Wives of whalers
"An Island of Women," an original musical created by Island historian and director E. St. John Villard with music composed by retired Methodist minister of music Phil Dietterich, premieres tonight, June 11, at 7:30 pm at The Yard in Chilmark to benefit the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Presented by Island Theatre Workshop, performances continue through June at The Yard, the Sailing Camp in Oak Bluffs, and the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven.
The play looks at life on the Vineyard between 1850 and 1852 when much of the male population was off whaling. By following the lives of three families on the Vineyard, it explores how women who did not go to sea were a vital part of the whaling industry.
To research the topic, Ms. Villard dug through local historical documents, town vital records, census forms, and court documents. Though a work of fiction, "An Island of Women" uses the names of real people to examine the true elements of Island life. The Norton, Cooke, Vincent, and Mayhew families are featured in the play.
Admission for the June 11 performance is $20 (family rate is $40) and benefits the museum. Admission for all other performances is $15.
"Island of Women," at three venues: The Yard, Chilmark: June 11, 12, 13 at 7:30 pm, June 14 at 3 pm. Sailing Camp, Oak Bluffs: June 17, 18 at 7:30 pm. Katharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven: June 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 pm, June 28 at 3 pm. Island Theatre Workshop: 508-692-2769.
The buzz about "Fly"
The Vineyard Playhouse begins their season this Wednesday, June 17, with "Fly," a play about the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. By Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, and directed by Mr. Khan, the play features a tap-dancing scene with actors Charlie Hudson III, Joe Forbrich, Ted Louis Levy, and more. The play begins at 7 pm on Wednesday.