Dorset Theatre Festival Announces Casting For Two World Premieres
Dorset Theatre Festival, under the leadership of Artistic Director Dina Janis, will mount two world premiere productions during the 42nd Season. DIG, written and directed by Theresa Rebeck (July 11-27, 2019), and MRS. CHRISTIE by Heidi Armbruster (August 1-17, 2019) fall between the Festival's previously announced runs of Noël Coward's PRIVATE LIVES (June 20-July 6, 2019) and SLOW FOOD by Wendy MacLeod (August 22-31, 2019) at the Dorset Playhouse (104 Cheney Road, Dorset, VT 05251).
DIG will feature Andrea Syglowski ("New Amsterdam," "The Good Wife," "How To Get Away With Murder") in the role of Meghan. Syglowski will return to Dorset having previously starred in DEAR ELIZABETH (2016) and CRY IT OUT (2018). Emmy Award-Winner Gordon Clapp, best known for his role as Det. Greg Medavoy on all 12 seasons of the television series NYPD Blue, will play Meghan's father Lou. The cast also includes Jeffrey Bean (Broadway's Bells Are Ringing; Alley Theatre Resident Company) as Roger, Greg Keller (Broadway's Uncle Vanya, Wit, Our Mother's Brief Affair, Dorset's Cry It Out) as Everett, David Mason ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", "House of Cards", "Law and Order: SVU") will play Adam.
Dorset's World Premiere of DIG, under the direction of the playwright, Theresa Rebeck (Broadway's Bernhardt/Hamlet, Dead Accounts, Seminar; Dorset's Downstairs, The Way of the World), will have scenery designed by Christopher and Justin Swader (Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson), costumes by Tilly Grimes (Small Mouth Sounds, Romance Novels for Dummies), lighting designed by Philip Rosenberg (Broadway's The Elephant Man, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), and sound designed by Fitz Patton (Lewiston/Clarkston, Broadway's Choir Boy, Bernhardt/Hamlet).
DIG is the newest play from the author of DOWNSTAIRS and Broadway's 2018 hit Bernhardt/Hamlet. A dying plant shop in a dying urban neighborhood receives a visitor from the past: Meghan, the neighborhood screw-up, whose suicide attempt followed a terrible tragedy. Roger, the store owner, wants nothing to do with this situation, but Meghan is improbably clinging to life. Can a soul beyond saving be saved? A play about courage, redemption and photosynthesis.
Dorset Theatre Festival Resident Playwright Theresa Rebeck has developed more than six productions at the Festival that have gone on to other stages around the country, including 2017's DOWNSTAIRS starring Tim Daly and Tyne Daly, which ran Off-Broadway at Primary Stages in fall 2018. The Most Broadway-Produced Female Playwright of Our Time, Rebeck returns to Dorset as writer-director for the first time since her The Way of the World in 2016. That play went on to the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC in 2018, where Rebeck also directed.
The 42nd Season will also premiere a new play about Agatha Christie that was developed through Dorset Theatre Festival's Women Artists Writing Group. MRS. CHRISTIE by Heidi Armbruster will feature Lortel and Drama Desk Nominee Jennifer Mudge playing Lucy, who will next be seen on screen opposite Danny Glover in "The Drummer", and in Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Irishman". Mary Bacon (Giant, "Law and Order: SVU," HBO's Mildred Pierce) returns to Dorset to play Agatha Christie where she previously starred in THE SCENE opposite Tim Daly (2014) and OUTSIDE MULLINGAR (2015). Susan Greenhill (Broadway's Crimes of the Heart) will play Jane; Michael Frederic (The Lucky One, "The Blacklist") will play Archibald Christie; and Betsy Hogg (Broadway's The Crucible, Children and Art, Fiddler on the Roof, Peter and the Starcatcher; "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel") will play Charlotte and Mary. Stephen Stocking (Describe The Night, "The Good Fight") plays modern-day Christie scholar William as well as Collins, Agatha's publisher. Sevan Greene ("Betrayed," "Blue Bloods," "Damages") plays Hercule Poirot.
"Heidi has been working on this play in Dorset Theatre Festival's Women Artists Writing Group since 2015. We are so proud to have the opportunity to produce the World Premiere and share this show with our audiences before Mrs. Christie goes off to future productions across the country," said Dina Janis, Dorset Theatre Festival's Artistic Director.
Joining the director of Mrs. Christie, Giovanna Sardelli (Dorset's Dial "M" for Murder, Intimate Apparel), are Scenic Designer Alexander Woodward (Dorset's Pride and Prejudice, Ken Ludwig's Baskerville), Costume Designer Sarah Nietfeld (Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts I, II, and III), Lighting Designer Stacey Derosier (Lewiston/Clarkston), and Sound Designer Fitz Patton (Lewiston/Clarkston, Broadway's Choir Boy, Bernhardt/Hamlet).
In 1926 Agatha Christie mysteriously disappeared. Ten days later, the 37-year-old wife and mother who dabbled in detective fiction was found at a posh seaside resort having checked in under the name of her husband's mistress. Agatha Christie walked out of that hotel ready to become the icon we regard her as today, but why did she disappear? Shifting back and forth in time, and with a little help from Mystery's favorite characters, Heidi Armbruster's classic new comedy shows Agatha as she's never been seen before. While attending a convention for mystery aficionados at Agatha Christie's homestead, Lucy puts together clues that lead her to the truth of her Patron Saint Agatha's mysterious eleven-day vanishing. Sometimes a woman needs to disappear in order to find herself.
"It is so thrilling that the work we have been doing in supporting new plays is paying off by way of really, really talented people wanting to come work at Dorset," said Dina Janis. "These casts and creative teams are built of artists in the truest sense of the word."
Previously announced casting for Noël Coward's Private Lives, directed by Evan Yionoulis, includes Rachel Pickup as Amanda Prynne, Shawn Fagan as Elyot Chase, Sydney Noel Lemmon as Sybil Chase, Hunter Oznowicz as Victor Prynne, and Dee Pelletier as Louise. Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, directed by Jackson Gay, will star Peri Gilpin as Irene, Dan Butler as Peter, and Greg Stuhr as Stephen.