The NHA’s History Holograms

The spirits of historic Nantucket women will soon be visiting the Whaling Museum. At least their holograms will be. The Nantucket Historical Association will unveil a new interactive exhibit on May 29 called “Spirits Within Us” featuring new holographic technology that will allow the non-profit to bring seven “remarkable” island women back to life.

“Life on remote, windswept Nantucket has always fostered extraordinary women,” the NHA said in its announcement of the exhibit. “Intelligent, educated, passionate and brave, they took on diffiuclt sisues involving anti-slavery, women’s rights, suffrage, and times of war.”

The exhibit is a collaboration with Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, which selected actors and provided costumes for the holograms, as well as Nantucket Community Television, which filmed the performances in it green-screen studio. “Spirits Within Us” is part of the NHA’s expanded exhibition “The Road from Abolition to Suffrage which first opened last summer.

The so-called “selected spirits” that will be portrayed as holograms include:
• Wonoma (1600s), as told by poet Charlotte Baxter Starbuck (1853–1927), portrayed by Sarah Fraunfelder.
• Mary Coffin Starbuck (1645–1717), portrayed by Alexandra Kopko.
• Kezia Folger Coffin (1723–1798), portrayed by Cynthia Csabay.
• Eliza Starbuck Barney (1802–1889), portrayed by Pam Murphy.
• Susan Austin Veeder (1816–1897), portrayed by Casey Sayre Boukas.
• Anna Gardner, (1816–1901), portrayed by Eve D. Messing, with Eunice Ross (1824–1895), portrayed by Morgan Smith-Jones.

The hologram exhibit was the brainchild of Al and Mary Novissimo of Novation Media, who conceived and produced “Spirits Within Us.”

“We were excited about using this unique technology as a powerful tool to tell Nantucket’s stories in a more compelling and immersive way,” Mary Novissimo said. “Inspired by live performances periodically mounted by NHA interpreters at the Whaling Museum, we chose Nantucket’s extraordinary women as our theme. After identifying technically how and where we could stage the exhibit and preparing a screenplay for our cast, we reached out to other skilled colleagues in the Nantucket community who could complement our efforts to enrich the experience.”

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