Theater Is Back: New Seasons at Northern Stage and Dorset Theater Festival
Oh, that time two years ago when my blog posts about theater productions were heavy with announcements about COVID-related cancellations. No more, at least not now. Two local theater companies are presenting the lineups for their upcoming round-number anniversary seasons.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Northern Stage will be offering six productions, beginning in its outdoor Courtyard Theater in June, then moving back inside to the Byrne Theater in the fall. Here is what’s on tap:
Side by Side by Sondheim (June 15-July 10, 2022): Is there any better way to celebrate the return of theater than with a musical revue dedicated to the late and legendary Stephen Sondheim, composer of songs from the likes of West Side Story, Gypsy, and Company?
Shook (September 23 - October 23, 2022): Northern Stage’s first-ever musical commission. Finding one’s authentic voice at the big Shakespeare competition.
The Railway Children (November 22, 2022 - January 1, 2023): This “new holiday classic” is based on the book by Edith Nesbit, adapted for the stage by Northern Stage’s own Carol Dunne and Eric Love.
‘Bov Water (January 25 - February 12, 2023): A new choreopoem by Celeste Jennings about family history—is it forgotten or erased?—and how it shapes identity. Her work, Citrus, appeared two years ago at Northern Stage.
Sweat (March 8 - March 26, 2023): Lynn Nottage’s play garnered much attention and many awards, including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It’s a portrait of Americans caught in a changing world of globalisation and automation and the effects on working class communities. Set in Reading, Pennsylvania, once described as “the poorest city in the United States.”
Sense and Sensibility (June 14 - July 9, 2023): Jane Austen! The renowned Dashwood sisters. Enough said.
Subscription tickets are now on sale. Individual tickets will be available as of March 28.
A little further south, the outlet stores of Manchester VT may be calling you, but so is the adjacent Dorset Theater Festival as it celebrates its 45th anniversary at the Playhouse.
Wait Until Dark (June 23 - July 9). A nail-biter, and a new adaptation of the play that inspired the classic movie starring Audrey Hepburn.
Scarecrow (July 14 - 23): A world premiere about grief, and loss, and resilience. And it’s rumored to be hilarious. And Vermont-like.
Back Together Again: The Music of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (July 27 - August 7): A concert in tribute to the work of these two artists.
Thirst (August 18 - September 3): Another world premiere, this time of an Irish drama set in 1912, and directed by Theresa Rebeck, “the most Broadway-produced female playwright.”
Click here for more information about Dorset Theater Festival’s upcoming 2022 season.
(That photo, top? Theater endures. What a history those seats have seen, and been. Public domain, Columbia Theater Cultural Resources Center)
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And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.