NHA News Release: September 14, 2016

NHA & “The House that Mac Built” present Two Staged Readings October 4 & 5 at the Greater Light

NANTUCKET, MA –The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA), in partnership with “The House that Mac Built,” is pleased to announce two staged readings to honor the life of Joseph ‘Mac’ Dixon, co-founder and former Artistic Director of Theatre Workshop of Nantucket (TWN). This tribute will include many of Mac’s former students and friends with a staged reading of A Life in the Theatre on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 and Driving Miss Daisy on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Both performances start at 7 P.M. and will take place at the NHA’s Greater Light historic property, 8 Howard Street.

A Life in the Theatre, one of David Mamet’s earliest plays, portrays the shifting balance of power between two stage actors, veteran John and neophyte Robert, working together in a repertory company. Told in a series of fleeting, hilarious and revealing exchanges, The New York Times called the play “a comedy about the artifice of acting…it is also the artifice of living…an evening of pure theatre.” This performance stars John Knox Johnston and A.T. Wilce.

Driving Miss Daisy, Alfred Uhry’s classic play, is a timeless, blistering, funny, and ultimately hopeful deliberation on race relations in America, told through the complex relationship between Daisy Werthan, a wealthy, 72 year-old Jewish woman, and Hoke Colburn, her African American chauffeur. What begins as a contentious and hostile association soon blooms into a deep life-altering friendship which transcends social boundaries. This performance stars Elizabeth Gilbert and Neville Richen.

On Joseph ‘Mac’ Dixon

With an acting career that included the three most important works of The Federal Theatre Work Project and several notable productions as a member of The American Laboratory Theatre on Broadway in the 1930s, Joseph ‘Mac’ Dixon spent the better part of his life teaching and training young actors on the island of Nantucket. He served as Drama Director at Bennington College after World War II before moving to Nantucket in 1956, with his great friend, patron and summer resident, Jane Wallach. When Wallach introduced Dixon to a small, fledgling company of local community players, Theatre Workshop of Nantucket was born. Serving as its Artistic Director for decades and directing close to one hundred productions, Mac was a living legend. Quiet, yet relentlessly persuasive, he seemed to teach without teaching.

Courtly, funny, and sophisticated, Joseph ‘Mac’ Dixon seemed to tread lightly through the lives of those he touched. Mac stressed the importance of being a cultured human being—the books and plays one must read, and the recipes one must try. He imparted the joy of the work and of life and that the two were inextricably tied. He was a great man whose greatness went out in the world in the form of his students who loved him. Many of those students will be onstage during the series of “The House that Mac Built” performances, a tribute to Joseph ‘Mac’ Dixon and 60 years of community theatre on Nantucket.

Located just steps away from the Civil War monument, the Greater Light historic property recalls the days of Nantucket’s art colony in the 1930s, and serves as an ideal setting for artistic expression. Originally a working livestock barn, Greater Light was a summer home and art studio created in the 1930s by Gertrude and Hanna Monaghan, two Quaker sisters from Philadelphia. Restored by the NHA, Greater Light reopened to the public in 2011.

Space is limited. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at www.nha.org/tickets or by calling (508) 228-1894.

For additional information about this or other programs at the NHA, visit www.nha.org or call (508) 228-1894.

Event Information:
Staged Reading: A Life in the Theatre
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Staged Reading: Driving Miss Daisy
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

7 P.M. (doors open at 6:30 P.M.)
$10/ticket (buy tickets in advance)
Greater Light, 8 Howard Street

Note: Greater Light is located in a quiet residential neighborhood with very limited parking and vehicle access. Please plan to walk or bike to this program.