One of the first summer theater groups to perform on the Island after World War II was Liz White’s Shearer Summer Theater. Liz was an actress, but she felt stymied by the stereotyped African American roles available to her on Broadway. She stayed involved because of her love for theater, working backstage as a dresser helping actors with costume changes during their performances. In the summers, Liz returned to Oak Bluffs where her family owned and operated Shearer Cottage, a popular inn for vacationing African Americans. It was here that she formed the all black repertory group, made up of talented friends and family members. Their first Island performance took place in the gymnasium of the old Oak Bluffs School in 1946. They performed at various locations on the Vineyard until Liz purchased Twin Cottage in Oak Bluffs. She found that the wrap-around porch of this 19th-century house was perfectly suited for a theater stage. The shows she put on drew large audiences.