The Tarnation of Russell Colvin-Oliver Wadsworth

Oliver Wadsworth is an actor Bob and I enjoy watching perform. We also like to interview him. There is one performance we are particularly interested in seeing since we  heard  about it when we interviewed Oliver recently.  It is not one role, but several Oliver presents  in the play he has written, The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.  The story, based on  historical people and events, is told from a variety of characters’ perspectives. This theme of what is the truth and how do we know it seems particularly relevant at this time.

The Dorset Theatre Festival is starting its 40th season with the play as a special event, Thursday to Saturday June 8 -10 at 7:30 pm with a special 10 am matinee on Friday morning.  You can learn more about it by listening to our interview with Oliver by clicking below.  Then you can go to his website as well as the Dorset Theatre Festival’s.

Interview with Oliver Wadsworth

Link to Dorset Theatre Festival’s website

Link to Oliver Wadsworth’s website

Dorset Theatre Festival 2017 Season

One sign of spring is the announcement of the coming theatre season that promises a plethora of wonderful plays to see and hear. Looking at the various offerings from area theatres  it is possible to make plans for visiting family and friends during the summer months. There are  plays for all tastes. This year’s season at the Dorset Theatre Festival is the company’s 40th  so there is much to celebrate.

Being Sherlockians, Bob and I are, of course, looking forward to Baskerville. However, seeing brother and sister Tim and Tyne Daly playing together for the first time in a new Theresa Rebeck play is another treat. We also look forward to another play by Matthew Lopez whose The Whipping Man was one of our favorites in a past season. Then, of course, there is American Buffalo by David Mamet in his unique voice. Each of the plays is enticing.  Hear more about them by listening to our interview with Natalie Redmond, Dorset’s Marketing and External Communications Manager, who shared the season with us.

Dorset Theatre Festival Part 1

Dorset Theatre Festival Part 2

You can also go to the company’s website by clicking below.

Dorset Theatre Festival website

Here are some of the artists who will be performing.

Treat Williams in American Buffalo


Tim and Tyne Daly in Downstairs


Director of Design and Lighting -Dorset Theatre Festival

DTF_LadyDay_TaylorCrichton2016_041There are many elements that create the magic of live theatre. One of the most effective of these elements is the lighting. The mood of a scene is enhanced by  lighting which focuses  our attention and our emotions on what is happening. All through the production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, which is performing at the Dorset Theatre Festival through September 3, the atmosphere of the bar and Lady Day’s feelings were  reflected in the lighting. In the  last minutes of the play the drama was intensified by a change in the lighting.

Bob and I were fortunate to talk with Michael Giannitti ,GiannittiMichael_320x230pxthe Director of Design and Lighting at Dorset Theatre Festival. We met him at Bennington College where he teaches. To listen to the interview click on the link below.

Interview with Michael Giannitti



You might also want to take a look at Michael’s website to see some of the productions that he has lit. Michael Giannitti website

Costumes and Box Office at Dorset Theatre Festival

box officeAs Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill  was getting ready to open, we were at the Dorset Theatre interviewing Taylor Crichton, the Box Office Manager and Emily Lafriniere, the Costume Shop Stage Manager.  Besides running the box office, Taylor is also involved in marketing and has worked on some of the visual media the company has developed for the performances.

Emily told us about the white dress that Marinda Anderson would wear as Billie Holliday. When we saw it on the actress,  it DTF_LadyDay_TaylorCrichton2016_036  was something we already knew about. Not that it was any less glamorous. In fact it was more so.

To enhance the feeling of being at the club with Billie Holliday, the first rows of seats were replaced by tables and chairs as in a cafe. Our conversation with Taylor and Emily was most informative and made us feel a part of the process of creating a production. Listen to the interview by clicking on the link below.

Interview with Taylor and Emily

Another way to feel part of the process is to watch this video as the set builders transform the stage from the set for Way of the World to that for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill



The completed set of Lady Day in Emerson’s Bar and Grill




Stage Manager, Dorset Theatre Festival

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          Kelly and her dog

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill will be performed at the Dorset Theatre Festival from August 18 to September 3. The play tells about the famed Jazz singer’s last days as a performer.

An essential member of the team that puts on a play is the stage manager. We had the pleasure of talking with Kelly Borgia, the Production Stage Manager, the week before technical rehearsals began. She gave us a sense of all that goes into the productions that audiences enjoy. Most people don’t know about all those behind the scenes which Kelly assures us is the way that it should be if they are doing their jobs correctly. Perhaps that is true, but we found it enlightening to talk with her. Kelly also told us what she does when the Dorset Theatre season is over. To listen to the interview with Kelly, click below

Interview with Kelly Borgia

For more information about The Dorset Theatre Festival


                   Marinda Anderson as Billie Holiday and Kenney Green as Jimmy

House Manager at the Dorset Theatre Festival

Andrew Elc
              Andrew Elk

Many people are responsible for making an evening at the theatre a pleasure for the audience. We applaud the actors on stage, but we don’t often share our gratitude with the others who contribute to creating the special world of theatre going.

Since Bob and I thought that some recognition was due these unknown but important players, we decided to interview some of them. We started with Andrew Elk, the House Manger. We had chatted with Andrew before performances at the Dorset Theatre Festival when we arrived early, so we went back to the comfortable cafe area one morning to catch him when he was not too busy. We learned a great deal  and are sure you will as well.

To listen to the interview click on the links below.

Andrew Elk Part 1

Andrew Elk Part 2


Cafe 1
             Dorset Theatre Cafe
cafe 2
                    Dorset Theatre Cafe







For information about The Dorset Theatre Festival tickets and events click here  The Dorset Theatre Festival,



Round and Round The Garden

RRG for webThis year three theatres in Vermont developed a unique partnership by producing Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy The Norman Conquests. Each theatre presented a different play, starting with Northern Stage’s production of Living Together  which is set in the living room. Then The Dorset Theatre Festival produced Table Manners set in the dining room and ending with The Weston Playhouse production of Round and Round the Garden which naturally is set in the garden. This last play is ending on July 30. Each play can be seen and enjoyed on its own, although many of the audience saw all three or at least two of them.

Each play had the same set  and lighting designers, but each  had a different director. The experience for the actors as well as for the audience was special. Bob and I had to find out what it was like. Fortunately, we were able to talk with Ashton Heyl who played Ruth and Caitlin Clouthier who played Sarah. Both actors and audience hope these theatres will continue such exciting collaboration in the future.

Interview with Alyson Heyl and Caitlin Clouthier

The Three Theatres

              Northern Stage
           Weston Playhouse
Dorset Theatre Festival




                           Ruth, Norman, Sarah, Reg, Annie and Tom                                                           





Table Manners

1_TableManners-altThree theatres in our area have created a unique collaboration.  Each theatre is doing one play of  Alan Ayckbourn’s  trilogy The Norman Conquests, with the same cast and design team, but different directors. Northern Stages did Living Together first. Table Manners is now playing at the Dorset Theatre Festival until July 2 so there is still time to see it. Round and Round The Garden will be at Weston Playhouse July 21 to July 30

Having enjoyed Table Manners, we were hoping to interview some people associated with it. However, the first show of a season can be extremely busy. When we found  these delightful videos, we wanted  to share them with you so that you might see Table Manners currently at the Dorset Theatre Festival and also Round and Round The Garden at Weston Playhouse. As delightful as the plays are together, they also can be enjoyed if you only see one of them.






When Johnny Came Home

unnamed (1)The Dorset Theatre Festival’s Local First Festival of New Plays concludes  on Saturday, April 23 at 12:30 P.M. with When Johnny Came Home  by Robert Sugarman. Directed by Kirk Jackson, the play will be performed at the Left Bank Gallery in North Bennington.

At the end of World War II, the United States government, wishing to avoid the mistakes in the treatment of veterans of World War I which culminated in the Bonus Marches, passed a bill offering many benefits to returning veterans such as low cost mortgages, low interest loans and tuition and living expenses for  college education. Both colleges and veterans benefited from this GI Bill. In his play, Bob Sugarman explores the challenges and frustrations individual veterans and their families and friends experienced during this time.

Since Bob is co-host of Theatre Talk, he had the chance to be on the other side of an interview while talking about the play and the upcoming reading. He was pleased that his play was one of the three readings that the Dorset Festival sponsored, joining Oliver Wadsworth and Steve Monroe in this opportunity to hear from audiences their thoughts about the plays.

In live radio, as in life, not everything always runs smoothly so the introduction to the program and my first question were not recorded, but the rest is fine so enjoy listening.

When Johnny Came Home Part 1

When Johnny Came Home Part 2

The three playwrights

 Steve Monroe, Oliver Wadsworth, Bob      Sugarman


Here are some pictures of Syracuse University in 1948 showing veteran’s housing.


Play Readings

12509707_10153825804438350_3774876878152350831_nBob and I enjoy going to readings of plays. Last Saturday, we were at the Bennington Museum at a play reading of A Kiss Like No Other.  This is a part of a series of three plays by Vermont playwrights  produced by the Dorset Theatre Festival. The first play was  a one person play, The Tarnation of Russell Colvin  written and performed  by Oliver Wadsworth  at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester. The final play When Johnny Came Home,  which Bob wrote, will be at the Left Bank in North Bennington on April 23 at 12:30 pm.  

Most play readings are free. If there is a charge, it is minimal.  Dina Janis, the artistic director of The Dorset Festival. observed at this last reading, one can see the magic of the actor’s work because without anything but the script, they bring the characters and the situations alive.

Oldcastle Theatre Company does readings of plays they are considering for production. Earlier this winter we saw an intriguing production of a play about Edgar Allan Poe. We interviewed the director Gary Poe, who is a somewhat distant relative of Edgar Allan. Oldcastle did another reading which we missed, but hear was very good. One of the advantages of readings is that the audience can give feedback to the playwrights. So when you hear of play readings, make sure to go and have a unique experience of seeing a play as it is emerging.

Gary Poe on Edgar Allan Poe Part 1

Gary Poe on Edgar Allan Poe Part 2


      Gary Poe  Director, Poe Reading
Gary Poe
Director, Poe Reading

The Playwrights.

Robert Sugarman
Steve Monroe
Steve Monroe
Oliver Wadsworth
Oliver Wadsworth