The Outcasts of Penikese Island
Marilyn Meyerhoff Lobby

The Outcasts of Penikese Island

August 15 - 26, 2023
The forgotten story of Hansen’s disease patients quarantined to the Elizabeth island leprosarium against their will, and those who cared for them. Inspired by the poems of award-winning poet Eve Rifkah.


Writer: A Devised Piece, Written & Directed by Scott Barrow, based on the Poems by Eve Rifkah

The Outcasts of Penikese Island

Scott Barrow (Writer & Director)
Scott Barrow is an actor, director, and writer working extensively with Tectonic Theater Project, Stages on the Sound, and here at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse where he is an artistic associate. He is a devisor and actor on Tectonic’s upcoming production of Here There are Blueberries at the New York Theatre Workshop as well as an author of the company’s play development book: Moment Work. At the playhouse Scott was recently seen as Hamlet and in Every Brilliant Thing both directed by Brooke Hardman Ditchfield; his 20th and 21st production with the playhouse. He performed on broadway in the Tony award-winning 33 Variations starting Jane Fonda and off Broadway in Valhalla, Doctor Knock, Embraceable Me, Uncommon Sense and others. Scott is the Artistic Director of the not for profit arts programming provider, Stages on the Sound, where he champions, unconventional classrooms, and unpredictable productions. Much love to Emmett, Amy, John, Hatsie, and MJ for 25 years of opportunities.
Eve Rifkah (Poet)
Eve Rifkah was co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder, and editor of DINER, a literary magazine with a 7-year run. She is the 2021 recipient of the Stanley Kunitz award. She has run an ongoing writing workshop for 15 years and teaches workshops and classes at WISE (Worcester Institute for Senior Education).
Nemuna Ceesay
Nemuna Ceesay (she/her/hers) is an actor/director/educator based in New York. Selected theater credits: Second Stage, Two River Theater, Cal Shakes, Joe’s Pub, PlayMakers Rep, Woolly Mammoth, A.R.T., The Public Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Selected TV credits: Bull, Broad City, Instinct, Younger, FBI, Prodigal Son, and Katy Keene. Selected Directing credits: 66 th Obie Awards, Clubbed Thumb New Play Directing Fellow, Associate Director of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning A Strange Loop on Broadway. Nemuna is also the founder of an all BIPOC training program called The Blueprint. MFA in acting from American Conservatory Theater. Follow her on Instagram @_nemuna_ and @theblueprintartist. You can also visit her website: and learn more about The Blueprint at
Brooke Hardman
MV Playhouse Directing: EVERY BRILLIANT THING, THE WINTER'S TALE, JULIUS CAESAR, HAMLET, (co-director). MV Playhouse Acting Credits: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Benedick), TWO ROOMS, HENRY IV PARTS 1 & 2, and many appearances with SHAKESPEARE FOR THE MASSES. A Resident Acting Company member and Associate Director at Boston's Actors' Shakespeare Project, her credits there include: AS YOU LIKE IT (Associate Director) MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Beatrice), AS YOU LIKE IT (Rosalind), CYMBELINE (Imogen), OTHELLO (Desdemona), PERICLES (Associate Director), TROILUS AND CRESSIDA (Cressida) and Henry VIII (Associate Director). Regional: Huntington Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare & Co., Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Writer’s Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and five seasons at Williamstown Theatre Festival. As Co-Founder/Producer of New Writers/New Plays at Vineyard Arts Project, development credits include DISGRACED, APPROPRIATE, SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS, WITNESS UGANDA, and THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON. Brooke is the Theatre Department Director at MVRHS, where she has directed over a dozen plays and musicals, and is the Director of Theatre Programming at Circuit Arts.
Gabriel Graetz
Gabriel Graetz is delighted to make his Martha's Vineyard Playhouse debut! His credits include Duke Senior/Duke Frederick in As You Like It, Kurt/Jocke in Let the Right One In, Sir Peter Teazle/Crabtree in The School for Scandal, Yepikhodov in The Cherry Orchard, Witch/Flenace/Angus in Macbeth, Fabian/Ensemble in Twelfth Night (Actors' Shakespeare Project), Charles Guiteau in Assassins, Lorin in Gloria (The Gamm Theatre), Mordcha in Fiddler on the Roof (New Repertory Theatre), Sam/Nick in It’s a Wonderful Life (Greater Boston Stage Company), Manus in Translations, Carson in Gross Indecency (Bad Habit Productions), Rev. Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest (Moonbox Productions), and Charlotte von Mahlsdorf in the one-person play I Am My Own Wife (Theatre on Fire.) Thanks and love to his truly wonderful friends and family for their boundless love and support.
Shelagh Hackett
Shelagh Hackett is thrilled to be back on the playhouse stage after such a long pandemic wait. She was last seen in Our Town in the fall of 2019. In the spring of 2019, Shelagh wrote and played in her solo show, Kiss Me I’m Irish. Previous playhouse roles include Masha in Vanya, Sonya, Masha and spike, Gertrude in Hamlet and Julius Caesar in Julius Caesar. In a previous lifetime she lived and worked in the old New York City but has enjoyed living and working on Martha’s Vineyard and raising her two beautiful daughters and enjoying life. Shelagh is very grateful to Scott Barrow for including her in this beautiful project with these incredible performers.
PJ Johnnie
PJ Johnnie Jr, Is an NYC based multi hyphenate storyteller and curator from the Deep South. His extensive credits include serving as associate director on the Broadway production of Ain’t No Mo’, the world premiere of one in two (Signature Theatre), and NY premiere of Black Odyssey (Classic Stage Company Theatre). Other AD credits include Callaloo and the Magic Quilt (Kennedy Center), Tis Pity She's a Whore (NYU Tisch), and Macbeth, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar (Stages on the Sound). In addition to his role as AD, he was the associate choreographer of BLACK ODYSSEY and the Choreographer of The Real Housewives of the Restoration (NYU Tisch) and Marriage or Made (Harvard TDM). His teaching credits include NYU Tisch, Harvard University, Canady Foundation for the Arts,the Stuttering Association for Youth, and Stages on the Sound. PJ previously worked as AD at Baltimore Center Stage on The Folks at Home and Our Town. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Directing (Grambling State) and an MFA in Acting (New School).
Paul Padua
Paul is a longtime veteran of island theater having performed for MV Playhouse in several Shakespeare shows and THE FABULISTS THEATER FOR CHILDREN for more than three decades in the Tisbury Amphitheater. He also played a role in this season's TO MY WHITE FRIENDS WHO KNOW ME at MV Playhouse. He most recently guest starred on the internet series A Good Cop, and he appeared on the History Channel's The Food That Built America.
Mac Young
Mac Young is a formerly Boston based actor and scenic designer, now returned to MV. A graduate of Bennington College, he has acted, built, and designed for such Boston companies as: Imaginary Beasts, Whistler in the Dark, ArtsEmerson, Huntington Theatre Company, Actor's Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage, Wheelock Family Theatre, and Fiddlehead Theatre. He has designed here at the Vineyard Playhouse (Kansas City Swing, A Walk in the Woods), and performed at the Tisbury Amphitheatre (Midsummer, Henry IV, A Winter’s Tale). He also contributed the book design and layout for a two volume edition of the plays of Jon Lipsky. He has toured the globe improvising inebriated Shakespeare, and is happy to be back in VH, where the commute to the theater can't be beat. You can see more of his design work at Heartfelt thanks to this wonderful ensemble for supporting me while doing double duty.
Amy Marie Seidel (Associate Director, Dramaturg, Devisor)
Amy Marie Seidel (she.her.hers) is a director, deviser, playwright, and dramaturg. A proud Tectonic Theater Project Company Member, Amy has developed numerous Tectonic productions, including Here There Are Blueberries (La Jolla Playhouse 2022, Shakespeare Theater Company 2023, and coming to New York Theatre Workshop in Spring 2024. Recipient of the Trish Vradenburg Prize.), Seven Deadly Sins (Drama Desk), Treatment & Data, and Laramie: A Legacy. Other credits include Paradise Square on Broadway (Assistant Director), Nine at her alma mater, NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Director), Camp Mannuppia at The Flea (Director), and Jack Saleeby's A Clean Slate at The Tank (Director). For more info, please visit Thank you to Maestro Barrow for bringing me along to the island for this beautiful piece!
Cynthia Bermudes (Costume Design)
B.A. Fashion Merchandising; B.A. Fashion Design Oregon State University. She spent several summers working at Shakespeare festivals. For years she was proprietress of a design and alteration studio. Love of theater and design h brought her to Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, where she has designed many shows over the years.
Max Silverman (Sound Design)
Max is a Composer and Sound Designer originally from Boulder, Colorado. NYC: Atlantic Theatre Company, MCC Theatre, New York City Center Encores! Off-Center, Theatre For a New Audience, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Heartbeat Opera, InProximity Theatre, New York Deaf Theatre, 5th Floor Theatre, Epic Players, Actionplay, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Columbia University, American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Juilliard. Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival, MA, Trinity Rep., RI, Hartford Stage, CT, Cara Mía Theatre, TX, 4th Wall Theatre, NJ, Quintessence Theatre, PA, Cape Cod Theatre Project, MA, Penguin Repertory Theatre, NY. Colorado: Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Curious Theatre Co., Creede Repertory Theatre, Cherry Creek Theatre, The Catamounts, Local Theater Co., Theatre Or. International: Hoodoo Immersive, Berlin and CLB Berlin. Max has written music for podcasts, advertisements and short films.
Ernest W. Iannaccone (Lighting Design)
Ernie has designed lights and sets for numerous productions at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse since 1993. Ernie has a Master of Fine Arts Degree from New York University in Lighting Design and a BA in Music Education from New Jersey City University. He is a Project Manager in the System Sales Department for High Output/Boston.
Jacob Russell (Stage Manager)
Jacob Russell is a creative multi-disciplinary theatrical Stage Manager. NYC: Good Vibrations, Chekhov’s First Play (Irish Arts Center), The Essential Straight and Narrow (The Mad Ones @ New Ohio Theatre), The Library (The Public Theater), Temporary Occupant (Clubbed Thumb), and Sarah Flood in Salem Mass (The Flea Theater). Regional: Here There Are Blueberries (Tectonic Theater Project @ Jolla Playhouse & Shakespeare Theatre Company), to the yellow house, Kiss My Aztec!, The Who’s Tommy benefit concert (La Jolla Playhouse), David Mamet’s The Christopher Boy’s Reunion (Odyssey Theatre), Lisa D’Amour’s Mad Moon (The NOLA Project), This Random World (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Other stage management credits include Pilobolus’s Big FIVE-OH tour (PSM), Dave Harris’s Cat Sitter (1st AD/OSF), SummerFest ’18 (La Jolla Music Society). Education: M.F.A. from UCSD