top of page


full-length comedy
3m, 2f

While visiting his family’s secluded cottage on Nantucket Island, Owen, a typically urban fifteen-year-old boy, and his fisherman father clash until an unlikely and healing communion with an injured whale awakens in Owen a forgotten boyhood and connection with the sea.

"Affecting and inventive ... the play spins an almost novelistic narrative about loss, healing and courage in the face of death ... " - Celia Wren, The Washington Post

"Bartlett has a light touch as a writer. His descriptions of loss are captivating and ring true to life because they are drawn from his own deeply personal experience of love and loss. Despite its preoccupation with death, Swimming with Whales is joyful, funny, and surprising in all the ways that life everyday can be." - Jenny Munich, Broadway World

"Dramatic issues of abandonment, illness, loss, and grief are countered in the play by love, humor, support, and redemption. The play reestablishes to the characters, and to the audience, the comforting power of nature." - Chuck Leonard, DCMetroTheaterArts

"As the blood family heals and the intentional family regrows its roots along the sands of Nantucket, we see a poignant, at times hilarious, journey of healing and reconciliation. Bartlett weaves a whale of a tale; one that is worth sharing." - Jeffrey Walker, DC Theatre Scene

"A mixture of magical realism, laughter and healing from heartbreak with an unlikely wellspring propelling the story into a spiritual parable." - David Siegel, The Connection

bottom of page