The Festival continues its commitment to developing new plays with a World Premiere of The Way of the World by Theresa Rebeck. The Way of the World is a contemporary retelling of the sardonic masterpiece by William Congreve.  

Set in the demimonde of the hyper-rich Hamptons, it follows the story of a good-hearted heiress who has become prey to the attentions of an amoral party boy.  After he callowly seduces her aunt, making the older woman a figure of public ridicule, their romance is dead in the water.  But his insistence on winning back the moneyed heroine fuels the summer’s gossip in the land of the one-percent.  Can love emerge in a world where love means nothing?

While embracing a language which is completely of the moment, the play faithfully revels in Congreve’s gimlet-eyed questions about society. Theresa Rebeck herself will helm the production, bringing with her a star-studded cast. Theresa Rebeck is an acclaimed playwright whose New York productions recently include, Seminar starring the late Alan Rickman and Dead Accounts starring Katie Holmes. Most recently she is known for her hit NBC TV series-Smash. Theresa was named one of the “150 Fearless Women in the World” by Newsweek Subscriptions on sale March 1, 2016. Single Tickets on sale April 1, 2016. Prices range from $46-$60. Student/Youth discounts available.  This production runs approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes including one intermission.



Kristine Nielsen (Renee)—Broadway includes: You Can’t Take It With You, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award). Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Spring Awakening, The Greenbird, Jackie, The Iceman Cometh.  Off-Broadway includes: Hir, Why Torture Is Wrong And The People Who Love Them, How I Spent Last Summer, Omnium Gatherum, Our Leading Lady, Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Dog Opera (Obie Award). Regional work at Williamstown, Guthrie, McCarter, Old Globe, Long Wharf, Yale Rep, The Alley, and most recently, “Dolly Levi” in The Matchmaker at The Goodman Theatre. Film and TV includes: Theresa Rebeck’s Trouble, Happyish, Elementary, Morning Glory, The Savages, Small Time Crooks, Political Animals, NBC’’s Sound of Music Live!,and most recently, Amazon’s Zelda. Graduate of Northwestern and the Yale School of Drama.


Brent Langdon (Lyle)—New York (Off-Broadway): Naperville, The Steadfast (Slant Theatre Project), The Castle, Serious Money, The Europeans (Potomac Theatre Project). Regional: Barrington Stage Company, The Old Globe, Hartford Stage, McCarter, Yale Repertory, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Playmakers Repertory, Capital Repertory, Gulfshore Playhouse, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, B Street Theatre. TV: House of Cards, The Americans, Alpha House, The Knick, Royal Pains, Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Film: Tomboy: A Revenger’s Tale, The Program, 5 Flights Up. Graduate of the University of Evansville and the University of North Carolina.


David Turner (Charles)—Broadway: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Arcadia, Sunday in the Park With George, The Ritz, In My Life, The Invention of Love. Off-Broadway: Pretty Hunger and The Good Person of Szechwan at The Public; Gutenberg! The Musical!, The Last Sunday in June, The Butter and Egg Man, Shakespeare (abridged). Regional: Buyer & Cellar at the Old Globe. TV: The Leftovers, The Good Wife, Lipstick Jungle, and Baz Lurhmann’s upcoming The Get Down. Awards: Two Helen Hayes Award nominations and BMI’s Jerry Harrington Award for musical theatre songwriting. David received his BA from Williams College and his CELTA (to teach English to adults) through Cambridge University. He is a commercial pilot who flies for Angel Flight East, a non-profit that connects pilots with patients in need of treatment far from home. David and his fiancé Aaron own and manage a small public airport in Pennsylvania called the Flying Dollar ( Twitter: @iDavidTurner


Brian Dykstra (Reg)—Is an actor, playwright, and HBO def Poet. Most recently: Doc in One Slight Hitch at The Human Race Theatre and Patrick in the world premiere of The Nest (written by Theresa Rebeck) at Denver Center. Previous film/TV: Trouble, Poor Behavior (both written and directed by Theresa Rebeck), Freedomland, Knight and Day, Chappelle’s Show, Law and Order, Third Watch, HBO def Poetry. Broadway: Lucky Guy (with Tom Hanks, directed by George C. Wolfe). Stage: All The Way (LBJ), Red (Mark Rothko), Jerusalem (Rooster Byron), Seminar (Leonard), The Seagull (Trigorin), Hamlet (Claudius), Copenhagen (Heisenberg), A View from the Bridge (Eddie Carbone). As Playwright: Hiding Behind Comets, Clean Alternatives, The Two of You, Strangerhorse, Forsaking All Others. Current projects include a musical adaptation of The Learned Ladies with composer Ray Leslee, a book to a brand new musical called Crazy, Make Crazy, and a couple of new plays.


Nilanjana Bose (Katrina)—New York Theater: The Queen (Theater For A New City) Tamburlaine (Theater For A New Audience) The Memorandum (The Actor’s Company Theater, Beckett, Theater Row), Cock ( Duke on 42nd Street). Regional: The Lake Effect ( Theaterworks) Noises Off ( Dorset Theater Festival). Television: Crossbones (NBC). Education: The Juilliard School. Nilanjana is also a trained Classical Indian dancer.



Josiah Bania (Topher)—most recently made his New York City theatre debut in the critically acclaimed play Ironbound in a role which he originated at the Round House Theater. Regional Theater credits include: Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Three Sisters at Yale Repertory Theatre; Love’s Labour’s Lost at Chautauqua Theatre Company; The Secret in the Wings, at Yale Summer Cabaret; The History Boys at Artists Repertory Theatre; The Uneasy Chair at CoHo Theater; A Christmas Carol, and JAW: A Playwright’s Festival at Portland Center Stage. Television credits include The Good WifeLeverage, and The Mysteries of Laura. Josiah holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he appeared as Iago in Othello, Bolingbroke in Richard II, Medvedenko in The Seagull, and Nolan in Petty Harbour.


Elizabeth Evans (Mae)—Elizabeth is thrilled to be here at Dorset! Recent Credits: Choir Member in The Christians (Playwrights Horizons), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (International Tour), readings at TFANA, Rattlestick, and others. She can be seen opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in the upcoming film Beat-Up Little Seagull. Other Film/TV: Colston BriefDays Like This, Another Day Gone By. Training: NYU. Thanks to Theresa, Dina and Judy for the opportunity! For Mom, who would never audibly mock my shoes.



Katie Paxton (Waitress)—Dorset Theatre Festival debut. Theater credits include The Way of the World  (O’Neill Theater Center), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?In The Next Room, and Noises Off (PlayMakers Repertory Company). On television, Paxton has appeared on The Good Wife, The Blacklist, and Billy & Billie. This fall, she will star in Bedroom Farce at the Huntington Theatre Company (dir. Maria Aitken). BA/MFA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Theresa Rebeck (Director)—is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. Ms. Rebeck’s first novel, Three Girls and Their Brother, was published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in April 2008. Her second novel, Twelve Rooms With A View, was published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in May of 2010. Her third and most recent novel, I’m Glad About You, was published by Putnam in February of 2016. In television, Ms. Rebeck has written for Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law, American Dreamer, Maximum Bob, First Wave, and Third Watch. She was the creator of the NBC drama Smash. Her produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, an adaptation of her play, The Scene. Ms. Rebeck is originally from Cincinnati and holds an MFA in Playwrighting and a PhD. in Victorian Melodrama, both from Brandeis University.

Narelle Sissons (Set Design)—designed Outside Mullingar, Out of the City, Clybourne Park and The Whore and Mr. Moore at DTF; All My Sons (Broadway-The Roundabout). Off Broadway designs include How I Learned To Drive (original production), Stop Kiss, In The Blood, Kit Marlowe, Julius Caesar & Little Flower of East Orange (Public Theatre). Also in NYC, many productions with Mabou Mines, LAByrinth Theatre Company (member), Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, TACT, Epic Theatre Ensemble, and Classic Stage Company. International: Jesus Hopped the A Train (Philip Seymour Hoffman director, London & NY), Mabou Mines Doll House (Lee Breuer director, US & World Tour), The Syringa Tree (Vienna & Frankfurt), No Child (Edinburgh Festival), & Sokrates at VAT Theatre Estonia. Nominations/awards: Fulbright Specialist Grant; Drama Desk, Helen Hayes, American Theatre Wing & Elliot Norton nominations, Kevin Kline Award, Back Stage West Award, & Exhibitor at Prague Quadrennial 2007 and 2011. Ms Sissons is a graduate of Central St Martins & The Royal College of Art in London.

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.

Barbara Bell (Costume Design)—For DTF: Outside Mullingar, Mousetrap, Clybourne Park, Deathtrap, Dial M For Murder, Ten Little Indians.  Other designs: TACT Theatre/Gingold Theatrical: Widowers’ Houses; Pearl Theatre Company: Uncle Vanya, You Never Can Tell, Figaro, Vieux Carre, Subject Was Roses, Bald Soprano, Toys in the Attic. Recipient of Princess Grace Award for her Pearl Theatre designs. Capital Repertory: Trip to Bountiful, The Seafarer, Boston Marriage, Driving Miss Daisy; Barrington Stage: Clybourne Park; Weston Playhouse: To Kill a Mockingbird, A Raisin in the Sun, Big River, Mornings At Seven; Williamstheatre: The Tempest, Cabaret, Eurydice, Trojan Women; Virginia Stage: Over the Tavern.

MuTT L. Dogg (Sound Design)—has designed for such companies as American Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre Of Louisville, Cherry Lane Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Waterwell Productions, Colt Coeur, New Group, MCC Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Royal National Theatre, Debate Society, Ars Nova, Keen Company, Joey Parnes Productions, South Coast Repertory, Signature Theatre, Pearl Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Public Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Nicholas Ward Productions, Scott Sanders Productions, and Women’s Project. Drama Desk, IRNE, and IT nominee; Lortel award for Here Lies Love, fringeNYC award for Go-Go Kitty, GO!.

Margarett Perry (Dramaturg)—directed Sherlock Holmes… last season at Dorset Theatre Festival. She is an award-winning director of new plays and has directed and developed new work Off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the country, as well as in Scotland and London. She is the resident director at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, where she has directed numerous productions, including Seminar, Sunset Baby, Motherfucker with the Hat, Cock, Private Lives, and, most recently, Paloma by Anne Garcia-Romero. She is a regular at Human Race Theatre Company where she recently directed On Slight Hitch by Lewis Black. Perry is an artistic fellow at The Lark Play Development Center, where she has worked with a variety of writers developing new plays. She is currently working on Brian Dykstra’s hip-hop play, Use to Was (Maybe Did), with Center Theatre Group. Other upcoming projects include the world premiere of Seared by Theresa Rebeck (San Francisco Playhouse) and Clean Alternatives by Brian Dykstra (The Kitchen Theater). Please visit


Season support provided by the Richard Rodgers Foundation


Special Events


Comedy of Manners: What do William Congreve and Theresa Rebeck have in common? Talk with theatre historian Maya Cantu.    

Thursday- July 21st- 6 pm
Northshire Bookstore, 4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT

With a nod to William Congreve, award winning American Playwright Theresa Rebeck takes the ageless idea that there is a way of the world and, bringing her trademark scorching wit, proves that, even now in today’s world, the same principles continue to empower society’s 1%. Set in the hyper-rich Hamptons of today, Rebeck’s adaptation of Congreve’s comedy of manners The Way of The World follows the story of a good-hearted heiress who has become prey to the attentions of an amoral party boy. Rebeck’s reinvention applies a feminist edge to a gleefully evil-hearted bi-sexual demimonde, employing a language that is completely of the moment while remaining faithful only to Congreve and Trollope’s gimlet-eyed questions about the viciousness of society. Maya Cantu theatre historian from the faculty of Bennington College leads a talk and discussion comparing Rebeck with her predecessor.  

Contact: Dina Janis or Molly Hennighausen , 802-867-2223,

Free and open to the public

This program is made possible with support from the Vermont Humanities Council


DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2017      TIME: 4:00 PM

Directly following the matinee performance DTF Artistic Director Dina Janis, will be joined by the actors and team from this World Premiere for a special audience talk back on their process.