(Dorset, VT– February 26, 2019) Dorset Theatre Festival, under the leadership of Artistic Director Dina Janis, is proud to announce its 42nd Season, featuring the classic revival of Noël Coward’s Private Lives directed by Evan Yionoulis (June 20 – July 6), the World Premiere of Dig, written and directed by Theresa Rebeck (July 11 – 27), the World Premiere of Mrs. Christie by Heidi Armbruster, directed by Giovanna Sardelli  (August 1 – 17), Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, directed by Jackson Gay (August 22 – 31), and Pipeline Series: Three New Works in Process (July 2, July 23, and August 13). All performances will take place at the Dorset Playhouse (104 Cheney Rd, Dorset, VT 05251).

“With two World Premieres on our Main Stage this summer, we are excited to continue forging our reputation as a national incubator of new work,” said Dina Janis, Artistic Director. “And we are presenting a regional revival of one of my all-time favorite plays, Private Lives, written by the comic genius, Noël Coward.”


Noël Coward’s


Directed by Evan Yionoulis

June 20-July 6, 2019

“Private Lives is one of the most sophisticated, dazzling, and funny plays ever written, and we are thrilled to bring to life one of theatre’s greatest classics,” said Dina Janis.

Directed by Evan Yionoulis (“He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box”), the 1930 comedy of manners will open the 42nd season. Elyot and Amanda, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance, reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear and a roundelay of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then apart, and new partnerships are formed.

DIG (World Premiere)

Written and Directed by Theresa Rebeck

July 11-27, 2019

Resident Playwright Theresa Rebeck (“Bernhardt/Hamlet,” “Downstairs”), has developed more than six productions at Dorset Theatre Festival that have gone on to other stages around the country, including 2017’s Downstairs, which ran Off-Broadway at Primary Stages in fall 2018. Recently dubbed “the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time” by Forbes Magazine, Rebeck returns to Dorset on the heels of the new spy thriller (“355”) with Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, and Lupita Nyong’o, for which she penned the script, having sold at the Cannes Film Festival market last spring.

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.

MRS. CHRISTIE (World Premiere)

By Heidi Armbruster

Directed by Giovanna Sardelli

August 1-17, 2019

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.

Heidi Armbruster (“Lewiston/Clarkston,” “Revolutionary Road”) is a renowned stage and screen actress, playwright, and a founding member of Dorset Theatre Festival’s Women Artists Writing (WAW) Group, where Mrs. Christie was originally developed in 2015. Giovanna Sardelli (“Good People,” “Clybourne Park”), the steady hand behind Dorset favorites Murder on the Nile and Dial M for Murder, will direct.


By Wendy MacLeod

Directed by Jackson Gay

August 22-31, 2019

“It is always exciting to find a great comedy these days – one that is truly human, but also hysterically funny,” said Dina Janis. “This play reminds me of the great comedic writing I grew up watching on shows like Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, and others.”

Irene and Peter just want to have a nice meal out on their big anniversary in Palm Springs. But their highly neurotic waiter, Stephen, will not bring them their food, and everything goes horribly, ridiculously wrong. This absurd server will have them examining everything from their menu choices to their very future together! Will their shared desperation get them their spanakopita – or end their marriage? Playwright Wendy MacLeod (“The House of Yes”) brings us a comedy for anyone who’s ever been “hangry.” Jackson Gay (“Transfers,” “Kleptocracy”) will direct.

“We are so looking forward to a season that both welcomes back our friend Theresa Rebeck and introduces our audiences to Heidi’s exciting new voice,” said Will Rucker, Dorset Theatre Festival’s Producing Director. “And all of this season’s plays are being supported by a really top tier roster of directors and designers from across the country.”

Casting for the Main Stage season and the line up of the one-night-only staged readings in Dorset’s Pipeline Series (July 2, July 23, and August 13) will be announced at a later date.

Subscriptions for the 2019 Summer Season go on sale March 1. Single tickets go on sale April 1. From March to June, the box office may be reached by calling (802) 867-2223 ext. 101, Tuesday through Friday, 12 – 4 pm. For more information, or to purchase subscriptions and tickets online, visit www.dorsettheatrefestival.org.


Dorset Theatre Festival’s mission is to create bold, innovative, and authentic theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, and economically broad region: enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring our audience through the celebration of great plays. We aim to redefine the landscape of theatre by presenting thought-provoking productions drawn from the new and classic canon, as well as through the development of new work, new audiences, and new artists for the future of American theater. We produce theatre that matters.



Slow Food was originally produced by Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Sean Daniels, Artistic Director; Bonnie J. Butkas, Executive Director. The play was developed during a residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference in 2015, Preston Whiteway, Executive Director; Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director.

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