DIAL M FOR MURDER Starring Celia Keenan-Bolger, Plus More Announced for White Heron Theatre 2022 Summer Season

White Heron Theatre Company of Nantucket today announced its 10th anniversary season, which will include Dial M for Murder, a killer comedy that preceded the classic Hitchcock film and features Tony Award-winner Celia Keenan-Bolger. The season will also include two highly anticipated new works that were canceled last summer due to a COVID-19 surge as well as a modern masterwork about an American icon. Additionally, White Heron will partner with Nantucket Comedy Festival to offer “The White Heron Comedy Club” on Friday and Saturday nights. Later in the year, A Nantucket Christmas Carol, White Heron’s popular adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, will return for its last revival until 2024.

“We have a blockbuster lineup to celebrate our 10th Anniversary season on Nantucket,” said White Heron Artistic Director Lynne Bolton. “We continue our commitment to new work with the world premiere of See Monsters of the Deep and a North American premiere of The Half written by ‘Game of Thrones’ actor, Richard Dormer. Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger returns to star in the classic play Dial M for Murder. We will wrap up with a tour-de-force performance of Thurgood, the story of Thurgood Marshall, America’s first Black Justice of the Supreme Court.”

First, White Heron will produce the North American premiere of The Half written by “Game of Thrones” star Richard Dormer and directed by Michael Kopko. This enjoyable piece about life in the theatre follows an actor during his preparation in the 30 minutes before curtain, also called “the half.” The actor, in his attempts to coax himself into the performance of a lifetime, relives the highs and lows of his life and relationships. One of the hits of the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival, audiences will find The Half enormously entertaining and humorous. Performances will begin on June 26 and will run in repertory through July 17.

“The Half is a brilliant, funny work that we have been working to bring to its North American premiere for 10 years,” said White Heron Producing Director and Co-Artistic Director Michael Kopko. “I’m grateful to be working on this wonderful piece with such a gifted and accomplished actor.”

In repertory with The Half will be See Monsters of the Deep, a world premiere written and directed by Mark Shanahan from a concept by Mark Shanahan and Steve Pacek. See Monsters… tells the story of Morton Plank, who ventures out in his small boat named “Courage” to confront a mysterious sea monster lurking in the Nantucket Harbor. He soon becomes part of an infamous prank pulled by the eccentric Tony Sarg. Audiences will experience a delightful fantasy and harken back to the innocence of a simpler time. Performances will begin on June 29 and will run through July 20.

“Nantucket in the 1920’s and ’30’s was a very different place from the island of today,” said Bolton. “See Monsters… takes a journey back in time to the Nantucket we knew as kids. It’s a wildly entertaining story with the mystery and romance of ‘The Summer of ’42’ as well as a coming of age tale that explores the innocence of a forgotten time.”

At the heart of the season will be Dial M for Murder by Frederick Knott and directed by Mark Shanahan. This classic comedic thriller follows Tony and Margot Wendice. Tony has discovered Margot’s affair with a crime-fiction writer, so he sets out to take his revenge and inherit her vast fortune. In true Hitchcockian fashion, plans go awry to comedic and thrilling consequences. White Heron’s production will feature Celia Keenan-Bolger (2019 Tony Award for To Kill A Mocking Bird and currently in “The Gilded Age”) as Margot Wendice. Performances will run from July 26 through August 11.

“One of our favorite actors to grace the White Heron stage is Celia Keenan-Bolger,” said Bolton. “Celia is back this year to lead the company in Dial M for Murder,” said Bolton. “Celia is one of those magical actors who creates a special world where we can all live with her for a few hours. Our intimate venue allows for a unique experience to see this stellar company close-up. If you couldn’t get tickets to see Celia’s Tony winning performance on Broadway as Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird, now is your chance to experience her extraordinary talent. In my opinion, Dial M is a must-see for this season.”

For the close of the summer, White Heron will present Thurgood by George Stevens, Jr. This masterpiece tells the story of American icon Thurgood Marshall, who successfully argued Brown vs. the Board of Education before the Supreme Court. and later became that body’s first African American justice. Audiences will find Thurgood’s success story to be a riveting celebration of all that is best about our country. Performances will run August 22 through September 1.

“There is no more timely play for this season than Thurgood – the story of Thurgood Marshall, America’s first black Supreme Court Justice,” said Bolton. “This tour-de force will leave you breathless, moved and inspired by an incredible performance and the story of a great American. “

In addition to theatrical productions, White Heron has partnered with the Nantucket Comedy Festival to present “the White Heron Comedy Club,” a destination for great comedy on Friday and Saturday evenings at 9 p.m. throughout the summer. The schedule will be:

  • July 1 & 2: Gary Marino

  • July 8 & 9: Steve Sweeney

  • August 12 & 13: Jack Gallagher

  • August 26 & 27: Tom Cotter

  • Sept. 2 & 3: Don Gavin

Our weekend comedy club nights will be a treat,” said Kopko. “Collaborating with our friend Kevin Flynn and the Nantucket Comedy Festival, we’ll be bringing in some top comics. With our lobby bar, this will be a great evening, and Nantucket will at last have a destination for weekend comedy all summer long.

Over the winter holidays, White Heron will revive its popular production of A Nantucket Christmas Carol, adapted by Mark Shanahan from the Charles Dickens classic. This version of the fabled holiday story is set on Nantucket in 1840, making it both a holiday tradition and a celebration of the island’s local history. This will be the last opportunity to see A Nantucket Christmas Carol until 2024 – White Heron and the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket are working together to coordinate holiday offerings for a greater diversity of holiday entertainment. Performances will run from November 25, 2021 through December 3.

In reflecting on the artists who have made White Heron a success over the last decade, Bolton said, “Our acting company is diverse and extensive-with over 112 actors who have performed on the White Heron stage over the past 10 years. They run the gamut of Academy Award winners, Tony Award winners and nominees, journeyman actors, students and acclaimed actors from stage and television all working together as members of a company. We celebrate and thank those actors who have worked shoulder to shoulder to build our White Heron legacy.”

Tickets for the White Heron’s season are now available for members only and then on-sale for the general public on April 27. For additional information, please visit our website at www.whiteherontheatre.org or call (508) 825-5268.

The Half

By Richard Dormer

Directed by Michael Kopko

June 26, 2022 – July 17, 2022

A mid-life crisis a half-hour before curtain.

The “Half” is the 30 minutes in the dressing room before the curtain rises, which feels like an eternity for one actor about to perform his one-man Hamlet for the first time. The show must go on, but can he? White Heron is proud to offer the North American premiere of this delightful comedy of an ambitious performer taking on this great Shakespearean play – and a lot of personal demons.

See Monsters of the Deep

Written and Directed by Mark Shanahan from a concept by Mark Shanahan and Steve Pacek

Directed by Mark Shanahan

June 29, 2022 – July 20, 2022

Sometimes it’s good to rock the boat.

Hang on to your seat for a true-ish Nantucket mystery! The quiet, unassuming Morton Plank is haunted by his childhood memory of a boating accident that occurred under uncanny circumstances. He sets out on his boat named “Courage” to face his fear and discover the truth, becoming a part of Nantucket history. This world premiere blends innovative theatricality with first-class storytelling to create a performance full of magic and fun.

Dial “M” for Murder

By Fredrick Knott

Directed by Mark Shanahan

July 26, 2022 – August 11, 2022

A deviously good time.

The Hitchcock classic comes to life on stage! Tommy and Margot Wendice seem to have it all, until Tommy discovers his wife’s affair with an American crime-thriller writer. Seeking revenge, he plots the perfect murder, but his plans are cut short. This production features Tony Award-winner Celia Keenan-Bolger in an evening filled with laughs that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


By George Stevens, Jr.

August 22, 2022 – September 1, 2022

Justice. For all.

Thurgood will inspire and empower audiences with the story of a truly great American. Spend an evening with an icon of justice. The son of a railroad porter and a teacher, Thurgood Marshall Rose to become one of the most important attorneys of the 20th century, arguing the historic Brown v. the Board of Education before the Supreme Court, and eventually becoming the high court’s first African American justice.

A Nantucket Christmas Carol

Adapted by Mark Shanahan from Charles Dickens

November 25 – December 3, 2022

Let the holiday spirits light your way.

The spirit of the island meets the spirits of the holidays! The whale oil trade has made Ebenezer Scrooge a wealthy man, but islanders know him better for his hard heart and miserly ways. The apparition of his partner, Jacob Marley, and the three spirits of Christmas visit to remind him that “mankind is his business.” This clever weaving of the beloved tale with Nantucket history creates a wholly original experience for the whole family. A Nantucket Christmas Carol is moving to a biennial schedule, so this is your last chance to see this island tradition until 2024!

About White Heron Theatre Company

White Heron Theatre Company is a professional, not-for-profit theatre company producing transformative, professional productions of classical and contemporary plays.