Nantucket has a rich cultural fabric particularly with live theatre. The love of performance begins young and is cultivated with programs offered for young people; The Theatre Workshop has had numerous plays with large child casts including Peter Pan, Annie, the Wizard of Oz, Oliver! and the Christmas Carol. This year’s performance from November 21 – December 14 is Cinderella.
The Nantucket Comedy Festival’s Stand Up and Learn, a program at the Nantucket High School, is an educational program with of a series of lessons using video and interactive worksheets that “engage students in creative writing, communication, and critical thinking as well as team and confidence building.”
In September, there was a unique collaboration between the Theatre Workshop and the Nantucket Historical Association – the presentation of Twelve Angry Men, a play about the complex and human dynamics of a jury deliberation in a murder trial. The theatre for this play was the Quaker Meeting House on Fair Street, a property of the NHA which originally built in 1838 which has served as a school, a meeting house and the first museum of the NHA in the 1940s. It was an auspicious setting with its austere and utilitarian design, tall windows and two story ceiling.
Seating for the audience at the Quaker Meeting House was on hard and narrow wood benches and the ‘stage’ was just a few feet from the front row. The drama was compelling and the audience was engrossed in the evolving story line. The actors were all drawn from the rich Nantucket theatre community and many in the audience were friends and neighbors emerging after a busy summer season to enjoy uniquely Nantucket event. Pretty much a perfect evening!