The Yard presents: Amy Brenneman and Sabrina Peck’s “Threshold: 90-52-15”


The Yard presents: Amy Brenneman and Sabrina Peck’s “Threshold: 90-52-15″ from The Yard on Vimeo.

In this follow up to Mouth Wide Open, Amy Brenneman and Sabrina Peck explore the agony, ecstasy and crazy heart-opening of being at a new threshold in one’s life. The material will be drawn from Amy’s writing — a viral blog now being adapted into a book — and the performance will interweave live music, original movement, visual imagery and an evocative sound design. Threshold: 90-52-15 will focus on the tender and exasperating relationship of three generations of women: her mother at 90, her special needs daughter at 15 and herself trying to keep sane in the middle. Amy’s writing does not hold back — it is poignant, insightful and balls-out-funny. With longtime collaborator Peck directing, this evening promises to be wildly entertaining and utterly unique.


Relationships Are Soul of Amy Brenneman’s New Show at The Yard



by Louisa McCullough

Amy Brenneman and Sabrina Peck have been best friends for so long they put peanut butter and jelly to shame in the way they collaborate professionally.


Ms. Brenneman is the writer and actress and Ms. Peck the director, dramaturge and choreographer. They studied theatre together at Harvard and soon after they graduated founded Cornerstone Theater Company. Over the years they have pursued their own creative works but also reunite periodically to collaborate on different pieces. Next week they will present their third major work together, Threshold: 90-52-15, at the Yard in Chilmark. The show is based on Ms. Brenneman’s relationships with her 90-year-old mother and 15-year-old special needs daughter. The title refers to the ages of Ms. Brenneman, her mother and her daughter.

“It’s honestly about me and my mother, and me and my daughter,” Ms. Brenneman said during a conversation before the first day of rehearsal. “It’s not so much they have a bad or interesting relationship as much as having them in my life kind of embodies these two elements in a really clear contrast.”


Ms. Brenneman’s mother was a judge on the Connecticut State Superior Court. She was logical and cognitive. Ms. Brenneman’s daughter Charlotte, on the other hand, is emotional and impulsive. Charlotte was diagnosed with a neurological disorder when she was very young.

“She literally came from another place,” Ms. Brenneman said. “Her language has always been very different.”

While Ms. Brenneman’s mother’s health is declining, her daughter is maturing and finding ways to control her emotions and communicate with the world in her own way. Ms. Peck coined their two opposing spirits Brain and Animal Heart.


“The Brain is dimensional and linear, whereas Animal Heart is indirect in space, it’s carving, it’s spiraling,” Ms. Peck said. “In terms of rhythm, there’s something very rhythmic about the Brain whereas the Animal Heart is more erratic, explosive.”

Ms. Brenneman couldn’t help interrupting: “This is why she’s a genius,” the actress said of her director.

The two women view their work together as a way to reconnect with their real selves. Ms. Brenneman feels that the reason most actors get “grouchy” is because they focus so much on their work that they forget about their own stories.

Ms. Brenneman has had a long career in film and television including the movies Heat, Nine Lives and the Jane Austen Book Club, and television roles on NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Private Practice and the Leftovers, among others.

In addition to being a choreographer and director, Ms. Peck teaches at Columbia University and is a guest artist at Harvard and Duke University. Her original works include pieces collaborating with communities in Durham, N.C., Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx, Bosnian Muslim refugees in Croatia, workers on Wall Street and children from Hell’s Kitchen.

Threshold: 90-52-15 is the third time the two have collaborated to create pieces about Ms. Brenneman’s life. They produced the show Interstate when they were in their twenties, and Mouth Wide Open six years ago, which they also presented at the Yard.

The pair love working at the Yard because it caters to this kind of unique narrative theatre that is their specialty. It’s also not far from Ms. Brenneman’s home in West Tisbury, making working vacations possible.

“At a place like the Yard, you get to use what is appropriate for the narrative,” Ms. Brenneman said. “It’s not that strict storytelling.”

The women also like to collaborate on teaching the next generation of storytellers. The first time Ms. Peck came to the Yard was to work with regional high school students on a piece called Present Tense. Similarly, a few years later, Ms. Peck and Ms. Brenneman directed a camp for young children during which they created Natural Disasters about the kids’ personal experiences. And just last winter, they taught a course at Harvard called Creating Performance Through Personal Narrative.

“It’s just beautiful to see people flower and have their stories be taken seriously and mirrored back to them,” said Ms. Peck.


“That’s how we roll,” added Ms. Brenneman.

Threshold: 90-52-15 will be performed on Thursday, July 14, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Yard in Chilmark. Amy Brenneman will also participate in An Evening with Amy Brenneman: Outtakes, Anecdotes & Conversation on Friday, July 15, as part of a benefit for the Yard. For tickets and information, visit



The Yard to Welcome Amy and Sabrina Peck in ‘THRESHOLD: 90-52-15′


by BBW Desk

Crossing the “Threshold”: Amy Brenneman and Sabrina Peck go home to the examined life to find three generations of Brenneman women knocking heads and living large. Performances will take place at The Yard (note different times).

Threshold: 90-52-15 is set for Thursday, July 14 at 8pm and Saturday, July 16 at 6:30pm. Tickets: $25 (General); $15 (Seniors, Students, Military); $5 (Children under 12) Behind The Counter and Membership discounts apply.

There will be a Special Benefit Performance, “An Evening with Amy Brenneman: Outtakes, Anecdotes & Conversations,” on Friday, July 15 at 7pm. Tickets: $100/individual.


In this follow up to Mouth Wide Open, Amy Brenneman and Sabrina Peck will explore the agony, ecstasy, and crazy heart-opening of being at a new threshold in one’s life. The material will be drawn from Amy’s writing-a viral blog now being adapted into a book-and the performance will interweave live music, original movement, visual imagery, and an evocative sound design. Threshold: 90-52-15 will focus on the tender and exasperating relationship of three generations of women: Amy’s mother at 90, her special needs daughter at 15, and herself trying to keep sane in the middle. Amy’s writing does not hold back – it is poignant, insightful, and balls-out-funny. With longtime collaborator Peck directing, this evening promises to be wildly entertaining and utterly unique.

Amy Brenneman (television/film/theater actor, producer, and activist) and Sabrina Peck (theater director, choreographer, and community-engaged theater artist) are longtime collaborators who worked together in theater and dance while students at Harvard. After graduation, as members of Cornerstone Theater Company, they toured rural America, adapting classic plays to reflect local realities; Cornerstone collaborations include The Oresteia, Romeo and Juliet, and The Winter’s Tale. More recently, they co- created Mouth Wide Open (The Yard, American Repertory Theater), which was based on Amy’s life experience and interwove themes of illness, recovery, spirituality, and celebrity. Sabrina and Amy are also teachers in Devised Theater (most recently as part of Harvard’s JAMS Wintersession). They believe that storytelling is more powerful when it comes from lived experience and authentic, personal impulses. They have worked extensively in both purely professional and community-based environments, believing that devised theater techniques can be used to tell the compelling stories that don’t often get told.

There will be a special benefit event for The Yard, featuring Amy Brenneman, on Friday, July 15, 7- 10pm at The Yard. An Evening with Amy Brenneman: Outtakes, Anecdotes, & Conversation promises an intimate conversation with the artist, as she reads from her most recent essays and speeches, including one given on the steps of the Supreme Court. This evening’s program will be complementary but separate from Brenneman’s performance on Thursday, July 14 and Saturday, July 16. $100/ticket (Behind The Counter and Membership discounts do not apply). Please join us and support The Yard!

Amy Brenneman earned a B.A. in Comparative Religion at Harvard University, with a specialty in Indo- Tibetan Religion. She studied sacred dance and indigenous ritual in Kathmandu, Nepal. As a freshman at Harvard, she met Sabrina Peck and Bill Rauch, with whom she founded the Cornerstone Theater Company, which specializes in site-specific original theater pieces centered on themes of social justice. Cornerstone credits include Juliet in Romeo & Juliet (Port Gibson, Mississippi), Natasha in Three Sisters (Montgomery, West Virginia), Clytemnestra in The Oreisteia (Schurz, Nevada), and Solveig in Peer Gynt (Eastport, Maine). Other theater credits include CSC Repertory, Yale Rep, Lincoln Center, LA Theater Works, The American Repertory Theater and, most recently, the highly-acclaimed world premiere of Rapture Blister Burn (Playwrights Horizons, Geffen Theater). TV Credits include “Judging Amy” (two TV Guide Awards, three Golden Globe Award nominations, Producer’s Guild Nomination, three Emmy Award nominations, People’s Choice Award nomination, and a SAG nomination). Amy created and executive produced the show, which was based on the work of her mother, the Honorable Frederica Brenneman. Other TV: “NYPD Blue” (SAG award, two Emmy Nominations), “Frasier,” and “Private Practice.” Amy currently stars in the HBO series “The Leftovers” (Critics Choice nomination), produced by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta. Films: Mother and Child, Nine Lives, The Jane Austen Book Club, Casper, Heat, Daylight, Friends and Neighbors, 88 Minutes, Fear, Bye-Bye Love, Downloading Nancy, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her, The Look of Love, and Words and Pictures opposite Clive Owen. Writing/directing credits include: Mouth Wide Open (The Yard, American Repertory Theater) and the documentary The Way the World Should Be about the trailblazing work of the CHIME Institute. She has taught drama and creative process at the CHIME Charter school, which specializes in educating children of all abilities. She created and produces the annual event “CHIMEaPalooza,” featuring artists such as Tom Morello, Stephen Stills, Chris Stills, Lisa Loeb, and Taye Diggs. Political and activist work include working directly with The Center for Reproductive Rights and NARAL, contributing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, The Brady Center for Handgun Control, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Amy is an ambassador for CARE and travelled to Peru with her family to visit health programs for mothers and children. As a speaker, she has given keynote addresses for the Council for Exceptional Children, NARAL, CAL-Tash Disability Conference, as well on the steps of the Supreme Court. She is married to director/writer Brad Silberling and has two children, Charlotte and Bodhi.

Sabrina Peck is a director, choreographer, and socially-engaged theater artist. She is thrilled to be back at The Yard, where she and Amy Brenneman created Mouth Wide Open in 2010 (later presented by The American Repertory Theatre). Sabrina first came to The Yard as a choreographer, developing original work with her dancers, and creating Present Tense with Martha’s Vineyard High School students about their experiences. Sabrina’s original Theater Productions are infused with music and movement and created in collaboration with diverse communities. They include: Odakle Ste with Bosnian Muslim refugees in Croatia; Speaking our Streets with former tobacco workers in Durham, North Carolina; Commodities, with commodities pit traders on Wall Street; and common green/common ground, with community gardeners from Brooklyn, the East Village, Harlem, and the Bronx. She is currently working on an original piece about memory in collaboration with neuroscientists and residents of West Harlem in New York. Sabrina is also the Founder and Executive Director of, a program that brings together teams of college students with hundreds of city public school students to create and perform original dance-based works. She was a founding member of Cornerstone Theater Company, the celebrated community-based theater company now based in Los Angeles. Peck has also directed and/or choreographed productions at LaMama (My Heart is in the East); Lincoln Center Theatre (The Clean House); The NY Shakespeare Festival (Henry VIII); Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Yale Repertory Theatre (Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella); Brooklyn College Performing Arts Center (The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek); New World Theater (Blood Cherries); and The Public (Too (2) Noble Brothers). She has taught socially-engaged theater at Columbia, NYU Tisch, and Duke. She was the Ivers Visiting Artist at Harvard, creating The Garden in Winter with college students about their experiences, and she and Amy recently returned to Harvard to teach a mini-course entitled, Performing Our Experience: Tools for Creating Original Theater. Sabrina holds a B.A. from Harvard in Social Studies, where she received the David McCord Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, and an MFA in Theater Directing from Brooklyn College.

Mission: The Yard supports artists in both their creative processes and social instrumentality through paid research residency, public performance, and long- term educational and community engagement across all ages and diverse cultural populations of Martha’s Vineyard, and in broad application to New England and the nation.

In so doing: The Yard promotes creation, education, and community building through artistic practice- with a special emphasis on contemporary dance and related collaborative forms-in the defining rural/island environment of Martha’s Vineyard.

The Yard acts, on behalf of its core commitments, as an active collaborator, co- commissioner, and touring partner with other leading institutions across a regional/national/international context to raise up a “culture of cultures” ecology that reflects-and benefits-the demographic life and times of the island of Martha’s Vineyard and the country.


The Leftovers Nominated for TCA Award



The Television Critics Association Awards recently announced this year’s nominations.  We are proud to announce that THE LEFTOVERS received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Drama!!!

The show is in stellar company:

The Americans, FX (2015 winner)
Better Call Saul, AMC
Game of Thrones, HBO
The Leftovers, HBO
Mr. Robot, USA
UnREAL, Lifetime

Get the low down: or at

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