Dorset Theatre Festival presents "Dear Elizabeth"


"I see a postman everywhere

Vanishing in thin blue air,

A mammoth letter in his hand.

Postmarked from a foreign land."

— Elizabeth Bishop, Dream, Uncollected Poems, Drafts and Fragments

DORSET >> Running July 8 through July 23, Dorset Theatre Festival is proud to present the Regional Premiere of Sarah Ruhl's acclaimed play Dear Elizabeth. Dear Elizabeth chronicles the unconventional and remarkable 30-year friendship between two of the most honored American poets of the 20th century: Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

While she was on bed-rest with twins, Sarah Ruhl one of the most honored playwrights of her generation was given the complete correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, Words in Air, and an already long-standing obsession with Elizabeth Bishop expanded to include Robert Lowell and their thirty-year friendship. Chronicling the unconventional and remarkable friendship between two of the most celebrated and honored American poets of the 20th century with postmarks from Maine to Key West, and as far away as London and South America Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth is a lyrical and moving portrait of two lives that unfold in letters.

A recent hit Off-Broadway at The Women's Project, Dear Elizabeth will be helmed by director Adrienne Campbell-Holt, known to regional audiences for her acclaimed work on Dorset Theatre Festival's productions of Red starring Tim Daly, and The Scene by Theresa Rebeck. Elizabeth Bishop will be played by Andrea Syglowski with Chris Henry Coffey as Robert Lowell. The creative team includes Lighting Designer, Grant W.S. Yeager; Set Designer and Costume Designer, John McDermott, and Sound Designer, Amy Altadonna. The production also includes Kevin Ramsey as Video Production Designer. Dorset Theatre Festival's Director of Design, Michael Giannitti comments, "We are thrilled to once again use the new technology of video projection design to create the kind of powerful imagery a play like this evokes, something we experimented with so successfully last season in our production of Outside Mullingar."

Dorset Theatre Festival's Artistic Director, Dina Janis, says, "The heartbeat of Dear Elizabeth, one of Ruhl's finest plays, is something central to all our lives, friendship; a glorious examination of the true nature of friendship as voiced by two of the most exceptional writers of our time. It's a play for anyone for all of us and a timely reminder of what truly matters in life."

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 great plays produced with the highest degree of artistry. For more information on this program as well as the Festival in general, please go to or call 802-867-2223.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions