Training & Education at White Heron

Please see below for our current offerings

The Intensive

An early career training program for actors with industry professionals

June 2023

June 2022’s company
What is the Intensive?

The Intensive is a pre-professional training opportunity for artists 18 and older, meant to ease the transition into the career.  The Intensive’s instructors are nationally recognized leaders in the entertainment industry. It is hosted at the White Heron’s state-of-the-art facility on the island of Nantucket each June.

The Intensive curriculum includes audition scenarios and on-camera work, access to how casting and artist representation can help shape a career with a seasoned agent, information on website creation, managing social media, as well as other facets of the business aspect of the profession with actors who have worked on Broadway, the West End, HBO and other areas of the entertainment industry. The Intensive will also cover the navigation of different geographical markets such as New York, Los Angeles, and London.  

Introducing (just some of)June 2023’s instructors:

Tara Rubin (Tara Rubin Casting, CSD, NYC)-Tara started her Casting company in 2001, after 15 years as a Casting Director at Johnson-Liff Associates.  She and her colleagues have cast the following projects on Broadway and off Broadway: Mamma Mia!, Kpop, Six, Jersey Boys, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Heiress, A Time to Kill and more. They also cast for Yale Repertory Theatre and worked with La Jolla Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival and more.

Joe Aaron Reid, an American actor, noted for originating the role of Curtis Taylor Jr. in London’s hit West End musical Dreamgirls, opposite Amber Riley (“Glee”). Reid most recently starred in the European premiere of Mark Gerrard’s play Steve (Seven Dials Playhouse). He also originated the role of Benny in the West End production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. Before working in London, Joe was a resident of both New York City and Los Angeles. Broadway credits include Chicago, and the original casts of If/Then, Ghost, Catch Me If You Can, Finian’s Rainbow (revival), and Curtains. Television credits include “Smash,” “The Homemade Sketch Show,” “It Could Be Worse,” and “Robozuna.” 

Kelley Curran, can currently be seen as Turner on HBO’s “The Gilded Age.”  Broadway: Present Laughter with Kevin Kline. Selected Off-Broadway: Mother of The Maid with Glenn Close (The Public Theater), The Winter’s Tale (TFANA), Dracula (Classic Stage Company), Angels in America (Signature Theatre), Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam), Atmosphere of Memory (LAByrinth Theatre Co), ‘Tis Pity… (Red Bull), and three seasons with The Acting Company. Regional: The Oresteia (World Premiere adaptation with Shakespeare Theatre Company). Film/TV: “The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot,” “The Gilded Age (HBO),” “The Blacklist (ABC).” Her honors include the Callaway Award, NTC Emerging Professional Award, Drama League, Helen Hayes, and Princess Grace Award Nominations. Curran trained at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. 

Follow @whiteherontheatre on Instagram for more faculty announcements…


The Collaboration

A Teen program in partnership with

Theatre Workshop of Nantucket

July & August 2023

In official partnership, two premiere theatre companies on Nantucket come together to offer the best of both worlds to teen performers ages 13-18. Train at White Heron theatre one morning a week, honing your craft and working on ‘Musical Theatre Audition Skills & Self Tapes’ throughout July and into August, culminating in a public performance. Spend Tuesday through Friday applying those skills, rehearsing and performing onstage with Theatre Workshop of Nantucket in their Teen production (‘Grease’, summer 2023- performances August 9, 10, 11).

Learn and network with a myriad of professionals, and perform on the stages of two premiere theatre companies on Nantucket.

For scheduling, pricing, and details please click on application above.

For additional questions please email BOTH: mccaela@whiteherontheatre.org AND info@theatrenantucket.org with the subject line ‘The Collaboration’.

Applications submitted by April 1, 2023 will be given priority. You will be contacted by someone from both organizations within 2 weeks upon application submission.

White Heron’s Training & Education branch relies on the generosity of friends, neighbors and patrons of the arts, like you, to help underwrite the cost of creating and producing unique theatrical experiences for the community (including UnScripted talk-backs, Free tickets for Teachers & Students, and our Artist in Residence (A.I.R.) programs) along with our advanced training for dedicated students who are interested in taking their skill-set to the next level. Please consider making a tax deductible gift today!

Our Vision

White Heron’s training & educational programming seeks to empower all students to use theatre as a tool for asking big questions about the world and their role in it. We strive to provide students and early career artists, who are dedicated to theatrical pursuits, access to the training and professional skill development that will transition them to the next step in their careers.

Led by a team of professional artists, and often designed in collaboration with other arts organizations and local non-profits, our programs help young artists find their voice and celebrate their interconnectedness to each other and the community.

Our goal at White Heron is to leave each young artists we work with feeling empowered, not only to explore, but to harness their powers of creativity and empathy to affect real change in their community and ultimately their world.

White Heron is thrilled to engage young artists and the community in the study of theatrical disciplines by providing access to local and nationally recognized professionals and arts institutions. 

You can find us developing new work, collaborating with partner theatres on the island for high school aged programming, holding intensive weekends for early career artists with professionals, residencies at Nantucket High School, and creating art within the community in order to enrich the creative and cultural life of our island.



McCaela Donovan
Director of Training and Education

McCaela Donovan is an Elliot Norton and IRNE award-winning actress, arts executive and consultant, and has served as Associate Artistic Director and founding member of Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston. She has performed Off-Broadway and in various regional theaters, including Primary Stages, NYMTF, ArtsEmerson, Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, Gloucester Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, Company One, Stoneham Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Reagle Music Theatre, and Children’s Theatre of Sioux Falls, SD. Donovan has worked and taught at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Boston Conservatory, Emerson College, Dean College, Emmanuel College, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and for eight years served as Assistant Director of the BU School of Theatre, where she was head of Admissions and Recruitment for performance and taught in the areas of musical theatre and career opportunities. 

Joe Short
Assistant Director of Education & Training

Joe is a professional actor, teacher, and production artist. He has performed in numerous theaters in Boston, New York, Rhode Island, Washington DC, and elsewhere. Joe was a founding artistic associate of two successful New England theatre companies: Bridge Rep of Boston and The Wilbury Theatre Group, in Providence , RI. He has also directed both professionally and at the university level. Joe has taught acting at numerous universities in the area, and has been an instructor of acting, voice, and movement at the University of Rhode Island since 2010. He worked in the production support capacity for the newly created Theatre, Dance, and Media concentration at Harvard University, and as production manager of the Gloucester Stage Company, a 176-seat professional theater in Gloucester, MA, since 2013. Joe earned his B.F.A. at the University of Rhode Island, and is an M.F.A. graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium. He lives in the Berkshires with his wife, McCaela, and enjoys travelling (far and often is best!), hiking, and woodworking in his free-time.

Acting roles at various theatres:  Public Theatre/NY Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of DC, Gloucester Stage, Bridge Rep of Boston, The Gamm Theatre, Wilbury Theatre Group, Lyric Stage, Greater Boston Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and Trinity Rep.