The summer theatre season continues at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, despite a terminal failure of the main stage air-handling system last month.

“The HVAC system broke down June 30, right after the preview of We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War,” playhouse artistic and executive director MJ Bruder Munafo said.

A new system is on order, with delivery expected to take up to a month. “We had to cancel opening night, [and then] the whole week,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said. “The show almost didn’t go on.”

Ms. Bruder Munafo decided to move We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War, written by Mona Mansour, to the air-conditioned playhouse lobby. The next production, a four-night run of To My White Friends Who Know Me by Deborah Plummer, also took place in the lobby, but that shift wasn’t possible for Jennifer Lane’s intimate marital drama To Fall in Love, which has been postponed to next summer.

The playhouse also pushed back the opening of The Outcasts of Penikese Island, written and directed by Scott Barrow, to August 15, in case the ventilation equipment arrives ahead of schedule. Now in rehearsals, the play is being designed for the lobby, but can make the move to the upstairs theatre.

“[It] will be terrific downstairs, or wherever we do it,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said.

However, she added, the lobby holds far fewer audience members than the 98-seat Patricia Neal Stage upstairs.

“A full house downstairs is 50 or 60 chairs,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said.

The cancellations, the diminished houses and the roughly $25,000 cost for the new HVAC system are all taking a toll on the playhouse budget.

“It’s a huge bite [and] insurance won’t cover it,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said.

An end-of-summer fundraiser is being planned to help pay for the new system — which, like the old one, will have hospital-grade filters, she said — and to set up a maintenance fund for the playhouse on Church street and its recently-acquired residence on Main street in Vineyard Haven.

“We don’t want to be in a situation again where we have to pay for a new HVAC out of our operating income,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said.

A bright spot for the playhouse this month has been its Tisbury Amphitheatre production of Twelfth Night, which has been held over for three extra performances this weekend.

Another highlight ending this weekend is a show in the playhouse lobby of original artworks by Islander Mick Stevens that have been published as New Yorker cartoons. Titled Ink to Ink, the show includes a viewer contest for the best caption to one of the drawings, with the winner — chosen by Mr. Stevens — receiving the work as a prize. The contest image is posted on the playhouse website.

With The Outcasts of Penikese Island, the playhouse is presenting a world premiere in association with Circuit Arts. Mr. Barrow has created the play in the devised theatre method, which relies on collaboration and improvisation.

“The actors have a lot of input into it,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said.

Mr. Barrow’s cast of seven includes veteran Island actors Brooke Hardman, Paul Padua, Shelagh Hackett and Mac Young, along with playhouse newcomers Neemuna Ceesay, Gabriel Graetz and PJ Johnnie, in a work inspired by Eve Rifkah’s poems about the former leper colony on Penikese.

“It’s going to be very moving,” Ms. Bruder Munafo said.

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