Art on the water

Pathways Arts hosts an outdoor event with dance, music, theater, and prose at Tisbury Waterworks.


With COVID restrictions in place last year and into early 2021, Pathways Arts was unable to continue its series of off-season indoor events, relying instead on the digital platform to host readings and other artistic ventures. This past summer, the Pathways team decided to present more summer events than usual to make up for the lost season.

This Sunday, Sept. 12, the nonprofit organization will host its final outdoor event at the Tisbury Waterworks (just below the lookout on State Road) — a mixed program of music, dance, theater, and prose, from 4 to 6 pm.

The bucolic grounds of the Waterworks, boasting a grassy expanse and wonderful views of the ocean, is the perfect setting for a farewell to summer.

The program will include the duo of Mark Grandfield and Jeremy Berlin performing songs from the American Songbook (from Ray Charles to Tony Bennet and Frank Sinatra), an excerpt from Holly Nadler’s new two-woman play “Anne Frank All Grown Up,” dance performances from the Island Hip Hop crew and Tessa Permar, and a reading of new work by Niki Patton with audience participation.

Nadler, a former TV comedy writer and published author as well as a freelance writer for The MV Times, will present the first 15 minutes of a play she recently completed. Those familiar with Nadler’s work won’t be disappointed, as the two-woman play (featuring a version of herself in conversation with Anne Frank) is in equal parts irreverent humor and touching introspection,

The playwright described the show in an email: “Imagine a lucid dream — yeah, one of those quirky occurrences some of us have been lucky enough to encounter when we wake up within a dream and still go on dreaming. When we truly wake up the next morning, or even in the next hour, we know from a feeling of cumulus grace that we’ve been kissed by angels. Or whatever kisses us in our sleep to make us feel WAY better. And, let’s be real here, nothing else does that.

“So what if within the lucid dream crucible, two beings are suddenly aware they share a psyche? One is a woman in her 70s, thrice married, thrice divorced, a lifelong writer named Holly — hmm, some coincidence there — and the other is the reincarnation of the teen sweetheart of the 20th century, Anne Frank.”

Island native Tessa Permar will perform a new solo piece titled “Specially for You,” which is described as being “a response to drastic changes to Island culture that she has been observing over the past year,” and “embodying many emotions, such as being cognizant of working as a caterer in one moment, and then being catered to by others in the next … which requires moving seamlessly between two (or more) roles as Island life unfolds … the experience of ‘wearing many hats on the Vineyard.’”

Permar studied and performed dance variously at Vassar College, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Co. in Israel, and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut. She has choreographed and performed in Austria, Israel, Scotland, and in numerous venues across the U.S.

Tanya Augoustinos of Pathways says, “Considering that Pathways Arts was unable to host indoor events this past winter and spring in the Chilmark Tavern, relying instead on the virtual platform exclusively, we felt the need to elaborate on the handful of outdoor events we customarily host in the summer, as well as collaborating with other arts organizations where invitations have arisen and comfortable outdoor venues have been extended to us.”

During the course of summer 2021, Pathways presented a number of live events, some in collaboration with other Island organizations. These included musical evenings at the Waterworks and Orange Peel Bakery, video events at the M.V. Museum, silent discos at Owen Park and Orange Peel Bakery, and two other multi-arts events at the Waterworks featuring dance, music, and a short play.

Pathways Arts was founded by Marianne Goldberg more than a decade ago as a platform for local artists to try out new work, and for emerging artists to have a chance to perform in front of an audience. Thanks to Goldberg’s legacy, the organization has been able to continue with her vision of encouraging collaboration between artists and other groups.

“Pathways remains committed to supporting artists working in all forms on Martha’s Vineyard, especially where new projects and collaborations can be encouraged and fostered,” says Augoustinos. “We welcome new artists who are still establishing themselves on Martha’s Vineyard.”

If summer madness didn’t allow a visit to any of the previous Pathways summer events, now might be the perfect time to check out what the arts organization is all about.