(Dorset, VT– JUNE 17, 2022) Dorset Theatre Festival will open the 45th Season of professional summer theatre at the Dorset Playhouse with a regional revival of the classic thriller, Wait Until Dark, directed by Jackson Gay. The preview performance is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 at 7:30 PM, and the play opens on Friday, June 24 at 7:30 PM. All performances take place indoors at the Dorset Playhouse (104 Cheney Rd, Dorset, VT 05251).
A new adaptation of the Broadway play that inspired the 1967 Academy Award-nominated film starring Audrey Hepburn, Wait Until Dark takes place inside the quaint 1944 Greenwich Village basement apartment of Susan and Sam Hendrix. Murder, secret identities, and a switchblade set the stage for this white-knuckle thriller. While Susan’s husband is away on business, a woman is murdered and a mystery begins to unravel, leaving Susan tangled up with a ruthless con man. The climax builds, light becomes dark, and a battle of wits ensues, all leading to this classic thriller’s chilling conclusion.
“Wait Until Dark celebrates the Festival’s tradition of producing mystery thrillers that appeal to the entire family. This play is sure to please folks who love suspense and have been loyal fans of our Sherlock and Agatha Christie fare over these many decades,” said Dina Janis, Artistic Director.
The cast features actors Michael Barra (A Bronx Tale The Musical, The Greatest Showman) as Carlino, Acadia Colan (Amazon’s Saul at Night) as Gloria, Keith D. Gallagher as Roat, Eric Gilde as Sam, Sara Haider as Susan, and Manu Kumasi (EVIL, CBS) as Mike.
Frederick Knott was an English playwright and screenwriter who became well-known for the London-based stage thriller Dial M for Murder, later filmed in Hollywood by Alfred Hitchcock, and Wait Until Dark. Wait Until Dark opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on February 2, 1966. Directed by Arthur Penn, the production starred Lee Remick and Robert Duvall. The play premiered in London at the Strand Theatre on July 27, 1966, directed by Anthony Sharp and starring Honor Blackman and Peter Sallis. The 1967 film adaptation, directed by Terence Young, starred Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin. Forty-seven years after Wait Until Dark premiered on Broadway, Jeffrey Hatcher adapted Frederick Knott’s 1966 original, giving it a new setting, which originally premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in 2013.
Jeffrey Hatcher is an accomplished writer for stage and screen. He is a member and/or alumnus of the Playwrights’ Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists, and the winner of the Barrymore Award Best New Play, and 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award. He wrote the book for the broadway musical, Never Gonna Dance, and many off-broadway plays that have been featured at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages, the New Victory, The Acting Company, and Manhattan Punchline, as well as dozens of acclaimed theaters across the U.S. and abroad. Hatcher’s film and television writing can be seen in Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess, Mr. Holmes, The Good Liar, and episodes of Columbo and The Mentalist.
Jackson Gay returns to Dorset to direct after helming the Festival’s acclaimed 2019 production of Slow Food that reunited actors Dan Butler and Peri Gilpin, both alums of the hit TV comedy, Frasier. Jackson’s other directing work includes Bess Wohl (People’s Light); The Mousetrap (Hartford Stage), When Harry Met Rehab (Jeff Awards Recommended and the 2021 Chicago Reader’s Best New Play Award); Lucy Thurber’s Transfers for Audible, MCC, and New York Stage & Film; Lover Beloved with Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik (Alley Theater); God’s Ear and The Seagull (Juilliard); Kleptocracy by Kenneth Lin (Arena Stage); f by Rolin Jones with music by Billie Joe Armstrong (New Neighborhood, Atlantic, Geffen, Yale Rep – Critics Pick Time Out NY, Best Production and Adaptation LA Sage Awards, Time Out Los Angeles, Connecticut Critics Circle Award Best Production and Best Director). Jackson is a 2021 Guild Hall Artist-in-Residence and co-Producing Artistic Director of New Neighborhood.
“I am thrilled to be returning to Dorset Theatre Festival, where I get to make great work with wonderful people in one of the most beautiful settings in the world,” said Jackson Gay, the director of Wait Until Dark. “I loved hearing the audience’s laughter while watching Slow Food, and now I get to make people jump in their seats as they experience the thrillingly heart-thumping Wait Until Dark,” Gay said.
Jackson Gay is joined by scenic designers Christopher and Justin Swader (Dig, 2019), Costume Designer Fabian Fidel Aguilar (Slow Food, 2019), Lighting Designer Paul Whitaker, Sound Designer Fitz Patton (Tony Award winner), Fight Director David Anzuelo of Unkledave’s Fight-house, Casting Director Judy Bowman, CSA, and Stage Manager Lori Ann Zepp.
More information is available on Dorset’s website www.dorsettheatrefestival.org. Tickets and Subscriptions for the 2022 season are on sale now. Based on current conditions and health and safety guidelines, all attendees will be expected to be masked during performances at the Playhouse; however, this is subject to change.
Dorset Theatre Festival’s box office may be reached by calling (802) 867-2223 ext. 101, Wednesday through Saturday, 12 – 6 pm, and Sunday, 12- 4 PM. For more information, or to purchase subscriptions and tickets online, visit www.dorsettheatrefestival.org.
Support For Dorset Theatre Festival is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation, the Rodgers Family Foundation, the James H. and Irene M. Hunter Charitable Trust, and the members of the Dorset Theatre Festival World Premiere Circle.
ABOUT DORSET THEATRE FESTIVAL
The Festival’s summer home at the Dorset Playhouse is an intimate 298-seat theatre built from two pre-revolutionary barns. The Playhouse has been owned and operated by the community group, The Dorset Players, Inc., since 1929, and became host to the professional Equity Summer Festival, now Dorset Theatre Festival, in 1977.
Since 2010, Dorset Theatre Festival has become a national incubator for new play development, known for highlighting new plays amidst regional premieres, and invigorating interpretations of classic works, as well as a commitment to acclaimed new play development programs nurturing new voices and new audiences for the American Theatre.
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 produce theatre that matters.