the musical HAIR. And White Heron, the island’s newest company, will perform Seawife, Outsider Mulligan, and Romeo and Juliet. White Heron will also host several student workshops. Students who participate will work with professionals from New York City to strengthen skills and learn the essentials of nearly every aspect of theater - from costuming and set design, to dialect and musical direction.
Sophomore Jackie McGrath has participated in theater on Nantucket for several years and acknowledged the many opportunities during the summer. “I have done a ton of shows,” she said, noting Honk, Peter Pan, Dear Edwina, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver!, Once on this Island, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, Seussical, and Cinderella. “The Dreamland was more for fun and getting the chance to play a role despite your age and TWN focused more on being able to work with adults onstage.” This summer, McGrath will play the role of Jeannie in the musical HAIR, which will be her first production with On the Isle. She will also be participating in White Heron’s Theater & Dance Workshops.
McGrath spoke about the people she’s met through theater, adding that “many ...have taught [her] and influenced [her] choices as an actor. Each new person you meet through theater has a story and something to share with you that will stick with you forever. You make friends with adults that you would have never known if it weren't for theater. Every summer I find a way to get out there and help keep theater going on the island whether it's on or off stage. Once I outgrew the Dreamland’s [junior company], I joined their senior company and continue to help backstage with the junior company.”
In conclusion, McGrath said, “if you love either singing, acting, or dancing, then of course you should take part in theater. There are so many different chances to be in theater. You can try out - so why not try something new?”