PHOENIX, December 28, 2023 – The Herberger Theater Center presents Islander, a new folk musical from Scotland, fresh off of a critically acclaimed off-Broadway run. Originally conceived and directed by Amy Draper, with tour staging and associate direction by Eve Nicol, a book by Stewart Melton, and music and lyrics by Finn Anderson, Islander uses live sound looping technology to create a spellbinding musical experience.
Staged with a contemporary folk-inspired score and epic storytelling, two performers reveal a world of characters, live-mixing and layering their voices to create a dazzling, unexpected soundscape as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. Eilidh is the only child on Kinnan Island, where most of the dwindling population has moved to the “Big Land.” As the island’s residents debate its future, a baby whale beaches itself, and Eilidh discovers a mysterious girl along the shore. This modern myth takes audiences on a journey that transcends loss, recovers hope, and finds community.
The winner of Best New Musical at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Islander was given five stars by BritishTheatre, who called it “A flawless gem…a modern folk tale that is hard not to fall in love with.” During its off-Broadway run, The Daily Beast touted that “Islander is really gorgeous—sharp, moving, funny, and one of the best musicals in New York.”
The company is double cast, with two performers performing each of the two roles at alternating performances. Sharing the role of Eilidh are Lois Craig and Sylvie Stenson, and sharing the role of Arran are Stephanie MacGaraidh and Julia Murray. In addition to their primary roles, they bring a multitude of other characters to life. The creative team also includes Scenic Designer Emma Bailey, Lighting Designer Simon Wilkinson, Costume Designer Hahnji Jang, and Sound Designer Sam Kusnetz. Islander is produced in association with Setasea LLC, Helen Milne Productions, Theatre Royal Plymouth, and Dundee Rep Theatre.
Tickets are available at HerbergerTheater.org or by calling the Box Office at 602.252.8497.
The 2023-2024 season is sponsored in part by Billie Jo Herberger and Holly Herberger DelCastillo. Islander is sponsored by Gila River Indian Community.
About Herberger Theater Center:
The Herberger Theater Center is Arizona’s center stage, engaging the community through diverse arts experiences that ignite emotion, stimulate conversation, and inspire connections with the arts. Built in 1989 to foster the growth of performing arts and revitalize downtown Phoenix, the Herberger Theater has celebrated the diverse, multicultural heritage of the Phoenix community with accessible performing arts experiences year after year. The Herberger Theater is home to three resident performing arts companies: Arizona Opera, Childsplay Theatre, and iTheatre Collaborative. The Herberger Theater also sustains several arts education and outreach programs that provide children and adults with a chance to experience the beauty and magic of live performing arts. Learn more at HerbergerTheater.org.