dorset theatre festival

Fresh from a Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway, Dorset Theatre Festival presents playwright Lanie Robertson’s vivid look into the life and times of jazz great Billie Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in South Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers ─ including her signature tunes, “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child”, “Strange Fruit” and others ─ are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences, revealing a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

Returning to Dorset Theatre Festival after her power-house performance in last season’s play, Intimate Apparel, actress and singer, Marinda Anderson plays Billie Holiday. Making his debut at the theatre musical director and actor, Kenney Green plays Jimmy, Lady Day’s piano player. 

  Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests is a brilliant comic trilogy telling the same story from the point of view of three different rooms: Living Together follows the romp in the living room; Table Manners times perfectly to show what happens in the dining room, and Round and Round the Garden depicts desperately funny activities in the garden.

Each play stands completely on its own, but together, they are a triumph of theatrical imagination.

Audience members have traveled from Northern Stage to Dorset Theatre Festival to see the first two plays. Now, Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont presents the third. Richard Gallagher has played Norman in all three productions and he joins us now.

Richard’s Broadway credits include The Lyons and Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Brian Bedford.

  It has already been a great season at the Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, Vermont.

Next up is John Patrick Stanley’s unlikely Irish romance Outside Mullingar, in its regional premiere opening July 30th and running through August 15th. Then comes Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet (Aug. 20–Sept. 5), about a young television actor who grudgingly accepts the role of Hamlet, only to be haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore in full costume.

Dina Janis, DTF’s Artistic Director, joins us.

      Red is a six-Time Tony Award Winning play about famed artist Mark Rothko. The Dorset Theatre Festival production of Red stars Tim Daly and runs June 19-July 6th.

Under the watchful gaze of his seemingly naive young assistant, Red chronicles artist Mark Rothko as he struggles to complete a lucrative set of murals for Manhattan's exclusive Four Seasons restaurant.

Here we speak with Tim Daly about the show, his Vermont roots, and why acting in the theater satisfies more than for television. 

Actor Brian Anthony Wilson is probably best known for his role as the cynical but ultimately honest detective Vernon Holley on the celebrated HBO drama The Wire, which spent five seasons examining drugs, poverty, race and politics in inner-city Baltimore. Wilson’s Holley was sometimes bitter, and like many of his colleagues in the precinct, Holley didn’t always have an answer for the endemic violence and depravity in the streets — or the high-stakes office politics.