Faces Of Nantucket: Sassy Nash

Charity Grace Mofsen •

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Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

Name: Sassy (Zacil) Nash

Years on Nantucket: 7

Favorite things about the island: the drive-in theater, nature, the beach

Zacil “Sassy” Nash first learned about Nantucket when she read Moby Dick in Spanish at 11 years old. She thought the island was fictional and simply made up for Herman Melville's story, but she remembers telling herself: “I’m going to find my Nantucket.” Years later, while visiting Cape Cod for a weekend, Sassy saw the sign for the Nantucket ferry and that it was indeed a real place.

Zacil, who goes by Sassy, says her name is based on the Mayan name of her hometown in Mexico, and describes its meaning as a very special, clear, bright light. And there’s no denying the fact that Sassy naturally lights up a room. As the educational programming manager at the Nantucket Dreamland, Sassy creates opportunities for kids to do the same through theater.

Sassy works closely with Laura Gallagher Bryne of the Dreamland Stage Company, bringing theater opportunities to the island’s youth. “I am so grateful the kids have access to it because I didn’t have it growing up. I wish I did.”

When she discovered theater in college, she knew she’d found her calling. “Theater literally saved my life,” she said.

Sassy and the rest of the Dreamland's staff work to bring in shows like "Lit to Life" and Shakespeare to the island, along with professional actors and writers who collaborate with Nantucket students. It’s a pretty big deal, she says, that kids on a small island 30 miles out to sea can engage with professional stage performers. Sassy sees it as an opportunity for kids to “actually see themselves in the future or at least [gain] transferable skills.”

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Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

A Spanish and elementary education major, Sassy also served in the United States Air Force before moving to Nantucket. One might even attribute the ease she displays in managing events to the skills she learned while in the military.

When Sassy isn’t working or playing at the Dreamland, she teaches the Nantucket Community Music Center's "Music and Movement" classes. She is also a board member at Sustainable Nantucket.

She loves being at the Dreamland, both for work and on her personal time. “Being in this room, that view right there,” as she stands in the Harbor View Room overlooking the Nantucket Harbor.

She found her Nantucket, just like she said she would all those years ago.

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