(Dorset, VT– JUNE 17, 2022) Dorset Theatre Festival will open the 46th Season of professional summer theatre at the Dorset Playhouse with William Goldman’s edge-of-your-seat adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Misery, which inspired the 1990 Oscar-winning film, directed by Jackson Gay. Performances are scheduled to begin Friday, June 23 at 7:30 PM. All performances take place indoors at the Dorset Playhouse (104 Cheney Rd, Dorset, VT 05251). 

Misery will feature Dan Butler as Paul Sheldon. Butler starred as Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe in the long-running, Emmy Award-winning NBC comedy, Frasier. Kelly McAndrew, who plays Annie Wilkes, has been seen on and off Broadway and featured in television shows like House of Cards, New Amsterdam, Gossip Girl, and Orange is the New Black. Broadway veteran Greg Stuhr will play Buster, the sheriff. Stuhr’s many Broadway credits include Larry David’s Fish In the Dark directed by Anna Shapiro, Elaine May’s Taller Than a Dwarf directed by Alan Arkin, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee directed by James Lapine.

“When we first considered Misery as part of the season, we knew we were signing up for an exciting challenge,” said Will Rucker, the Festival’s executive artistic director. “The cast and creative team, as well as our outstanding crew here at Dorset, have risen to the occasion to create a truly thrilling theatrical experience. I’m so excited for our audience to bite their nails together.”

After being rescued from a wintery car crash, acclaimed romance novelist Paul Sheldon finds himself incapacitated in the secluded home of Annie Wilkes, his “Number One Fan.” Events take a nightmarish turn, and the injured Paul realizes the unhinged Annie has no intention of letting him leave. This spine-tingling stage adaptation traps the  audience in the room with Paul, who must outsmart Annie if he wants to escape the tense game of cat-and-mouse that captivates until the very end.

Jackson Gay returns to Dorset to direct after helming the Festival’s 2022 season opener, Wait Until Dark, and the acclaimed 2019 production of Slow Food that reunited actors Dan Butler and Peri Gilpin, both alums of the hit TV comedy, Frasier. 

“Misery is an old-fashioned thriller, where terror and humor intertwine to keep you on the edge of your seat, or hiding under it,” said Jackson Gay, the director of Misery.

Jackson Gay is joined by Riw Rakkulchon as scenic designer, Fabian Fidel Aguilar as costume designer (Slow Food, 2019; Wait Until Dark, 2022), Joey Moro as lighting designer, and Daniel Baker/Broken Chord as sound designer. The fight director is Rod Kinter, the vocal coach is Walton Wilson, the casting director is Judy Bowman, CSA, and Avery Trunko is the production stage manager. 

More information is available on Dorset’s website, www.dorsettheatrefestival.org. Tickets and Subscriptions for the 2023 season are on sale now.  

Additional casting for the Main Stage season will be announced at a later date. Ticket packages and single tickets are available now. More information is available on Dorset’s website, www.dorsettheatrefestival.org.

Dorset Theatre Festival is committed to the ongoing work and practice of making our theatre a place accessible to everyone, and continues to offer free and reduced-cost ticket programs to members of the community. Requests for accessible tickets (starting at $0) can be made online or by contacting the box office.

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. 


Now in its 46th year, Dorset Theatre Festival produces a professional Main Stage season at the historic Dorset Playhouse in Dorset, VT, highlighting both new plays and classic works. Enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring audiences since 1977, the Festival’s annual celebration of great plays runs June through September and features top theatre-makers from around the country. 

Increasingly known for high-quality world and regional premiere productions, in 2017 the Boston Globe dubbed the Festival, “Just north of the Berkshires, a new destination for playwrights.” In addition to Main Stage productions of new plays, the Festival’s new play development programs showcase works-in-progress and provide the Southern Vermont region an opportunity to play a key role in the evolution of new plays in consideration for future productions at the Festival and beyond. 



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