Tony Nominee Stephen Kunken, Valerie Wright, Evan Thompson Among Troupers in Vermont Noises Off

News   Tony Nominee Stephen Kunken, Valerie Wright, Evan Thompson Among Troupers in Vermont Noises Off Dorset Theatre Festival, in the rolling hills of Vermont, presents Michael Frayn's Noises Off — featuring Tony Award nominee Stephen Kunken and Broadway's Evan Thompson, Valerie Wright and Amelia White, among others — July 28-Aug. 13.

Stephen Kunken
Stephen Kunken

New York City-based director Jenn Thompson (The Eccentricities of a Nightingale) directs a new production of the 1982 backstage farce, using Frayn's most recent revision of his script, reflecting changes to Act Three.

Thompson was recently named co-artistic director of Off-Broadway's TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. In Dorset, VT, she has gathered a tight-knit esemble of friends, family and past collaborators to put together the intensely choreographed, door-slamming backstage comedy in a short two-week rehearsal schedule. Thompson has cast her father, veteran actor Evan (Broadway's 1776, Arena's recent A Time to Kill) as aging actor Selsdon; her husband, Kunken (a Featured Actor Tony nominee for Enron) as director Lloyd; and longtime collaborator Wright (Broadway's Elf, Steel Pier, Damn Yankees) as Belinda. Also in the ensemble cast are Amelia White (Broadway's The Heiress, Crazy for You) as Dotty, Kate Middleton (Off-Broadway's The Late Christopher Bean by TACT) as Brooke, Matthew Schneck (Off-Broadway's The Temperamentals) as Garry, Oliver Wadsworth (Off-Broadway's Endpapers, Wally's Ghost) as Freddie, Jake Green as Tim and Nilanjana Bose (Off-Broadway's The Memorandum by TACT) as Poppy.

Director Thompson said in production notes that she wanted to "turn away from the play's cynicism," seeking more than "gags and making fun of actors' egos." The goal is "emphasizing their humanity. Making them real and vulnerable people only makes the play and what happens to these characters that much funnier."

Performances play the Dorset Playhouse Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM and matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. For more information and to order tickets call (802) 867-2223 or visit www.dorsettheatrefestival.org.

* DTF's artistic director is Dina Janis, who took over the leadership of the not-for-profit organization in summer 2010. Read more about the history of DTF and the Dorset Playhouse.

The cast of <i>Noises Off</i> at Dorset Theatre Festival. L-R, back row: Oliver Wadsworth, Matthew Schneck, Amelia White, Evan Thompson, Stephen Kunken. Middle: Valerie Wright, Kate Middleton. Kneeling: Jake Green, Nilanjana Bose.
The cast of Noises Off at Dorset Theatre Festival. L-R, back row: Oliver Wadsworth, Matthew Schneck, Amelia White, Evan Thompson, Stephen Kunken. Middle: Valerie Wright, Kate Middleton. Kneeling: Jake Green, Nilanjana Bose.
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