White Heron Kickstarts Candida
If asked this summer “what do you do here in the winter?,” former selectman Michael Kopko has an answer sure to surprise many who have difficulty imagining the island in the off season. Along with director Lynne Bolton, Kopko brought a fully realized, professional production of George Bernard Shaw’s Candida to Bennett Hall. In January. January.
Bolton and Kopko co-Artistic Direct the New York-based White Heron Theater Company, which in conjunction with Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, created something new out of something over one hundred years old. Nantucket’s winter population shrugged off the cold and dark and came out in numbers.
The motivating force behind White Heron is the desire to re-imagine classics. To breathe new life into them. To find something new and relevant to contemporary audiences. If the delighted laughter the production elicited in January is any measure, White Heron is succeeding in its mission.
By way of background, Bolton is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Yale Drama School and the Yale Repertory Theatre. She has served on an advisory panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and is a member of the Advisory Board of the New York City Ballet. She is the director of TWN’s current production Time Stands Still —running at Centre Stage through this Saturday, June 23.
Kopko is a long time resident of Nantucket, a working musician, and has been involved in theatre for over 30 years. Of White Heron he says, “This work is what I have wanted to be doing for my whole life. And now I'm doing it.”
White Heron is now in the process of taking what began in January on Centre St. to Scotland in August. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest performing arts festival in the world and White Heron plans to bring Candida there. Kopko says, "To our delight, and I may say, a little surprise, we were selected to perform at the top theatre venue at the festival, a 275 seat theatre in the heart of the Fringe."
The company is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to go to Edinburgh. Kickstarter.com is an online fundraising platform. Started just four years ago, it has revolutionized one of the most difficult aspects of creative projects. Proposed projects no longer need rely solely on grants or big backers. Rather, funding can now be crowdsourced.
Jeff Tocci, of NCTV, the island’s new community television station created White Heron’s Kickstarter video. The campaign and the video can be seen at http://kck.st/L1dINi
Did you see Candida in January? What did you think?
[Photo: Lynne Bolton as Candida.]