Fresh from a Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway, award-winning playwright Lanie Robertson recreates this vivid look into the life and times of jazz great Billie Holiday.  

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in 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 are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences, revealing a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.  Dorset Theatre Festival’s production will be helmed by Artistic Director Dina Janis.

This production runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Audience Advisories: This production contains profanity, references to drug use and sexual assault, and the use of herbal cigarettes.


 

 

Sponsors

Season support provided by
the Richard Rodgers Foundation
 

Individual Underwriters:
Bob and Mary-Anne Van Degna


CAST

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Marinda Anderson (Billie Holiday)—International Theatre: Sundance Theatre Lab in MENA 2016 held in Morocco. New York credits include Every Good Girl (Walkerspace), Sex of the Baby (Access Theatre), Macbeth at Lincoln Center Interactive Theatre, Far From Heaven at Playwrights Horizons, Obama-ology at the Juilliard School, and The Devine OneSassy Swings Tokyo, her solo show about Sarah Vaughan, at LaMama Theatre. Regionally she has performed at Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre (Three Sisters), Cleveland Playhouse (FairfieldCarol for Cleveland), Dorset Theatre (Intimate Apparel), Theatreworks (Cubamor), Chautauqua Theatre (Love’s Labours Lost), Perseverance Theatre (HairLaramie ProjectDoubt). Television credits include Horace and Pete (Louisck.net,) Gotham (FOX) and Homegirls, her original web series. Marinda holds a B.F.A. in musical theatre from Howard University and a M.F.A. from the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Marindaanderson.com

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Kenney Green (Jimmy)—is overjoyed to be making his debut at Dorset Theatre Festival. Most recently, Kenney created the role of Wilson Pickett in the reading of In The Midnight Hour at Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Off-Broadway: FINKS! (Ensemble Studio Theatre, Drama Desk Nomination – Play), Growing Up ’70′s starring Barry Williams (Luther). National/European Tours: Smokey Joe’s Cafe starring Gladys Knight (Victor/Dance Capt.), Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Ensemble). Regional: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Jimmy Powers), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Atkins), Avenue Q (Gary Coleman), Diva Diaries: The Musical (Young Randee Jean), The Music Man, The Goodbye Girl, 42nd Street and A Chorus Line. Directing Credits: The Full Monty (Westchester Sandbox Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Emelin Theatre), Almost Connected: The Music of Jimmy Webb, Legally Blonde, Oliver! and Hairspray! Kenney is an active board member of The New American Theatre Company, New York, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Many thanks to Dave and Adam!


CREATIVE TEAM

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Dina Janis (Director)—returns for her seventh season as DTF Artistic Director. She has directed the world premiere of Out of the City and The Whipping Man at DTF. A director and actress, she has been a member of the Drama Faculty at Bennington College in VT for the past 16 years. Dina worked in collaboration with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Labyrinth Theatre Company in NYC as an actor and director for 6 years and also hosted their well-known Lab Intensive at Bennington College during the summers of 2005-2008. This intensive brought over 150 top theatre artists together for 2 weeks each summer for the purpose of developing new plays. Artists that participated include Eric Bogosian, Sam Rockwell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ellen Burstyn, Daphne Rubin Vega, John Patrick Shanley, Bob Glaudini, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Cusi Cram, Jose Rivera, Adam Rapp, among others. Dina is a lifetime member of the famed Actors Studio in NY, currently led by Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel. As a director she has worked extensively with new plays, and with such well-known writers as Theresa Rebeck, Sherry Kramer, Stephen Adly Guirgis and George Plimpton.

Alexander Woodward (Set Design)—Is thrilled to be making his Dorset Theater Festival debut, recent credits include: The Moors, (Yale Rep) The Children, Don Juan, Othello, (Yale) and over a dozen credits at the Yale Cabaret including: Roberto Zucco, Have I None, and Lake Kelsey; regional credits: Once Five Years Pass, Dixon Family Album, Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Ruby Place Nest on the Ground (Signature Theatre); 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti (59E59); 1940s Radio Hour (Cortland Rep); What I Thought I Knew, Waiting for Spring (Kitchen Theatre Company); Oblomov (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater); Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical (Cardinal Stage); And a Child Shall Lead (HERE Arts Center); as well as numerous assistant and associate credits including the Tony-nominated designs for Bullets Over Broadway, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Assembled Parties, and Present Laughter. BFA Ithaca College, MFA Yale School of Drama.

Michael Giannitti (Lighting Design)—returns for his seventh Dorset season, the past six as Producing Director. He has been on the Bennington College Faculty since 1992. His lighting designs include the original Broadway production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, 44 productions at The Studio Theatre in Washington (including five years as resident lighting designer), 26 productions at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Associate Artist), and multiple productions at Trinity Rep, Capital Rep, Portland Stage, Shakespeare & Company and the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company. He’s also designed for Barrington Stage, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Virginia Stage, Indiana Rep, George Street Playhouse, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Seattle Rep, Huntington, Yale Rep, Olney and other theatres. New York lighting designs include Dance Theatre Workshop, Danspace Project, The Joyce, The Kitchen, Here Arts Center, P.S. 122, and the Off-Broadway production Sounding Beckett. As a Fulbright Specialist Grant recipient, he taught in New Zealand and Romania. MFA: Yale School of Drama; BA: Bates College. www.michaelgiannitti.com.

Tracy Christensen (Costume Design)—recently designed Sunset Boulevard for London’s English National Opera, and West Side Story at the Knockdown Center for Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary celebration.  Other projects: The Call (Theaterworks Hartford), The Other Place (Alley Theater), Guys & Dolls at Goodspeed Opera House (CT Critics Circle nomination), Sweeney Todd  (starring Emma Thompson), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (HBO, starring Audra McDonald), Buddy (MUNY), Abundance (Beckett Theater), Company (starring Neil Patrick Harris), Souvenir (Broadway), Abundance (Hartford Stage), Seussical for TheatreworksUSA (Lucille Lortel nomination). 10 seasons: Chautauqua Theatre Company.  Faculty member in costume design: SUNY Purchase.  www.tracychristensen.com.

Jane Shaw (Sound Design)—designed sound for Sherlock Holmes…, All in the TimingWhipping Man, Boeing Boeing, The Pavilion, & Fallen Angels at DTF. Regional credits include: Rear Window, Hamlet (Hartford Stage), The Crucible (Cleveland Playhouse), Naked Influence (Capital Rep), The Catch (Denver Theater Center), Guadalupe in the Guest Room (Two River), Asolo Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, City Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Triad Stage. Off-Broadway: The Killer (TFANA), Women Without Men (Mint), Don Juan (Pearl), Grounded (Page 73), Red Dog Howls (NY Theater Workshop), The Coward (LCT3), Off-Off Broadway: Ironbound (Rattlestick), Men on Boats (Clubbed Thumb), Jackie (Women’s Project), Septimus and Clarissa (Ripe Time), Repertorio Espanol. International Touring: Big Dance Theater, Merce Cunningham, Susan Marshall, Murakami’s Wind Up Bird Chronicles. Education: Yale School of Drama, Harvard College. Awards: Henry, Premios ACE, Drama Desk, Bessie; nominations for 2 Lortels, Henry Hewes, Eliot Norton; Meet the Composer NEA/TCG Career Development Program.

Kelly Borgia (Stage Manager)—is the Production Stage Manager at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL. Asolo Rep favorites include: West Side Story, All the Way, Josephine, Both Your Houses; The Grapes of Wrath; 1776; The Heidi Chronicles; Hamlet, Prince of Cuba; Bonnie & Clyde; The Life of Galileo. Regional theatre credits include: 1776 (American Conservatory Theater); All in the Timing, Red, The Whipping Man, Boeing, Boeing, Deathtrap, Superior Donuts, Noises Off! (Dorset Theatre Festival); Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Once on this Island, Betrayal (Hangar Theatre); Beauty and the Beast, The Full Monty (Northern Stage); The Miser, Picnic, amSunday, Speed-the-Plow (CenterStage, Baltimore). Off-Broadway: Hurricane: A New Musical (2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival); Cato (The Flea Theatre). Big love to Travis, Zoe and all my beloved Borgias! Proud Member of Actors’ Equity Association.


VIDEO

 

Want to know more about jazz legend Billie Holiday? Check out this documentary.