Agatha Christie Comes to Life on Dorset Playhouse Stage
Dorset Theatre Festival, under the leadership of artistic director Dina Janis and producing director Will Rucker, will begin performances of ‘Mrs. Christie,’ the second world premiere production of its 42nd season, on August 1. The play was written by Heidi Armbruster and developed in the Festival’s acclaimed Women Artists Writing Group. ‘Mrs. Christie’ will feature Jennifer Mudge in the role of Lucy. Mary Bacon returns to the Festival to star as Agatha Christie. The cast also includes Betsy Hogg, Michael Frederic, Hannah Rose Caton, Stephen Stocking, Susan Greenhill and Sevan Greene, under the direction of eight-time Festival director Giovanna Sardelli. Alexander Woodward returns to Dorset as set designer; costumes are by Sarah Nietfeld; lighting design is by Stacey Derosier; and sound design is by Tony Award-Winner Fitz Patton. The Fight Director is Thomas Schall.
‘Mrs. Christie’ begins on the eve of Agatha Christie’s storied disappearance in 1926. The play shifts back and forth in time, telling the parallel story of modern-day Lucy while she attends a convention of mystery aficionadoes at the Christie homestead. With a little help from some of Mystery’s favorite characters, Lucy puts together clues that lead her to the truth of her Patron Saint Agatha’s mysterious 11-day vanishing. Sometimes a woman needs to disappear in order to find herself.
“It means so much to us to be premiering Heidi’s play,” said Rucker. “It‘s a new and exciting story that’s written with such respect for the tradition of Agatha Christie. I think our audiences will love it, and it’s written by a member of the Dorset family.”
Heidi Armbruster, the playwright, is a founding member and co-curator of the Dorset Theatre Festival Women Artists Writing, a group dedicated to the emergence of diverse theatrical voices through supporting actresses as they explore writing. Armbruster has developed several new plays across the country and has numerous credits as an actress. “I have been an Agatha Christie fan for many years,” she explained. “As my investigation into Christie went further, I discovered the story of her disappearance in 1926. I was excited by the dramatic possibilities of paralleling the stories of two women across time and space escaping from personal crisis.”
‘Mrs. Christie’ runs August 1 to 17 at the Dorset Playhouse. Tickets are available now. Call 802-867-2223 or visit the website at dorsettheatrefestival.org.