By Heidi Armbruster
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
A NEW Classic Mystery
In 1926 Agatha Christie mysteriously disappeared. Ten days later, the 37-year-old wife and mother who dabbled in detective fiction was found at a posh seaside resort having checked in under the name of her husband’s mistress. Agatha Christie walked out of that hotel ready to become the icon we regard her as today, but why did she disappear? Shifting back and forth in time, and with a little help from Mystery’s favorite characters, Heidi Armbruster’s classic new comedy shows Agatha as she’s never been seen before. While attending a convention for mystery aficionados at Agatha Christie’s homestead, Lucy puts together clues that lead her to the truth of her Patron Saint Agatha’s mysterious eleven-day vanishing. Sometimes a woman needs to disappear in order to find herself.
Mrs. Christie Production Sponsors:
Individual Underwriters: PEGGY & KEN ABT
DATES & TIMES
Thursday, August 1, 2019 7:30 PM
Friday, August 2, 2019 7:30 PM
Saturday, August 3, 2019 7:30 PM
Sunday, August 4, 2019 2:00 PM
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 2:00 PM
6:15 PM Pre-Show Talk w/ Catherine Sheehy
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 7:30 PM
6:30 PM Community Partner Night
Thursday, August 8, 2019 7:30 PM
Friday, August 9, 2019 7:30 PM
Saturday, August 10, 2019 7:30 PM
Post-Show Talk Back
Sunday, August 11, 2019 2:00 PM
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 2:00 PM
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:30 PM
Thursday, August 15, 2019 7:30 PM
Friday, August 16, 2019 7:30 PM
12:30 PM Pre-Show Talk
Saturday, August 17, 2019 2:00 PM
Saturday, August 17, 2019 7:30 PM
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
Heidi Armbruster (Playwright) is a New York based theater artist dedicated to creating new work and discovering new approaches to classical literature and theater. Heidi is a founding member and co-curator of Dorset Theater Festival’s Women Artists Writing, a group dedicated to supporting actresses who are writing and cultivating the emergence of diverse theatrical voices. Heidi developed her play Mrs. Christie at a workshop at Primary Stages in Spring of 2019, with DTFWAW, and at residencies at The Orchard Project in 2016 and 2018. Heidi’s play Murder Girl has been workshopped recently by Red Caravan and The Playwriting Collective. In 2015, Heidi was a member of Space on Ryder Farm’s resident writers group, The Working Farm. Every Good Girl Deserves Fun (and other misremembered things), a commission from Clutch Productions, was produced in New York in the fall of 2015 at Walker Space. Where the I Divides was recently read by San Francisco’s ReACT. Heidi’s play Dairyland has been read and workshopped at Playhouse on Park, Primary Stages ESPADrills, The Lark, Red Fern Theater, Luna Stage, and was selected as the New Play Workshop at The Chautauqua Theater Festival in 2014. Her short play Purgatory was read as part of Red Bull Theater’s First 2011 Short Play Festival and published by Smith and Kraus in their Best Ten Minute Plays of 2013 anthology and the recently released Red Bull Shorts Anthology. Miss Angela’s Legitimate Home for Women Living in Sin was performed as part of the ESPA short play series “Detention” at Jimmy’s 43 and is available on Indie Theater Now.
As an actress, Heidi has extensive New York and regional theater credits, including Time Stands Still on Broadway, Lincoln Center’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, the New York premieres of Sam Hunter’s Lewiston/Clarkston at Rattlestick, Anna Ziegler’s Boy at Keen Company, Tracy Letts’ Man from Nebraska at Second Stage, and Theresa Rebeck’s Poor Behavior at Primary Stages. Heidi was awarded a Drama League Nomination for her work in the Keen Company’s revival of Tea and Sympathy. Heidi’s Film and TV credits include Poor Behavior, My Man Is A Loser, Michael Clayton, Revolutionary Road, The Northern Kingdom, Daredevil, Divorce, Louie, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, 30 Rock, House of Cards, and Michelle on Darren Star’s TVLand hit Younger.
Heidi received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Giovanna Sardelli (Director) is happy to be back at Dorset Theatre Festival where she previously directed Intimate Apparel, Clybourne Park (Co-production with Barrington Stage), Good People, Deathtrap, Dial “M” for Murder, Murder on the Nile, and The Pavilion. She is an award-winning director who has worked on numerous plays by Rajiv Joseph (over 14 productions) including the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Archduke (Mark Taper Forum) and Guards at the Taj (Geffen Playhouse; 2016 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play) and the recent World Premiere of Describe The Night (Alley Theatre, and Atlantic Theater Company in NYC). She has also directed world premieres of plays by Theresa Rebeck, Lynn Rosen, Joe Gilford, Jeff Augustine, Lauren Yee, Zayd Dohrn, Melissa Ross, Lila Rose Kaplan, and Zoe Kazan among others. Giovanna works extensively with new plays and, though based in NYC, she is the Director of New Works for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Her MFA is from the Graduate Acting Program of NYU.
Jennifer Mudge (Lucy) Broadway: The Philanthropist (Roundabout), Rocky (Winter Garden), Reckless (MTC/2nd Stage). West End: The End of Longing (Playhouse Theatre). Off-Broadway: Of Good Stock (MTC), Witch in Into the Woods (Roundabout, Lucille Lortel Nom.), Happy Hour (LaMama), Don't Go Gentle (MCC), The Big Meal (Playwrights Horizons), OOH-RAH! (Atlantic), Lula in Dutchman (Cherry Lane, Drama Desk Nom.), Fault Lines (Naked Angels), Geometry of Fire, The Pavilion (Rattlestick), Stendhal Syndrome (Primary Stages). Regional: Geffen Playhouse, McCarter, Sundance Theatre Lab, Williamstown, NY Stage & Film, Bay Street, Arena Stage, CATF, Trinity Rep., others. Film/TV: Scorsese's upcoming The Irishman, The Drummer, Nostalgia, Write When You Get Work, Twelve, We Were an Island, Montana, My America, Dead Man Down, recurring on “Shades of Blue" and “BOSS”, "Instinct”, “Elementary”, “Murder", “Madam Secretary”, “Gone”, You Don’t Know Jack, Drifting Elegant, "The Big C", "The Good Wife”, “Law & Order”. MFA from Trinity Rep & Seldes/Kanin Fellowship Award from Theatre Hall of Fame.
Mary Bacon (Agatha Christie) Productions with DTF: “Outside Mullingar” and Theresa Rebeck’s “The Scene” with Tim Daly, “Mauritius”, and “The Novelist” with Michael Cristofer. Broadway: Rock N’ Roll, Arcadia. Off-Broadway: Charles Busch’s “The Tribute Artist”, Horton Foote’s “Harrison, TX” , and Lucinda Coxon’s “Happy Now” with Primary Stages; “Giant” at the Public; “Days to Come” and Lortel and Drama Desk nominated “Women Without Men” and “The Madras House” at The Mint; “Becky Shaw”, Second Stage; “Eccentricities of A Nightingale”, “The Late Christopher Bean” and “Happy Birthday” with TACT. Regional includes: “The Widow Lincoln”, Ford’s Theatre; “Just like Us”, Denver Center; “Children” Westport Playhouse/ Williamstown Theatre Festival; “Crimes of the Heart”, McCarter; “Don Juan”, Seattle Rep/The McCarter/ The Old Globe; Molly Smith Metzler’s premiere of “The May Queen”, Chautauqua Theatre Festival and others.
TV/FILM: Blacklist, Madam Secretary, Elementary, Donny!, Law and Order SVU, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Mildred Pierce, Jonny Zero, Third Watch, PBS’s American Experience, Nickelodeon’s The Gaveltons. BFA from Carnegie Mellon. Member of The Actors Center. Founding member and co-chair with Heidi Armbruster of DTF’S Women Artists Writing.
BETSY HOGG (Charlotte/Mary) is thrilled to be making her Dorset Theatre Festival debut in this world premiere by the inimitable Heidi Armbruster. Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (Molly, closing company), Fiddler on the Roof (2005), The Crucible (2002). Off-B'way/Regional: Days to Come (The Mint), Speech and Debate (Barrington Stage Co.), Linda (MTC), The Miracle Worker (Florida Rep, Queens Theatre), The Marriage of Figaro (McCarter Theatre), A Maze (NYSAF), On Borrowed Time (Two River Theater), Peter and the Starcatcher (St. Louis Rep), The Crucible (Pioneer Theatre Co.), Summer of '42 (Bucks County Playhouse), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (The New Group). TV/Film: "Law & Order: SVU," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Onion SportsDome," Indignation, The Missing Person, Rocket Science. Proud Northwestern graduate & AEA member. For more, check out betsyhogg.com.
Michael Frederic (Archibald Christie) National Tour: The Great Divorce. New York: After (59E59), The New Morality, The Lucky One (The Mint), Bill W and Dr Bob (Soho Playhouse), The Eyes of Others (New Ohio), Summer and Smoke (Theatre Row), Night Over Taos (INTAR – dir. Estelle Parsons). Regional: Penguin Rep, Premiere Stages (Best Actor, BroadwayWorld.com), Hudson Stage Company, Fulton Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Florida Studio Theatre, Two River Theatre, Round House Theatre, Public Theatre of Maine, Stageworks/Hudson. TV: The Blacklist, Odd Mom Out, Royal Pains, The Men Who Built America. MFA from UNC-Chapel Hill. www.michaelfrederic.com
Hannah Rose Caton (Nancy Neele/Chloe) is a NYC/London based actress, recently graduated from the Juilliard School. She’s thrilled to be working with Giovanna Sardelli again and to be making her debut at the Dorset Theatre Festival. Off Broadway/Regional Theatre: An Octoroon (The Chautauqua Theater Company), Untitled Russia Play (reading at The Chautauqua Theater Company), Hay Fever (West Fulton Theatre), Twelfth Night (Sadlers Wells Theatre.) TV & Film: The Falling, Last Knights, Wizards vs Aliens, Beady Eye. BFA Juilliard: Queens, Detroit ’67, Rita También Rita (The Playwriting Festival), Richard II, Queens Boulevard, Top Girls, Dancing at Lughnasa, Hamlet, Once in a Lifetime, Our Lady of 121st Street.
Stephen Stocking (William/Collins) is happy to be making his Dorset Theatre Festival debut. New York and regional credits include the Obie-winning play Describe the Night at Atlantic Theater Company and Alley Theatre (Feliks); the world premiere of Archduke at the Mark Taper Forum and also TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Gavrilo); Great Expectations (Pip) at Portland Center Stage; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander) for Shakespeare Theatre Co. in DC and Macau, China; Flood in the Valley with Gung Ho Productions in Liangshan, Chengdu, and Beijing, China; the Aspen Ideas Festival (dir. Lonny Price); Heidi Armbruster’s Every Good Girl Deserves Fun at Walkerspace. TV credits: The Good Fight (CBS) and Z: The Beginning of Everything (Amazon). MFA from NYU Graduate Acting. www.stephenstocking.com
Susan Greenhill (Jane) is very happy to be making her debut at Dorset Theatre Festival and to be working with Giovanna Sardelli again. In New York she was in Crimes of the Heart on Broadway and new works at Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Actors Studio Theatre and Urban Stages to name a few. Regionally she has appeared at numerous theatres from The Long Wharf to TheatreWorks in such plays as The Clean House (Acclaim Award), Sideman (Barrymore Award), Noises Off, Private Lives, Becoming Dr. Ruth, Dinner With Friends (SRQ award), Always…Patsy Cline, The Velocity of Autumn, and Dead Accounts (both directed by Giovanna Sardelli). On TV and film, she has been seen on The Good Wife, Law and Order, The Chappelle Show, Clarissa Explains It All, Guiding Light, Italian Movie, Pecker (Jon Waters, director), Bargain by Hail Street and New World Order (Sundance Festival).
Sevan Greene (Hercule Poirot) New York: Lortel Award‐Winning Betrayed (Culture Project, LATW, Kennedy Center, PBS), Dead are My People (NYTW/NOOR), Bunty Berman Presents, Betty Shamieh’s The Strangest (HERE), Aftermath (NYTW), Les Enfants des Paris (NYMF), Mapquest (Prospect Theater Company), FringeNYC’s hit Perez Hilton Saves the Universe…. London: Scenes from 68 Years (Arcola), bi (Arcola), Maroon (Mosaic), Remember, Remember (Park Theatre). TV/Film: Madame Secretary, The Dictator, Blue Bloods, Damages, M.O.N.Y. Regional includes: world premiere of Language Rooms at the Wilma Theatre, Evita, City of Angels, Into the Woods, Company. www.sevangreene.com
Alexander Woodward (Scenic Designer) Is thrilled to be returning to Dorset for his third season, previous designs for DTF: Pride and Prejudice, Baskerville, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. Off Broadway: Must, and the world premiere of Goldstein. Recent projects include The Sound Inside (Williamstown), Ugly Lies the Bone (Alliance), A Doll's House and This Verse Business (both at Northern Stage). Additional credits include The Moors at Yale Rep, world premieres of Lucy Thurber's Orpheus... (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and East Coast Curriculum (Lee Strasberg Theater), Sunset Baby (Theaterworks), The Children, Don Juan, Othello (Yale); Ruby Place Nest on the Ground (Signature Theatre), as well as numerous assistant and associate credits in New York and across the country including the Tony-nominated designs for Bullets Over Broadway, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Assembled Parties, Anastasia, and Present Laughter. MFA Yale, USA 829, and Wingspace Member. www.alexanderwoodward.com
Stacey Derosier (Lighting Designer) is a NYC based lighting designer. Her credits include: The Climb (Cherry Lane - Mentor Project), The Last Stop on Market Street (Atlantic Theater Company), Mies Julie (Classic Stage Company), Dance of Death (Classic Stage Company), The Good Person of Szechwan (Brown/Trinity MFA), Lewiston/Clarkston (Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre), tick, tick...BOOM! (Brown/Trinity MFA), Detroit ’67 (The Julliard School), The Revolving Cycles Truly & Steadily Roll’d (Playwright’s Realm), 1969: The Second Man (3rd Place Projects as co-lighting designer).
Sarah Nietfeld (Costume Designer) Recent credits, costume design: King of the Yees (San Francisco Playhouse), Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts I, II & III (A.C.T. San Francisco), An Octoroon (Chautauqua Theatre Company), Everything That Never Happened, Bulgaria! Revolt! (Yale School of Drama), How We Died of Disease-Related Illness (Yale Cabaret); Antarctica! Which Is to Say Nowhere (Yale Summer Cabaret). Recent credits, scenic design: Lordes (Columbia University), Hadrian & Antinous (Columbia University), The Quonsets, And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens, and This Sweet Affliction (Yale Cabaret). Seattle credits include August: Osage County (Balagan Theatre); Once in a Lifetime (Theater Anonymous); Austen Translation (Jet City Improv); Pride and Prejudice, The Old Maid and the Thief, and Incite (Cornish College of the Arts). Sarah is from Seattle and Ireland, and has worked in both the US and the UK. BFA: Cornish College of the Arts, MFA: Yale School of Drama.
Fitz Patton (Sound Designer) Broadway: The Rose Tattoo, Choir Boy, Little Foxes, The Humans, Blackbird, It’s Only a Play, An Act of God, Airline Highway, The Other Place, I’ll Eat You Last, Outside Mullingar, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, Casa Valentina, The House of Blue Leaves, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound. 2019 Drama Desk Award, Best Original Score, Choir Boy. 2019 Tony Award Winner, Best Sound Design, Choir Boy. 2015 Drama Desk Award, Best Sound Design,The Humans. 2010 Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Awards for When the Rain Stops Falling (LCT). Publisher, Chance Magazine.
Alyssa K. Howard (Stage Manager) is a NYC-based stage manager and musician making their Dorset debut. Recent credits include: Brits Off-Broadway (59E59), Word Sound Power 2019 (BAM), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a M******* (Playwrights Horizons), Good Grief (Vineyard Theatre), Henry VI (NAATCO), Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi + Public Theater), The Echo Drift (Prototype Festival), Glass Guignol (Mabou Mines). Other NYC: Playwrights Realm, Atlantic Theater Company, Noor Theatre, Bushwick Starr, 3LD, Mannes Opera, Juilliard School of Vocal Arts. Regional: Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, McCarter Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Children's Theatre Company, Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Tour: Japan Society/Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Beth Morrison Projects. MFA: Yale School of Drama. BA: Williams College.
Mrs. Christie will be originally produced by Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, Vermont
Dina Janis, Artistic Director
The play was developed in the Dorset Theatre Festival Women Artists Writing Group, and written with support from SPACE on Ryder Farm.
Mrs. Christie was developed, in part, with assistance from the Orchard Project,
Ari Edelson, Artistic Director.
Pre-Show Talk with Catherine Sheehy
Wednesday evening, August 7
6:15 PM Pre-Show Talk in the Playhouse Cafe
7:30 PM Performance
Sponsored in part by the Vermont Humanities Council
Join CATHERINE SHEEHY, Chair of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama and Resident Dramaturg at Yale Repertory Theatre, for a pre-show chat and Q&A about MRS. CHRISTIE. Catherine is a celebrated speaker, and an avid Agatha fan, who will lead a discussion on the author’s career and Playwright Heidi Armbruster’s approach to writing a play about a playwright.
Dorset Theatre Festival’s PlayTalks Series features guest speakers who are experts in fields central to the themes or questions posed by each play. The speakers provide context and important background information that educates audience members about the relevance of the play in the world, enabling audience members to learn, reflect, discuss and ask questions in order to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the subsequent performance.
Community Partner Night
Thursday, August 8
6:30 PM Reception in the Dorset Playhouse Cafe
7:30 PM Performance
Community Partner Nights are pre-show receptions to honor our local heroes. Featuring food donated by local eateries and live music, the community gathers at the Dorset Playhouse to thank our corporate sponsors and celebrate our Giving Back Program.
Our Giving Back Program underwrites free and low-cost tickets for local firefighters, farmers, police, EMS workers, Habitat for Humanity volunteers and families, and all military personnel and their families.
Click HERE to learn more!
Post-Show Talk Back
Sunday, August 11
Talk Back begins immediately after the 2 PM performance.
Talk about the play! Learn more about the production and the actors by joining Artistic Director, Dina Janis, as she leads a talk-back discussion with select cast and creative team directly after the performance.
The Art of Adaptation: Using literature as a source for new plays
Pre-Show Talk with Theresa Rebeck and Heidi Armbruster
Saturday, August 17
12:30 PM in the Playhouse cafe
Sponsored in part by the Vermont Humanities Council
How does one create new work that has been inspired by characters drawn from history, classic literature, or the dramatic canon? How does one remain loyal to the original while forging new ground? Recent theatrical hits like Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and others are examples of how successful this model can be.
Renowned Playwright Theresa Rebeck, author of the Broadway hit Bernhardt/Hamlet, and Heidi Armbruster, actress, playwright, and member of the Dorset Theatre Festival Women Artists Writing Group, will discuss approaches to adaptation. Both playwrights will have World Premiere productions in our 2019 season. Heidi’s play Mrs. Christie is based on the life of Agatha Christie and features some of the detective novelist’s greatest characters. Rebeck and Armbruster aim to articulate their adaptive processes of drawing inspiration from primary sources. The discussion will allow our audiences a deeper understanding of the art of literary adaptation, the process involved, hidden clues in source material, and the challenges this genre presents for the contemporary writer.
REVIEW: “Dorset’s ‘Mrs. Christie’ a hit: World premiere channeling Agatha Christie a romp for fans” - The Bennington Banner
REVIEW: “BWW Review: MRS. CHRISTIE at Dorset Theatre Festival Brilliantly Tackles Old Things in New Ways” - BroadwayWorld
REVIEW: “Theater Review: Agatha Christie’s disappearance becomes comedy at Dorset” - Rutland Herald
REVIEW: “‘Mrs. Christie’ at the Dorset Theatre Festival” - Berkshire On Stage
REVIEW: “Mrs. Christie - World Premiere at Dorset Theater” - Vermont.com
PREVIEW: “Heidi Armbruster’s ‘Mrs. Christie’: How Did Agatha Christie really disappear?” - Times Argus