White Heron Theatre on Nantucket Announces New Education Program

The White Heron Theatre Company (WHTC) has announced the establishment of a new educational program for students, who will learn the craft from the professionals creating a WHTC production.

Tiffany Gallo (photo by Cary Hazlegrove)

The new program, called Practical Theatre, will operate under the auspices of the Nantucket Theatre Institute (NTI), the educational arm of the company devoted to theatre education and new play development. Tiffany Gallo, former director of education at the Dreamland will serve as managing director of the Nantucket Theatre Institute and the new educational program.

“From the beginning, we wanted the Nantucket Theatre Institute to contribute to the development of the American theatre, and we see the education of young artists as an important part of that mission,” Lynne Bolton, artistic director of WHTC and NTI, said. “We believe that the performing arts help young people understand the world and find their true path. The skills one learns in the theatre prepare one well for a productive and fulfilling life.”

Michael Kopko and Lynne Bolton founded the Nantucket Theatre Institute in 2012. Bolton founded the White Heron Theatre Company in New York in 2004. Bolton serves as Artistic Director and Kopko, Executive Director of both the theater company and the Institute. Gallo will serve as managing director of the Institute. Both the theatre company and the Institute are housed in a new theatre facility opened last July at 5 N Water Street in Nantucket’s downtown historic district.

“I’m looking forward to building a program where students can learn from professional actors, directors and production staff,” Gallo said. “Our goal is to instill in students a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the performing arts through the practical application of new techniques and skills.”

The Practical Theatre program will select 25 students, who will be immersed in the study and production of a White Heron stage production. Participants will be cast in a student version of the same play and will shadow the professional production team and cast with a performance of the play by the student company on the professional set.

“From the beginning, we have been committed to making White Heron and the Nantucket Theatre Institute a contributing part of the Nantucket community,” Michael Kopko, executive director of WHTC and NTI. “In addition to the economic and artistic value of putting a professional theatre in the historic district, we also have been working in the schools to give students exposure to the arts. This new program builds on that heritage.”

Students who enroll in the program will spend 20 to 30 hours a week learning about all aspects of a professional production—acting, directing, costume design, set design, stage management, and marketing communications. Students will keep a journal, recording their experiences and breakthroughs.

Enrollment will begin in January. For more information, contact Tiffany Gallo. Tiffany@whiteherontheatre.org.

The White Heron Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre company that will be permanently housed at 5 N. Water Street, behind the Whaling Museum, in 2016. First formed in New York in 2005 and moved to Nantucket in 2011, the White Heron Theatre Company produces transformative, professional productions of classical and contemporary plays and creates innovative educational experiences through its educational arm, the Nantucket Theatre Institute.