Artistic Staff

Kevin Ryan
Artistic Director

Kevin Ryan spent most of his first thirty years living and working in the Boston area, with music and theatre always a big part of his life. In 1987 he relocated with his wife Joanne and infant son Jonathan to Martha’s Vineyard. In his early years on the Vineyard, he enjoyed many musical and theatrical events where he met longtime friend and collaborator Linda Berg. In 1990, Berg introduced him to Lee Fierro of Island Theatre Workshop where he auditioned for Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. Since then, Island Theatre Workshop is a family affair for the Ryan family. Over the years Kevin’s wife and son also joined the ranks. Son Jonathan spent many summers at Children’s Theatre, graduated high school and then got his degree in Theatre from Emerson College in 2009. During his college years he returned to MV summers to work for Children’s Theatre on staff, and he also Directed his first musical as a summer production for ITW. Wife Joanne joined the ITW board in 2006, is the company’s treasurer, and is a resident House Manager for all productions. Twenty-six years and some fifty shows later, Mr Ryan identifies Ms Fierro as mentor, colleague, and friend. In 2015, Mr Ryan was appointed as Island Theatre Workshop’s Artistic Director. When not working production on ITW projects, Mr Ryan has had an Island career of banking, retail, and volunteers for several charitable organizations. He is a volunteer for Hospice of MV and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edgartown Council on Aging. His is the retail manager of the MV Boys and Girls Club Second Hand Store, one of the Club’s major fund raising mechanisms. Ryan wishes to express his gratitude for the ITW family, the Island community, and most of all for the unwavering support of his wife Joanne.

Lee Fierro
Artistic Advisor

Lee discovered theater in third grade and has never let it go. She acted her way through elementary, junior high and high school, and then in 1946, started her serious study of acting in New York City with former Moscow Art Theater actor, Andre Jilinsky. While in New York, she worked in little theater, summer stock and early live TV: The Colgate Comedy Hour for NBC and Man Against Crime with Ralph Bellamy for CBS.


In 1950, Lee and her then-husband moved to Philadelphia and studied and acted with Jasper Deeter at The Hedgerow Theater in Moylan, PA (at that time America’s only repertory theater). While also raising her four young children, Lee taught drama in several places in the Philadelphia area to children and young adults. Before moving to the Vineyard in the late 1960s, she taught dance and drama at The School in Rose Valley, also in Moylan. Lee also founded the first integrated teenage drama group in that area, called the Youth Repertoire Guild.


In her early years on the Vineyard, Lee was busy building a house with her second husband and raising five children. Then, in 1974, along came the motion picture Jaws in which Lee was cast as Mrs. Kintner. Soon after that she met Mary Payne and thus her work in ITW began and the rest, as they say, is History! Lee’s early years with ITW were as bookkeeper and office manager. She quickly teamed with Mary to continue the development of not only Children’s Theatre, but the overall transformation of ITW from a primarily Children’s program to an all-encompassing teaching program for theater and music.

Stephanie Burke
Executive Director Children's Theatre

Born and raised in Manhattan, NYC to a mother who was a musician, actor, vocalist, composer, teacher and a father who was a devoted Opera lover, Stephanie was immersed in music and theater throughout her young life and studied piano, French horn, oboe and all things music and dance through her 20s. She worked in the NYC School System as a counselor with an alternative class, parents, teachers and guidance staff as well as real estate in an Upper East Side Boutique firm. In 1985 she moved from NYC to Martha’s Vineyard with her husband and family to begin a new chapter of life. It didn’t take long for her to connect with the wealth of arts and culture on the Vineyard. In the early 90s she played the piano for the Edgartown school productions with David Wilson and joined Island Theatre Workshop first as an actor/singer and then as a Board member very quickly morphing into Board President for almost 20 years. Stephanie is also active in Rotary and is the Youth Exchange Coordinator for high school students going overseas and coming to the island. Stephanie is the Vice President of the Boys & Girls Club Bd of Directors and is a Hospice volunteer. Stephanie is passionate about live theatre , music and dance and actively participates as an Island Theatre Workshop Board member, production manager, Children’s Theatre administrator and executive director, actor and singer. Island Theatre Workshop is a very important part of her life as are all the relationships made through the years. Island Theatre Workshop is a family with open arms and she welcomes all community members to get involved on whatever level they feel comfortable.

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