Patricia Neal Stage


August 18 - September 8, 2018
Living in contented isolation, everyone in nineteenth-century Chilmark knows someone who is deaf, and every hearing person speaks with their hands as well as their voices. But as the world heads toward the 20th century, a different way of thinking about deafness brings discord between good neighbors and lifelong friends — and ultimately strengthens their fellowship. A compelling drama about a remarkable community, based on historical events.


Director: Directed by Catherine Rush
Writer: Written by Catherine Rush


Catherine Rush (Writer & Director)
Catherine Rush’s play The Loudest Man on Earth received its world premiere production at TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley in July of 2013. Voted one of the top ten plays of 2013 by the San Francisco Chronicle, the play also won an Edgerton New American Play Award. Prior to that it had been developed at the TheatreWorks’ New Works Festival, New York Theater Workshop’s Readings@3 as well as their Dartmouth Summer New Play Workshop all under the direction of Pamela Berlin. Other full-length play productions include: Losing the Shore, commissioned and produced by BCKSEET Productions in Philadelphia; This Island Alone, developed and produced at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse; and A Nice Place to Live, commissioned and produced by Wheelock Family Theatre of Boston. Her one-act play, The Sum of Me, was produced at Spokane Civic Theatre in 2017 and won the Arts and Letters award for Drama at Georgia College and State University. She is a two-time winner of the New American Voices Festival at the Landing Theatre in Houston, TX - an award achieved through a blind reading process. Staged readings and workshops of various other plays have been performed from London’s West End to Los Angeles, CA. Catherine has been awarded artist fellowships at Yaddo, Leighton Artist Colony at the Banff Centre, and Arteles, in Hameenkyro, Finland. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MFA in Playwriting from Spalding University. For a complete list of accomplishments and links to reviews, please visit
Robert DeMayo (Captain Smith)
Robert is a professional actor, entertainer, educator and ASL consultant. He is a graduate of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, where he first began performing as a clown in The Silent Alley. He attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, NY and toured professionally with Sunshine Too, Cleveland Sign Stage Theatre and the Tony Award winning National Theatre of the Deaf. He starred in many noteworthy NTD productions. Robert became the Artistic Director for the New York Deaf Theatre and starred as Hamlet in What If Hamlet Was Deaf? He worked with a team of ASL translators to transliterate Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which lead to further collaboration with the Amaryllis Theatre Company. Robert was the ASL consultant and actor in the feature film Universal Signs and appeared in No Ordinary Hero. Robert was one of the lead subjects in Hilari Scarl’s multi-award winning documentary See What I’m Saying. He performed live for the closing ceremonies at the Perspektiva Film Festival in Moscow and appeared in dozens of Q&A’s with the film around the world. He taught ASL classes & Theatre Interpreted at Juilliard School. Conn. Total Immersion Program as an instructor for more than 10 years and also at Arizona Total Immersion Program for more than 13 years and became Instructor Coordinator for last three years. He is currently employed at Sign Language Center in NYC for two years. And has his own "Sign With Robert" ASL series, also over 2,000 gifs. I'm thankful to be working with great cast of Chilmark and with Director as well. Much appreciated to MV Playhouse.
Lisa Dennett (Mrs. Athearn)
Lisa is thrilled to be spending so much time on Martha’s Vineyard, especially with such a giving and talented cast. She is an actor, singer, teaching artist and consultant back performing after two decades running an educational theater organization, creating theater through improvisation with disadvantaged youth. Recent Theater Credits: SOUL HARMONY (Regional), DIASPORA TX (NYC), Television: BULL (CBS). Her most recent cabaret show WOMEN OF INFLUENCE was performed at Don’t Tell Mama and the Laurie Beechman Theater both in NYC. She is a nationally certified sign language interpreter, and co-founder and current Steering Committee member of the Arts in Special Education Consortium.
Liz Michael Hartford (Sarah Hall)
Liz is ecstatic to be making her mainstage debut! She is no stranger to the Playhouse--for nine years, Liz ran the beloved Summer Stars Camp and has performed in the amphitheater for the last decade which includes this summer's HAMLET (Ophelia) and JULIUS CAESAR (Cinna), THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Sabine), ROMEO & JULIET (Mercutio), TWELFTH NIGHT (Maria) and COMEDY OF ERRORS (Adriana) among others. Liz is a player with The Fabulists and Shakespeare for the Masses. Off season Liz lives in Boston where she's an original American company member of the hit S*!t-faced Shakespeare company. Liz has also worked with Saint Michael's Playhouse, Wheelock Family Theatre, Bay Colony Shakespeare Company and Ken Davenport Productions. Training: Saint Michael's College, BADA, and most recently, Shakespeare & Co in their month-long intensive workshop. Thank you family, friends, MJ and the Chilmark team!!
Ashley Ivey (Ezra Lambert)
Ashley Ivey is excited to be making his Martha's Vineyard Playhouse debut. Ashley is an actor from the District of Columbia, some of his recent credits include- L'Histoire du Soldat; In Series Opera Company. The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Journey To The West, Equus, Absolutely! Perhaps?; Constellation Theatre Company. He has also been seen at the Shakespeare Theater Company, Theater J., Folger Theater Company, Forum Theater Company, Catalyst Theater Company, Actors Theater of Washington, and the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Ashley recieved his education as a BFA acting major at Marymount Manhattan College, and an English major at Shepherd University in WV.
Casey Johnson - Pasqua (Anne Lambert)
Casey is delighted to be working with the fantastic cast/crew of CHILMARK and Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. Theatre credits include DC Faction of Fools’ CHERRY ORCHARD (Charlotta), University of Virginia’s Disability Studies Symposium’s "Taste of Deaf Theater", dog & pony dc’s Peepshow Intensive Devising Workshop, and Kennedy Center’s 2017 The Gary Garrison National Ten-Minute Play Award, BITS AND PIECES (Miley). She graduated from Gallaudet University with B.A. in Theater Arts and English, with Honors for her capstone, “Staging MEDEA for the d/Deaf Audience in the 21st Century.” She has performed in Gallaudet University’s Theatre Arts Department productions: MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Helena), JULIUS CAESAR (Portia), and DOCTOR FAUSTUS (Good Angel). She wants to thank Howie Seago, Ethan Sinnott, and her parents for encouraging her to pursue her dreams.