Everybody on Shelter Island has a story or two and this week, Rachel Lucas and her associates from Brooklyn-based In The Water Theatre Company are setting out to tell (and perform) a few of them in “Replay: Shelter Island.”
Ms. Lucas, who grew up in Westhampton Beach and visited Shelter Island often as a child, is managing director and a cofounder of the theatrical company whose mission is to help communities tell their own stories through theater and movement.
On Monday, March 28, Ms. Lucas came to the Island with theater cofounder and artistic director Jonathan Taylor and five of the company’s actors. The group spent the day at Shelter Island Library where they interviewed seven Island residents about their lives and experiences. The team spent the remainder of the week crafting those interviews into a series of theatrical pieces which the actors will present in a free performance on Saturday, April 2 in the Havens Barn at the Shelter Island Historical Society.
The project is being presented by the Library in collaboration with the Historical Society and among the Island residents sharing their stories are Sarah Shepherd, Jimbo Theinert, Roger McKeon and Molly and Marshall Numark.
Ms. Lucas noted that while she’s hopeful some Island history will naturally work its way into the pieces via participants memories and recollections, the project is really focused on the sharing of stories by Islanders who bring a range of experiences and backgrounds to the process.
“It’s about community and the people who live there, not a reflection of Island history,” Ms. Lucas told the Reporter by phone last week from Brooklyn, where she now lives. “I’m really interested in how people found Shelter Island, what they loved about it and what made them stay after, say, living in London.”
Ms. Lucas said the residents taking part in the storytelling project range in age from 30 to 80 plus and on Saturday, their stories will be told through a combination of monologues, dialogues and perhaps a movement piece.
As one who has come to love the Island as so many do, Ms. Lucas is hopeful this theatrical offering will provide an intriguing glimpse into the lives of several interesting individuals who populate it.
“I think the island aspect of it is really interesting,” Ms. Lucas said. “It’s an interesting mix — people who were born there and have lived there forever, and people who may have vacationed there and loved it so much they had to stay.”
“There are some awesome characters there,” she added.
“Replay: Shelter Island” will be presented by In The Water Theatre Company on Saturday, April 2 at 3 p.m. in the Havens Barn at the Shelter Island Historical Society. Admission is free. Call the Shelter Island Library at 749-0042 to reserve.