Play Based on a Henry James Story Opens at Dorset Playhouse
Henry James’ classic novella, ‘Washington Square,’ comes to life on the Dorset Playhouse stage when ‘The Heiress,’ by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, opens on Friday, October 10. The play is Paul Michael Brinker’s directorial debut, and the results of his research and preparation will be revealed opening night.
Tracy Hughes will play the title role Catherine Sloper, who is painfully shy and without any hopes of being wed. When the handsome and charming Morris Townsend, played by Players’ newcomer Brent Merrill, wants to marry her, his motives are drawn into question. He can’t seem to win over her well-to-do father, Dr. Sloper, portrayed by Kevin O’Toole, who is sure that Morris is solely after his dull daughter’s money and forbids the marriage. Martha Jo Perkins delivers an amusing portrayal of Catherine’s widowed Aunt Lavinia, who seems a bit too interested in Mr. Townsend. Of course, when love and money are at stake, everyone feels a need to weigh in. Elisabeth Hazelton plays the doctor’s sister who has no intention of holding back her feelings with force and as quick a wit as a woman was allowed in the mid 1800s. Morris, having no money of his own, has been living with his widowed sister, Mrs. Montgomery, played by Theda Farrel. Annemaria Hornby plays Catherine’s long-time friend Marian and Graeme Miller plays cousin Arthur. Annemaria and Graeme are both new to The Dorset Players. Emily Bleakie plays Maria, the young and dutiful Irish housemaid.
Set designer Drew Hill and costume designer Suzi Dorgeloh have provided exquisite costumes and a brilliantly appointed set, simply not to be missed.
‘The Heiress’ will be playing at The Dorset Playhouse, Cheney Road, Dorset, through Sunday, October 19. There will be a reception following the opening night performance sponsored by Tom Ferguson with food prepared by Ali West. Buy tickets now at dorsetplayers.org, or call the box office at 802-867-5777.