Professional Nonprofit Theater on Martha's Vineyard
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Press Reviews and Articles

A Love Triangle Plus One, New Play Is Four Wheeling Farce

By Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

f you already happen to belong to a love triangle encompassing an earnest psychotherapist, an alcoholic ex-standup comic 12-stepping his way to recovery and a sexy but unstable action-movie superstar, then you don’t need to see Who You See Here, the latest production at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. But that would be denial.


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‘Julius Caesar’ is still slaying audiences at the amphitheater

By Holly Nadler, MV Times

Every summer on our Island, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse stages an Elizabethan classic in this idyllic spot, under the trees and with sounds of chirping birds and squawking geese high overhead. And this summer, for “Julius,” a tale of raging testosterone, the cast is composed 100 percent of women. Playing men. And it works!


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For Jenny Allen, She and Her House ‘Were Sort of in This Together

By Penelope Green, The New York Times

MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. — Not long after Jenny Allen left New York City to live full-time here, her once-sturdy farmhouse had a nervous breakdown. The pump to the well gave out, the water heater flooded the furnace, the pipes froze and an ancient tree crashed through the roof. It was 2013 and Ms. Allen, the journalist, humor writer and performer, had just separated from Jules Feiffer, the cartoonist and author to whom she had been married for 30 years, when the house began behaving like a kindergartner who had toughed it out all day at school only to have a meltdown at dismissal. You could see its collapse as a proxy for Ms. Allen’s own experience. “It was like the house knew that someone was there to take care of it so it just went …” Ms. Allen paused. “It just went ‘boing’ like a house in a cartoon.”


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Dusty and the Big Bad World Adds Levity to the Culture Wars

By Louisa Hufstader, MV Times

At the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse through July 29, Cusi Cram’s political comedy Dusty and the Big Bad World is a fast-paced and funny take on the culture wars of the last Republican administration, sparing neither the right nor the left as both sides struggle over Dusty’s survival.


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Lend them your ears

By Nicole Galland, MV Times

“Julius Caesar” is possibly Shakespeare’s most male-dominated work. There are only two female characters, wives who appear in brief supporting roles. All other characters are warriors or politicians, in a society where women could be neither. In this production, the entire cast is made up of women.


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‘Dusty and the Big Bad World’ opens the Vineyard Playhouse season with a bang!

By Holly Nadler, Martha's Vineyard Times

Inspired by the conservative outcry after a popular children’s television show spotlighted a family with two mothers, playwright Cusi Cram’s biting comedy Dusty and the Big Bad World lost its topical hook on the eve of its first production in January 2009. “It opened four days after Obama was inaugurated and it seemed like old news, pulling funding from public television and censoring children’s shows,” said MJ Bruder Munafo, artistic and executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, who is directing Dusty and the Big Bad World in its second-ever public run.


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Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse Opens With Timely Tale

By Louisa Hufstader, The Vineyard Gazette

Inspired by the conservative outcry after a popular children’s television show spotlighted a family with two mothers, playwright Cusi Cram’s biting comedy Dusty and the Big Bad World lost its topical hook on the eve of its first production in January 2009. “It opened four days after Obama was inaugurated and it seemed like old news, pulling funding from public television and censoring children’s shows,” said MJ Bruder Munafo, artistic and executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, who is directing Dusty and the Big Bad World in its second-ever public run.


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Science confronts politics in ‘Gene Play’

By Brittany Bowker, Martha's Vineyard Times

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse was filled to capacity last Monday night for the reading of Gene Play, written by Jonah Lipsky and Casey Ann Hayward. The performance was part of the theater’s weekly Monday Night Specials, showcasing new work from budding and seasoned playwrights for a one-night-only performance.


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Casey and Jonah

Gene Play Opens Monday Night Specials

Vineyard Gazette

As the title suggests, the play is about genetic engineering, tracking the growth of this science through time, along with the factors controlling it. Act One takes place in 1976 and Act Two occurs in the present day.


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Gwyn-McAllister

Monday Night Specials opens with a comedy, Gwyn McAllister’s ‘The Green Rose’

Vineyard Gazette

The series begins with a comedy by Gwyn McAllister, directed by MJ Bruder Munafo, and featuring a cast of seven actors. Ms. McAllister is a longtime resident and frequent contributor to the Times; she now splits her time between Oak Bluffs and New York City. She is a journalist, humorist, and playwright who has previously had her work produced as readings on the Vineyard and in New York City.


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Anne Cook SM

Artist Anne Cook at the M.V. Playhouse

MV Times

Island-born artist Anne Cook will showcase her work at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse Art Space until Thursday, June 8. Her exhibit, “Color in Motion; Darkness in Action” depicts Vineyard landscapes and cartoons from Dante’s “Inferno.” This unique series features pastel paintings of tranquil up-Island scenes, in tandem with mixed-media and collage works on paper.


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Been There Still There SM

Been There, Still There at the Playhouse

Vineyard Gazette

Second City Main Stage alums Bruce Jarchow and Nancy McCabe-Kelly are bringing their show, Been There, Still There, to the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse for a one night only performance on Saturday, May 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m.


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Cultural Council Announces 2017 Grants

Martha's Vineyard Gazette

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Plague doctor James Langlois 3 22 2017 copy

James Langlois in (Mostly) Black and White

Louisa Hufstader, Martha's Vineyard Gazette

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Art Space SM Tom Mullins

Tom Mullins’ Art Knows No Bounds

Solo show at the Playhouse Art Space features acrylics and collage.
By Gwyn McAllister, Martha's Vineyard Times

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Shakespeare for the Masses Presents Romeo and Juliet

Patricia Neal Stage
Quick & Painless & and Free.
Martha's Vineyard Gazette

For its final show of the season, Shakespeare for the Masses is presenting fan favorite Romeo and Juliet, but with a twist. In the theatrical world, everyone wants the coveted role of Juliet, but of course only one person per show gets this gem. Until now that is. Shakespeare for the Masses is known for putting new spins on the mighty English bard, including slicing and dicing his plays down to a manageable hour.


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Romeo and Juliet, Juliet, Juliet, Juliet

By Gwyn McCallister, MV Times

Which four art thou Juliet? That’s the question audiences will be confronted by in the upcoming production of “Romeo and Juliet” by the popular Shakespeare for the Masses group. It’s every actress’ dream to play Juliet, according to S for the M co-founder and writer Chelsea McCarthy. To accommodate that ambition, Ms. McCarthy and her co-writer Nicole Galland have opted to cast four of the five actors participating in the upcoming production in the coveted role. As a matter of fact, those four will interchange in all of the roles, except for Romeo. “It’s basically going to be like Boggle, where you shake them up and see where they land,” says Ms. McCarthy, who promises that the role changes will be done in such a way that the audience can easily follow the action.


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A musical escape through ‘Reconciliation: Songs of Peace and Protest’

by Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

Looking for a late winter pick-me-up? Or a positive way to relieve some current-events-related anxiety? Visit the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse on Friday, March 17, for an evening of uplifting music in a program called “Reconciliation: Songs of Peace and Protest,” to be performed by a trio of students and alumni from the Berklee College of Music.

The culturally diverse group will draw on their various backgrounds for the song selections. The trio was brought together by Jason Sibi Okumu who, last year, came to the Vineyard to perform at the playhouse as part of Berklee’s African Club. This time around he has invited two fellow Berklee-ites along. Mr. Okumu is from Kenya. He will be joined by Israeli-born Sagit Zilberman, who will sing and play a variety of instruments, and harpist and vocalist Allegra Cramer from the U.S.


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Patricia Neal Film Series Honors Big Star With Small Town Humility

By Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

When Patricia Neal attended events at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse she always sat in the front row and made a point of speaking to the cast members after the show. It’s not every day an Oscar and Tony award winning actress chats with cast and crew of a local theatre group, but Patricia Neal was not an ordinary actress. The very opposite of a cloistered celebrity, Ms. Neal was known on the Vineyard for her friendly manner around town, chatting with children on the street, eating at the Edgartown diner, and graciously accepting recognition from fans.


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King John for the Masses, a Populist Affair

The folks at Shakespeare for the Masses often perform King John before important elections. Even though it depicts a monarchy from a long time ago, the play has many parallels to a the drama of modern day elections. The drive for power, the gray area of who should really be crowned, plus the backstabbing (literal and metaphorical of course), theft, mayhem most foul — it’s just another day on the stump for most politicians today.


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Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse honors Patricia Neal with film series

During the month of January, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse will hold a film series to honor one of its longtime supporters, actress Patricia Neal. “Her birthday is Jan. 20,” playhouse artistic director MJ Bruder Munafo said. “We thought this was a good time to pay homage to a great friend.” The films will be shown at the playhouse’s intimate theater, whose stage is named for the actress.


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Warming Up Winter With Acoustic Carols

Patricia Neal Stage
By Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

A holiday-themed, all-female acoustic music group that plays to sold-out mainland audiences every December is making its Island debut Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. Wintery Songs in Eleventy Part Harmony features a blend of strings, vocals and glockenspiels in an expansively eclectic program of Christmas carols, holiday standards, winter-themed originals and unexpected cover tunes like In the Cold, Cold Night by The White Stripes.


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Monday Night Movies, and more, return to the Vineyard Playhouse

By Gwyn McAllister, Martha's Vineyard Times

There’s a lot going on at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse these days. While the summer season of theater ended on Oct. 8, the playhouse is once again keeping its doors open all winter with a variety of programming. According to artistic director MJ Bruder Munafo, “Our motto is: Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, where the off-season is the on-season!”


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Vineyard show focuses on O’Neill characters

By Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll, Cape Cod Times

The centennial celebration of Eugene O’Neill’s start as a playwright is spreading: While the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival has been marking the connections between O’Neill and Williams this weekend, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse is presenting a show about O’Neill-related characters nobody has known much about.


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Basia Jaworska presents ‘Lives on the Line: Activist, Dissident or Agitator’

By Gwyn McAllister, Martha's Vineyard Times

The series of seven paintings, which are currently on view in the lobby Art Space of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, are powerful, attention-grabbing portraits created with strong colors, bold lines, and images that fill the frame completely. Like her previous series, which focused on musicians, the current collection is done in a primitive folk-art style incorporating defining images, letters, and other elements to heighten the message.


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Long Day’s Journey into the Kitchen

By Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

Meet Bridget Conroy, Cathleen Mullin and Jack Smythe: three characters who had been searching for an author — and full names — since they were first invented by playwright Eugene O’Neill in the 1940s. With Ronan Noone’s play The Second Girl, they have found themselves.


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“The Second Girl” is the final play of the season at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse

By Holly Nadler, MV Times

There’s probably no theatergoer alive who hasn’t seen at least one production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece, “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” an autobiographical portrait of the playwright’s own family, set in pre-World War I days in an East Coast summer cottage — a home and hearth saturated with whisky, morphine, and other substances that make parents and their grown children less than delightful. In O’Neill’s drama, a single servant is given a cameo role, a young Irish lass named Cathleen. Cathleen is “the second girl,” lesser in rank than others on the staff, but matriarch Mary Tyrone detains her for a happy hour before the family’s happy hour, eager to share details of the Tyrone tragedy from her own woozy POV.


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Catch the Monday Night Special at MV Playhouse

Patricia Neal Stage
By The Martha's Vineyard Times

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