59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

Theater on MV

May 26, 2012 - April 20, 2013

Theater has been a vibrant part of Martha's Vineyard's cultural landscape for more than a hundred years. Playhouses, open fields, schools, and churches across the Island provided the stage for seasoned and novice actors, directors, and playwrights. Summer theater, in particular, has entertained generations of island visitors; the Island has also been a place of refuge and recharging for stars of stage and screen. Showtime: 100 Years of Theater on Martha's Vineyard a collaborative exhibition, explores the deep connections between the Island and the performing arts and artists it has hosted over the years.

An exhibit excerpt:

One of the first summer theater groups to perform on the Island after World War II was Liz White's Shearer Summer Theater. Liz was an actress, but she disliked the stereotyped African American roles available to her on Broadway. Liz spent her summers in Oak Bluffs where her family owned and operated Shearer Cottage, a popular inn for vacationing African Americans. It was here that she formed the all black repertory group, made up of talented friends and family members.

In the exhibition and now online, you can hear Olive Tomlinson, daughter of Shearer Summer Theater member Cutie Bowles, as she shares the Theater's history.