Dorset Theatre Festival to Open 40th Season with Top Playwrights

Dorset Theatre Festival to Open 40th Season with Top Playwrights

Dorset Theatre Festival to Open 40th Season with Top Playwrights

Actors and siblings Tim and Tyne Daly will be performing together for the first time on stage in DTF’s production of ‘Downstairs.’

Actors and siblings Tim and Tyne Daly will be performing together for the first time on stage in DTF’s production of ‘Downstairs.’

Dorset Theatre Festival announces its 40th anniversary season, featuring Theresa Rebeck’s ‘Downstairs,’ directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt; ‘Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery,’ directed by Jen Wineman; ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride,’ directed by Stephen Brackett; and ‘American Buffalo,’ directed by John Gould Rubin.

“We are thrilled to introduce Dorset’s audiences to work from four of the top playwrights currently produced on American stages. The upcoming season is funny, moving, breathtaking and more! There is something for everyone, and we are sure audiences will love what we have in store,” says managing director Molly Hennighausen.

Dorset Theatre Festival opens its season with the world premiere of ‘Downstairs,’ June 22 to July 8, starring siblings Tim Daly and Tyne Daly who will work together for the first time onstage. John Procaccino rounds out this all-star cast. A thought-provoking family drama, ‘Downstairs’ follows the story of Eileen, whose brother Teddy has decided to move home and live in her basement. Eileen’s husband is less than thrilled about this. And Teddy is more than a little off his game. As the brother and sister struggle to understand their present and their past, questions of betrayal, disappointment and madness rise and fall. Who is saving whom?

July 13 to 29, in the national hit ‘Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery,’ comic master Ken Ludwig breathes new life into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dynamic detective duo. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must crack the mystery of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ before a family curse dooms its latest heir. Watch as the intrepid investigators untangle a dizzying web of clues and deceit. Does a wild hellhound really prowl the moors? Can our heroes discover the truth in time? Silly accents and disguises abound as five actors portray over 40 characters in this family-friendly adventure.

In Matthew Lopez’s ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride,’ August 3 to 19, Casey is young, broke, his wife is having a baby, and now, he has lost his gig as an Elvis impersonator – but he is given the opportunity to trade one sequined outfit for another when his club brings in a drag act led by Miss Tracy Mills. A critic’s pick wherever it plays, this production is a music-filled celebration of the American dream and the power of transformation.

‘American Buffalo’ is one of Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet’s defining works. August 24 to September 2, Treat Williams and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis star in DTF’s fresh look at this American classic. Three small-time crooks In a Chicago junk shop plot to rob a man of his coin collection. These high-minded grifters fancy themselves businessmen pursuing legitimate free enterprise, but they are merely pawns caught up in their own game of last-chance, dead-end pipe dreams. ‘American Buffalo’ crackles with explosive humor, frenetic energy and surprising tenderness.

Throughout the summer, DTF’s New Play Reading Series will introduce regional audiences to three of America’s top emerging female playwrights, Mona Mansour, Lauren Yee and Paola Lázaro. Each will spend five days in residency at the Festival, culminating with a public reading.

From June 8 to 10, ‘The Tarnation of Russell Colvin,’ written and performed by Oliver Wadsworth and directed by Kirk Jackson will be presented at the Dorset Playhouse as part of a regional tour. Based on Manchester’s very own unsolved murder case of 1812, local history comes alive in this one-man virtuosic tour-de-force. Wadsworth portrays a motley medley of characters as they grapple with the slippery truth of the real-life murder of Russell Colvin, an eccentric Vermonter whose ghost haunted Manchester until the malefactors were brought to justice and sentenced to hang. This small-town murder mystery remains unsolved today.

Dorset Theatre Festival creates bold and innovative theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, enlightening, entertaining and inspiring its audiences. All performances take place at the Dorset Playhouse, 104 Cheney Road, Dorset. Subscriptions for the 2017 summer season are now on sale. The box office may be reached by calling 802-867-2223 extension 2, Monday through Thursday 12 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit


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