WELLFLEET, MASS.: Maybe naming a land mass after an English fish market, as 17th-century English settlers did when they christened Billingsgate Island in Cape Cod, was bad luck; after centuries of erosion, it is now merely Billingsgate Shoal, a popular spot for seafowl and the occasional angler.
Like that now mostly submerged island, the stories of the 250-year-old town of Wellfleet, which looks out on that shoal (when it’s visible above water at all), are just waiting to be fished up, and that task fell to Brenda Withers, a member of the Harbor Stage Company, who has penned The Billingsgate Project (July 18–Aug. 10). Developed with the support of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Wellfleet Cultural Council, the play—billed as a “surreal, compassionate” look at the town’s past, present and future—interweaves real history and contemporary speculation.
Ghost light, meet lighthouse.