Professional Nonprofit Theater on Martha's Vineyard
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24 Church Street, Box 2452, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 | 508-696-6300
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Patricia Neal Stage

The Niceties

By Eleanor Burgess
Directed by Joann Green Breuer
Starring Amy Brenneman with Tsilala Brock

Two nights only! Proceeds from these special staged readings benefit MV Playhouse, the Innocence Project & the NAACP: Martha's Vineyard Branch

The cast and director from our virtual productions of The Niceties in 2020/2021 team up again for these in-person performances

Who gets to tell the story of race, history and power in America? In this riveting, provocative play, a black student and her white professor – both brilliant – debate whether the legacy of slavery defines our past, and our present.

Eleanor Burgess (Playwright)

Eleanor Burgess's work has been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Geffen Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, the Alliance Theatre, Writers Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Geva Theatre Center, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Portland Stage Company, and Centenary Stage, and developed with The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, the Lark Play Development Center, and the Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop. She has been a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Page 73's writers' group Interstate 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, and New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship. She has also been a staff writer for Perry Mason on HBO. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, she studied history at Yale College and Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.

Joann Green Breuer (Director)

Joann is a longtime Artistic Associate at Martha's Vineyard Playhouse where she has directed over twenty productions, including Dear Elizabeth, Tennessee Williams: Original Acts, Faith Healer and many more. She was co-founder and Artistic Director of the annually multi-award winning Cambridge Ensemble. Joann taught acting at Harvard University where she was faculty adviser to the student Experimental Theatre. She has been a contributing writer to artsfuse.org, and an Associate of the North American Actors’ Association (London). Joann is author of THE SMALL THEATRE HANDBOOK. She is a recipient of the Boston critics’ Eliot Norton Award for Continuous Excellence in Directing.

Amy Brenneman


Amy Brenneman is an Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor and producer whose work on television includes NYPD Blue, Private Practice, Frasier, VEEP, The Leftovers, Goliath, and Judging Amy, based on the work of her mother, the Honorable Frederica S. Brenneman, which she created and executive produced. More recently she’s been seen in Tell Me Your Secrets and Shining Girls opposite Elisabeth Moss. She currently stars in The Old Man opposite Jeff Bridges on FX. Film: Heat, Casper, Fear, Daylight, Friends and Neighbors, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Nine Lives, among others. She holds a BA in Comparative Religion from Harvard University and was a founding member of Cornerstone Theater company, which produces site-specific, community-based theater on themes of social justice. She played Saint Joan at Yale Rep and starred in the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Rapture Blister Burn at Playwrights Horizons and the Geffen Playhouse; also at the Geffen, the west coast premiere of Power of Sail with Bryan Cranston. Other theater: Williamstown Theater Festival, Lincoln Center, the American Repertory Theater, CSC Rep and En Garde Arts. Additionally, Amy co-created, wrote and starred in Mouth Wide Open (The Yard, American Repertory Theater) and Overcome (The Yard). She has taught drama and creative process at Harvard and UCLA, among others. Amy is proud to have been a part of the amicus brief for the landmark Supreme Court Case, Whole Woman’s v Hellerstedt, in 2016 and received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from The Feminist Majority for her ongoing commitment to reproductive rights. Amy is thrilled to be re-united with The Niceties team – thank you all for coming!

Tsilala Brock

Grateful for any chance to work with the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse! Tsilala just appeared in The Public Theater's acclaimed world premiere musical, SUFFS. Prior to that, she had completed a two-year position as Assistant Dance Captain/Swing with THE BOOK OF MORMON 2nd National Tour. Currently she's producing and co-hosting a new podcast called 'UNCK! Getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations'. Other theater credits include: PARABLE OF THE SOWER (The Public Theater), SATCHEL PAIGE AND THE KANSAS CITY SWING (Cincinnati Playhouse/STLRep), THE COLOR PURPLE (Troika Bermuda), and years ago she was seen on the island in TWELFTH NIGHT and ROMEO & JULIET (Martha's Vineyard Playhouse). TV/Film credits: Mysteries of Laura, Happyish, Broad City, Canaries and Bushwick Beats. Visit www.Tsilala.com for more!

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