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

Playhouse Revs Up Summer Season

The Vineyard Gazette

Click on the Now Playing tab on the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse website and what comes up is a little like a virtual version of Five Corners in August. The schedule is robust.


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Embracing the Theatre of Life

by Mollie Doyle, Vineyard Gazette

It’s June 5 and MJ Bruder Munafo has her running shoes on. In just a few weeks the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse will begin its summer season and rehearsals begin today.


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Gwyn McAllister channels George Bernard Shaw in ‘Passionata’

by Holly Nadler, The MV Times

The green rose, a fictional flower, provides a rich McAllister-assisted mythology at the heart of the romance.


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Fishing is the best medicine

by Janet Messineo

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Martha’s Vineyard: Down-Island Travel Guide

Boston Magazine

“The Vineyard Playhouse, in Vineyard Haven, always has something worth attending. It’s a real gem to be able to go to the theater and see such high-quality shows.”


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Turning Life’s Curveballs Into Art

by Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

When Jenny Allen performs at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse this weekend, she’s bringing her acclaimed one-woman show full circle to its original stage.


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I Got Sick Then I Got Better in the MV Times


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Connecting The Dots

by Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

Throughout the month of May, around 40 of Jack Ryan’s original drawings will be on display at the playhouse.


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Island playhouse adds solo shows

by Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll, Cape Cod Times

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse in Vineyard Haven will run a new series of solo performances on weekends through May that offers often humorous female perspectives on life milestones.


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In My Own Little Corner at Playhouse

Vineyard Gazette

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Long History of Caring Makes Vineyard a Disability Paradise

by Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

For some VIP members, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse has become a regular hangout. People with disabilities are part of the volunteer usher staff and in March, the lobby art show was dedicated to work by VIP members.


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Going Solo

Playhouse provides one-person shows during the month of May.
By Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

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Coming Attractions

Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse announces summer lineup with three world premieres, one regional premiere, and a playhouse first.
By Brittany Bowker, MV Times

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Sarah Moore featured at the M.V. Playhouse ArtSpace

by Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

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A Very Important Exhibit (by Vineyard Independence Partnership)

by Connie Berry

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This was then: The Capawoc

by Chris Baer, MV Times

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Shakespeare for the Masses

The idea behind Shakespeare for the Masses is to bring the bard’s work to the people, all of the people, by creating free shows with a contemporary feel. They are also slimmed down, to a running time of about an hour.


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Shakespeare on the Vineyard

By Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

For 10 years now, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse has been offering up a series of dramatic readings called Shakespeare for the Masses. Conceived and created by Nicole Galland and Chelsea McCarthy, the series pares down the plays of the Bard to around an hour, heightens the humor — whether drama or comedy — and incorporates a narrator to fill in the gaps and provide some explanation and commentary.


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Water for Art

Painter Debby Rosenthal’s exhibit of Island-inspired acrylics is at the M.V. Playhouse.
By Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

Living on an Island has clearly had an influence on the work of artist Debby Rosenthal. Since switching her medium from pastels to acrylics, Ms. Rosenthal has turned her attention to water, with plenty of it on view at her solo show at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse through Feb. 1.


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Do you hear what I hear?

Holiday musical performances are happening all over the Island.
By Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse will once again host the Boston-based Wintery Songs in Eleventy Part Harmony. The concert, presented collaboratively by the Playhouse and MVY Radio, will feature a supergroup of female folk artists from the Boston area, performing unique arrangements of holiday and winter-themed songs, as well as some original tunes.


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Good triumphs over evil in ‘The Snow Queen’

By Holly Nadler, MV Times

Who better than a Danish teller of fairytales to portray good and evil in the form of hot and — excruciatingly — cold weather? In 1840 Hans Christian Andersen released “The Snow Queen,” and nearly two centuries of fans have rushed to celebrate the gorgeous story in the form of operas, dances, staged events, and movies.


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Familiar faces in ‘Driving Miss Daisy’

By Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

Those attending a performance of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse’s current production of “Driving Miss Daisy” may recognize one or more of the actors. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry, directed by the playhouse’s artistic director, MJ Bruder Munafo, features three actors who have previously appeared here a number of times.


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Driving Miss Daisy Still Tells a Timely Tale on Stage

Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy begins with the sound of a shattering collision and moves briskly through 25 years in the life of widow Daisy Werthan and the two men closest to her, son Boolie and chauffeur Hoke. From start to finish, every moment in the play is alive. Thirty years after the show — Mr. Uhry’s first — opened Off-Broadway, with Morgan Freeman originating the role he would play in the Academy Award-winning film, the Vineyard production is already a hit, with local audiences packing the seats at previews.


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Dystopian Daze Delivers Both Humor and Darkness

Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

Actress and Chilmark resident Brooke Adams made an auspicious playwriting debut Monday night at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, with a sold-out staged reading of her new dark comedy Dystopian Daze. Set several years in the future, after a fascist takeover has imposed new laws and fears in the United States, Ms. Adams’s play takes a bitterly comic view of enforced morality as it follows the misadventures of a loving but beleaguered family.


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A fresh look at an old masterpiece

‘Driving Miss Daisy’ opens at the M.V. Playhouse.
By Holly Nadler, MV Times

Most of us were introduced to “Driving Miss Daisy” by the 1989 movie. The film version had a slow box office start, then gained momentum. It vacuumed up 9 Oscar nominations and awards, including winning Best Picture. All at once, it was a must-see movie, with superb acting — Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman (who originated his role off-Broadway), and Dan Aykroyd. Snappy dialogue keeps things lively, while a whole lot of subterranean class tension plays out with every shared glance and offer of tea. MJ Bruder Munafo, artistic director of the playhouse, and director of this final play of the summer season, as always, brings ingenuity to the casting. The youngest character — the exacting Miss Daisy’s put-upon son (Marc Carver) — is 40. Daisy (Bonnie Black) is 72, her chauffeur-to-be (Rob Karma Robinson) not far behind her in age. They spend the next 25 years of the story continuously aging; an acting marvel. Later, when you descend the wide stars of the playhouse and check out the actors’ CVs and photos on an easel in the lobby, you can’t help blurting out, “They’re so young! And hot!” Which is neither here nor there, other than to say their youth reveals hidden skill sets in their acting.


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Monday Night Specials come to an end with ‘Dystopian Daze.’

A new play by actress Brooke Adams will complete the Vineyard Playhouse’s series of Monday Night Special play readings. The dark comedy “Dystopian Daze” deals with a wayward teenage girl and her strained relationship with her parents. The play is set in the near future, where America is a police state and paranoia is a way of life.


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‘Who You See Here’ is a funny, smart, and witty production

Gwyn McAllister, MV Times

Before a single word of dialogue is spoken in the new comedy currently playing at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, audience members will know that they’re about to witness something fun and fast-paced. As the lights go down, the four actors are all seen silently engaging in various activities, the colorful set — full of moving pieces and graphic elements — provides great visuals and the upbeat retro-style music that bridges each scene change is very catchy. And this first impression does not disappoint. “Who You See Here” by Emmy-winning writer Matt Hoverman is a smart, witty, and very funny play that draws its humor from human foibles, modern life, and celebrity gossip culture. A series of coincidences along the way and a blow out of a finale give the play some elements of a farce, but it’s really in the one-liners, delivered with perfect timing by a terrific cast of four, that make this two-act play shine.


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Playwright Larry Mollin creates a play from the song ‘Please Come to Boston’

By Holly Nadler, MV Times

And so it was on a recent Monday evening. Larry Mollin, former television writer and producer — most famously known for his years as executive producer on “Beverly Hills 90210” — and longtime summer resident, in his seasoned, sager years has written a trio of plays, all produced here at the playhouse, and in New York, London, and Los Angeles. Mr. Mollin is back on-Island (he and wife Dee have a house in Vineyard Haven), and he arrives with a fourth stroke of invention: “Please Come to Boston.”


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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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