DORSET >> Running June 16 through July 2 as part of a bold experiment and historic collaboration one trilogy, one cast, one creative team, three directors, three plays, three theaters, three Vermont towns Dorset Theatre Festival presents "Table Manners," the second play in Alan Ayckbourn's acclaimed comic trilogy, "The Norman Conquests."
In a historic collaboration Dorset Theatre Festival, Weston Playhouse, and Northern Stage have banded together to each present one play from Alan Ayckbourn's classic trilogy, "The Norman Conquests." A meditation on loneliness, family, and marriage, the plays are both wildly funny and poignant, as the complex relationships amongst six characters are examined. All three plays are set during the sexual revolution of the 1970s and take place over the same weekend at an English country estate, each in a different part of the house.
Dina Janis, Dorset Theatre Festival's artistic director, first suggested "The Norman Conquests" as a possible collaboration between the theaters during a series of meetings that took place in 2015. Janis says, "From the start, it's been an exhilarating process for everyone involved and we are certain audiences are going to feel that energy." Opening on June 16, "Table Manners," second in the trilogy, is helmed by renowned director Evan Yionoulis, known to regional audiences for her recent revival of "Hapgood" at Williamstown Theatre Festival, with a creative team that includes set designer David Arsenault, costume designer Charles Schoonmaker, lighting designer Stuart Duke, and sound designer Jane Shaw.
"It is so exciting to see our audiences cross-pollinate, with our audiences travelling to each theatre, discovering both the brilliance of the trilogy and Vermont's top theatres at the same time," says Molly Hennighausen, Dorset Theatre Festival managing director. On Sunday, June 19 at 1 p.m. at the Dorset Playhouse director Evan Yionoulis, the artistic directors, and the design team for The Norman Conquests will share their experience in moving this historic trilogy from theatre to theatre while creating the world of the play.
The Dorset Theatre Festival creates bold and innovative theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring its audience through the celebration of plays produced with the highest degree of artistry. For more information on this program as well as the Festival in general, go to dorsettheatrefestival.org or call (802) 867-2223.