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Welcome to the Arden Theatre Company blog, where we share behind-the-scenes stories and current happenings with you. You will hear from the Arden staff as well as actors and other visiting artists, and we hope to hear from you, too. If you have an idea for a topic, please post a comment about it. We can't wait to hear what you think!

In Stick Fly, Lydia R. Diamond writes about one weekend for the LeVay family on Martha’s Vineyard. What do you have in common with this family? Or this weekend getaway?

Share your story with us!

Tell us about one or more of the following:

  • A vacation home –  One cherished and often visited, here or perhaps one new to you
  • A significant other’s first time meeting the family – Maybe the first time you brought a spouse home, >sick or visited your boyfriend’s family, or a sibling or child brought home a girlfriend
  • A Game Night – A family tradition or a particularly memorable victory or defeat

Then:
 

  • Email your contribution to creativeresponse@ardentheatre.org (Videos should be sent as links to content hosted online. No attachment should exceed 5MB).
  • Submit your response by Tuesday, December 17. 
  • Members of the Arden staff will then select 10 finalists to be featured on the Arden blog. Then, audiences can vote for their favorite response by leaving a comment on the entry here on this sight or on the Arden’s Facebook page.
  • On Friday, December 20 we will name the winner of the contest!
  • 1 Grand Prize – $200 and an invitation for two to opening night of Water by the Spoonful
  • 2 Runners Up – $100 each and two tickets to Water by the Spoonful
  • All 10 Finalists will receive 2 tickets to Water by the Spoonful


Get creating!

 The Arden reserves the right to post, share, and publicize all entries with proper credit to the creator.

By Sally Ollove, >sales Literary Manager

There was no vacation from segregation in America in the early part of the 20th century. When African Americans sought to get away, >medical they retreated to specific summer communities that welcomed them. The town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard is one of these communities. Though African Americans remain a minority on Martha’s Vineyard—the 2010 census estimates 4% live on the Island—the numbers are rising as more retirees flock to the island and new vacationers arrive every year. Many Vineyard families trace their connections to the island back for generations—people who loved summers on the island as children return as adults with their children and grandchildren in tow.Oak Bluffs_African American Community on Martha's Vineyard

After the Civil War, newly freed African Americans seeking employment found their way to the fisheries on the island. They stayed and created a community of year-round residents and summer home owners. In the 1930s and 40s, Martha’s Vineyard took off as a summer retreat across all demographics, aided by word-of-mouth about the picturesque island from WWII servicemen stationed there. As segregation ended in the 1960s and 70s, African Americans began moving from predominantly black neighborhoods to predominantly white ones, as dramatized in previous Arden productions Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park. Close-knit vacation spots, such as Oak Bluffs, became a substitute, a place in which a critical mass of professional, elite African Americans could be found.

View of Oak Bluffs Through Sea View Arch, date unknown
Over the years, black professionals continued to flock to the island, citing a sense of community and legacy, in addition to the natural beauty. As one summer resident sums up in the Vineyard Gazette: “It’s nice to see people like myself, it’s the norm. It’s nice. You come there, and you’re not the only one. That’s not the reality of our day-to-day living [off-Island].” Prominent figures include singer Ethel Waters, novelist Dorothy West, and Senator Edward W. Brooke III, who gave swimming lessons at Inkwell beach. More recently, Spike Lee, Henry Lewis Gates, and President Obama have all vacationed there.

©2009 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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