WHAT’s Happening

Remembering Carol Green

We are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Carol Green, WHAT’s Board President from 1999 – 210 and subsequently President Emerita.  Under Carol’s leadership WHAT mounted its greatest production; the planning and building of our state-of-the-art year-round home,  The Julie Harris Stage.

In 1999, Jeff Zinn and Gip Hoppe, invited Carol Green to join them on the Board of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater.  The year before, Carol had concluded a 4-year term as President of Castle Hill, the Truro Center for the Arts. Shortly after, Jeff and Gip came to her and said “we think we really have to build a new theater.”  “The Harbor Stage is too ‘iffy’.  It is run down, it leaks, the lobby floods. It could go at any moment.  Then we would have no theater, and it would take at least five years to raise the money and build a new theater.  We ought to be pro-active and build a theater”.  After years of fundraising and planning, the new state-of-the-art, year-round theater on Route 6 was opened in 2007.

Her love was archaeology and especially Israeli archaeology.  In 1968, Carol started her business, Archaeological Tours of Israel a.k.a. Archaeological Tours, running tours to Israel and often working at excavations during the summer months. The Company grew and expanded and by 1973, she was running tours all over the world.  She especially loved setting up the tours, finding professors and archaeologists to lead the tours, and filling them with interesting and intelligent participants.

In 1988, after 20 years, Carol sold the business and build a home on the Cape, becoming involved with Truro Center for the Arts.  In 2010, after 10 years as President, Carol became President Emerita of WHAT.  She continued to work in all areas of the theater, notably championing WHAT for Kids! and even appearing onstage in The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship.

We send our condolences to her family, friends, and everyone whose life she touched.  We hold her memory in our hearts, and treasure her many contributions to our community.

 

Meet Author Sue Mellen

You might think that American drama was born in one of the theaters on Broadway. But, in fact, truly American theater was born on Cape Cod in 1916, when a group of artists and writers in Provincetown mounted a production of a one-act play, Bound East for Cardiff, by a little-known playwright, Eugene O’Neill. They staged the play in a makeshift theater on a wharf in what was then little more than a sleepy fishing village. From that artists’ colony—and others like it across the Cape and Islands—Cape theater culture grew into the constantly expanding theater universe it is today. The theatrical descendants of O’Neill and the Provincetown Players continue to present classical drama, contemporary hits and new, experimental works to audiences that have come to expect the best. In her tour of the theaters from Provincetown to Falmouth, author and entertainment columnist Sue Mellen reveals the rich past behind a unique cultural treasure.

On Sunday July 11 at 6:30 PM, prior to that evening’s performance of Shipwrecked!,  author Sue Mellen will join us to sign copies of her new book A History of Theater on Cape Cod, along with sharing stories of the fascinating history of theater on Cape Cod.

Conversations with Theater Makers

We are excited to share these video interviews with dynamic theater-makers, including WHAT favorite Christopher “Chiz” Chisholm, Eric Bogosian, Jane Alexander, and playwright Juan C. Sanchez. Originally created for the Inspicio Arts publication platform, these curated interviews are presented in a unique multi-clip format and are available for viewing until June 15th, after which they will be replaced with a new group of inspiring video interviews.

Sponsored by The College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University, Inspicio Arts provides high-quality, in-depth insights into all arts disciplines.

These original video interviews are being made available through the generosity of Raymond Elman, founder and editor-in-chief of Inspicio Arts, co-founder of Provincetown Arts magazine (1985) and a former board member of WHAT.

Click here to visit Inspicio Arts

 

UPDATE – Gene Kelly Film Series

With the welcome return of in-person gatherings and the end of most COVID-19 restrictions, this series will go on hiatus until the fall.  Check back for updates this September.

Gene Kelly (né Eugene Curran Kelly; August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American actor, dancer, singer, filmmaker, and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, good looks, and the likable characters that he played on screen. He starred in, choreographed, or co-directed some of the most well-regarded musical films of the 1940s through 1960s, including Cover Girl (1944), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). Kelly’s many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.

In a celebratory follow-up to the 2020 – 2021 eight-month showing of all thirty-one Fred Astaire film musicals, Dr. Marc Strauss, Professor Emeritus, Conservatory of Theatre & Dance, College of Arts & Media, Southeast Missouri State University, and the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, will co-host the showing of all 18 film musicals starring Gene Kelly, plus dance excerpts of four films and two special documentaries.

Resumes this fall with dates to be determined.

 

 

 

 

Our Journey toward Equity, Inclusion and Combating Racism

Creating an Organization that Embraces Equity,  Inclusion, and an Anti-Racist Vision for the American Theater.

 

Like many organizations and individuals, WHAT has embarked on a journey of reflection and self-evaluation in response to the nation-wide recognition, in the wake of horrific violence targeting communities of color,  that the American story has been built upon, and continues to perpetuate, a predominately white narrative that excludes, marginalizes, silences, and erases voices both from and reflective of communities of color.  This narrative perpetuates racist mindsets which in turn support and perpetuate a history of violence and systemic inequality for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, artists, and individuals.

 

This process is often uncomfortable; revealing truths about ourselves, our biases, and our institution, that must be challenged.  It is a time to examine the ways things have always been done, to look deeply and sincerely at our failure to embrace and support artists of color on and off our stages, to understand why voices of color have been excluded from our decision making, and how we have failed our audience and community.  We are committed to leaning in to these difficult conversations.  We know that we have much work to do and a long path ahead.  By embracing this work, we commit to creating a stronger organization that reflects our community’s values, and ends the perpetuation of a harmful and exclusionary narrative.

 

As we work to develop new policies and initiatives we embrace the following principles:

 

Listening:  As a theater company we pride ourselves in our ability to tell stories, but now is a time to listen; to hear and understand how we can better serve BIPOC artists and audience members, to understand how we have fallen short in amplifying their voices and stories, and how we have failed to create a welcoming environment for people of color.

 

Reflection:  We look inward and challenge the status quo.  We examine our past, and understand how through our work onstage, and in the decision-making process that supports that work, we perpetuate the white narrative to the exclusion of diverse voices and experiences.  We continue this work even when we reveal uncomfortable truths or feel personally challenged by our discoveries.

 

Action:  We must develop policies and initiatives that actively challenge racist beliefs, actions, and systems, and create opportunities for BIPOC artists and staff.  We must use our unique platform to amplify marginalized voices from BIPOC artists through greater representation both on and offstage.  We commit to creating policies that are actionable.  We must hold ourselves to account for both our successes and failures.

 

Engagement:  We must come together as a community, artists and audience together, to share stories, experiences, and reflections that provoke thoughtful, heartfelt, and transformative conversations.

 

On this journey, we will stumble and we will fall short of expectations at times.  But we will persevere and stand firm in our commitment to shaping a future for WHAT, and indeed the American theater, that changes the prevailing narrative, that amplifies BIPOC voices and experiences, that ends systemic inequality, and actively promotes a culture of equity, inclusivity, and an anti-racist vision.