About White Heron

ABOUT WHITE HERON

Mission

To produce transformative, professional productions of classical and contemporary plays and create innovative educational experiences based on that work.

History

The White Heron Theatre Company believes in the power of theatre to engage audiences in a truthful and compelling journey that touches the human experience through the arts. To accomplish its mission, White Heron fosters the growth of professional theatre on Nantucket Island, across the nation and around the world through a range of artistic and education programs for the Nantucket community and beyond.

Founded in New York City in 2004, by actor/director Lynne Bolton and Yale School of Drama Acting Dean Earle Gister, White Heron was sparked by their shared aspiration to form a professional ensemble-driven company of like-minded artists. In 2012, the company was reborn in Nantucket, becoming the first professional theatre company on the island. Three years later, the company opened the first purpose-built venue on the island dedicated to professional repertory theater. Over the last decade, our production highlights include God of Carnage by Yesmina Reza, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, Seawife by Seth Moore and The Lobbyists, and Private Lives by Noel Coward.

In 2020, we had to close our theatre due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. To continue producing content for our Nantucket audiences, we created White Heron Radio Theatre, which has been broadcast on local radio as well as been made available on all major podcasting platforms. Our programming includes “The Ghost Light Series,” adapted by Mark Shanahan from Nantucket Ghosts: 44 True Accounts by Blue Balliett and “A Nantucket Christmas Carol,” also adapted by Shanahan and narrated by Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer.

Our community is home to a sophisticated audience of year-round and summer residents who support—in fact, expect—great art. Led by Lynne Bolton, President and Artistic Director, and Producing Director Michael Kopko, White Heron’s core programs consist of: 1) professional productions of classical and contemporary plays; 2) development of new work by emerging and established playwrights; and 3) innovative educational experiences based on that work.


White Heron Board of Directors
Robert Doran, Chair

Chris Bierly


Lynne Bolton

Leighanne Champion

Mark Cunha

Carolyn Durand

Sheri Feigen


Robin Hammer

Victoria Hansen

James Malone


Michael Rhea


Martin Tackel

Advisory Board
Amy Povich Agus
Maureen Fennessy Bousa
Anne Marie Bratton
Scott Bryce
Harriette Fox
Marcus Dean Fuller
Cary Hazlegrove
Sally Horchow
Beth Ann Meehan
Lisa Melillo
Grant Sanders
Ivy Scricco
Catharine Soros
Schuyler Tilney
Melissa Hale Woodman


Leadership

lynne bolton head shot

Lynne Bolton
President & Artistic Director

Lynne is a professional actor and director. She is the founder and president of the White Heron Theater Company and the Nantucket Theatre Institute; created to produce transformative productions of classical and emerging new plays with an emphasis on creating new work for the American stage.

Ms. Bolton is a member of the Yale Drama School Advisory Board and the Board of the Yale Repertory Theatre. She has served on the Board of the Women’s Project, the nation’s oldest and largest company dedicated to producing and promoting theater created by women. She has also served on the Advisory Board of the New York City Ballet and an advisory panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a member of the Board of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

Prior to launching her acting career, Ms. Bolton served as a public official in Washington, D.C., including press secretary to a cabinet secretary under President Reagan.  She also served as press secretary to the current majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and two U.S. Representatives.

Ms. Bolton’s acting and directing credits include many regional and off-Broadway theatres. Her acting career began at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in 1976 where she began performing as part of a resident company during the bicentennial.

michael kopko headshot

Michael Kopko
Producing Director & Co-Artistic Director

Michael Kopko is the Producing Director of the White Heron Theatre Company. Michael is a former Nantucket Selectman and Chairman of the Board of Selectman for 2 years. During that time he oversaw a $100 million municipal budget and numerous other large operating and capital budgets. Michael owned a restaurant and a lodging establishment and is a life-long musician. He was accepted to the Julliard School for acting and has worked as an actor and director in the theatre for over 30 years.