Director Joann Green Breuer is a bit vague when it comes to describing the themes at work in her Vineyard Playhouse performance of the Brian Friel play Faith Healer. It’s not that she’s trying to be evasive, it’s just that the subject matter itself is sometimes vague, subjective and difficult to describe.

“It’s a play of memory and imagination, and it’s really up to everyone to decide what is memory, and what is imagination. We all remember things the way we want to remember them,” said Ms. Breuer, in between rehearsals yesterday.

The play consists of three central characters, and no supporting roles. And according to Ms. Breuer, each role is of equal importance to the story, though the play’s title refers to the avocation of one character. The others are the faith healer’s manager, and his wife. Or maybe she’s not his wife. Ms. Breuer refers to her, free of names and titles, as “a woman.”

“It’s a play about love,” she said, searching for the proper descriptors. “Married love, and the love of art ... And this play has nothing to do with any particular faith, but just with the notion of faith itself. I also find the language incredibly rich,” Ms. Breuer said of this earlier, experimental work by the Irish dramatist who also wrote Dancing at Lughnasa.

There’s also a social relevance to the subject of faith. “Certainly the notion of faith is pretty much in the air these days,” she said.

For all of the mystery surrounding the story and its themes, Ms. Breuer said the play should appeal to a diverse audience. She has had Faith Healer on her mind as a potential playhouse production for years. “It was not until I had these actors that I realized we would be able to do it, because it really takes actors who have the humor and the heart to handle it,” she said.

The three-part cast is made up of two actors with playhouse experience, and one who’s enjoying his first run on the Vineyard. Paul O’Brien, who plays the faith healer, and Sandra Shipley, who plays the woman, both acted under Ms. Breuer’s direction in Retreat From Moscow, and Ms. Shipley in another play, Fighting Words, as well. Both actors keep busy in productions staged in both New York and Boston and have traveled extensively across the country for different roles. Gerry Maher, who hails from upstate New York and plays the manager, is new to the Island, and he was a little bit harder to nail down. “He’s permanently in demand in Buffalo [New York], so we were really, really lucky that he was free at this time,” Ms. Breuer said.

She admitted that the crew has had a fairly short rehearsal period for Faith Healer, which previews on Thursday and Friday nights at 7:30, and officially opens on Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. show. But that doesn’t mean it’s not ready to roll out. “I was in contact with all the actors before we actually met at the theatre,” said Ms. Breuer. “I feel that it is our obligation to be ready for anyone who chooses to pay to come to see us. We have no right not to be ready.”

And she doesn’t fall back on her reputation in the theatre world for success. “One is only as good as what the audience is seeing right now. You can’t say, well, because you did something good in the past, therefore you have a right not to do something good now,” said Ms. Breuer. “It’s really important that every piece is treated with the same dignity, intelligence, intensity and love that every other piece is.”

Besides, the wheels have been turning on this play for years. When asked how long she’s been working on a particular play, the answer is always, “my entire life, plus this rehearsal period,” said Ms. Breuer. “That’s pretty much how I feel... I’ve been in theatre for many, many years. Everything one has done one brings to the piece.”

Ms. Breuer got her start as an actor in college, but quickly decided she didn’t have the talent for the job. “I would look around and say, ‘Wow, they’re all so good, what am I doing here?’” she said.

Instead, she tried directing, and she has stuck with it ever since. She went on to become an artistic director at a critically acclaimed theatre in Cambridge called the Cambridge Ensemble, and later taught acting and became faculty advisor to the student experimental theatre at Harvard University.

And now, she’s a 14-year veteran at the Vineyard Playhouse, after a fellow director’s recommendation first connected her with artistic director M.J. Bruder Munafo. After directing a single play, Ms. Bruder Munafo asked Ms. Breuer if she’d be willing to take on the roll of artistic associate at the playhouse, which she gladly accepted. She’s been directing here ever since, dividing her time between her home in West Tisbury and her travels abroad. Her husband, who is Hungarian, has family in London, so that’s where they land most of the time. But for four solid months in the summer, and scattered dates throughout the winter, she’s on the Vineyard, using “every excuse I can to stay,” she said. “It’s very hard for me to leave the Island.”

It’s hard for lots of people to leave the Island, which is why she said the end of the summer season is the perfect time to stage Faith Healer. “It’s a lovely way to close the summer because the play has to do with memory, [and ] one can reflect on the summer here. There is an element of that, a kind of sweetness,” she said. “One is reflecting on things that have happened.”