Kathryn Erbe of ‘Law and
Order’ and Kohl Sudduth perform in a reading of Nicole Burdette’s
‘Utterly Changed’ in Dorset Theatre Festival’s series supporting new
plays. (Courtesy of Dorset Theatre Festival)
DORSET -- The Dorset
Theatre Festival is famous for producing world premieres, despite its
rural location. Many of those brand-new plays are not rushed over from
Broadway -- they are cooked up in an old farmhouse on the theater
The Festival hosts writers' retreats as part of its New Play
Development Program, allowing for a focused environment to work on a
production. In the past five seasons of its New Play Reading Series,
many playwrights have come to spend a week in Dorset.
"We bring the writer in with their director, and we put them all
up in our farmhouse," DTF artistic director Dina Janis said. "They're in
residence for several days working on the piece, and then they present
as part of our series."
This summer, DTF has highlihted two new works -- Theresa Rebeck's
"Zealot" and Nicole Burdette's "Utterly Changed" -- and will present a
reading of Lucy Thurber and Matt Gould's musical "Dillingham City" at 3
p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9.
"I choose writers that I think are very deserving of support,"
Janis said. "'Dillingham City' is an interesting piece. [Thurber] writes
about real working class folks. A lot of her plays are set in poor or
economically deprived American storylines, and this play looks at a
fictitious futuristic world as the economy as we know has collapsed."
"Dillingham City" -- whose details are still currently being
perfected -- focuses on love, revolution and corporate greed in a land
of independent city states.
Thurber said she drew from the idea of the classic Greek choruses
that represent the average townsperson and often comment on the "one
percent" upper class."I was interested in revolution, economic structure
and looking from the bottom up [at class status]," she said.
"['Dillingham City'] is really about the world that we're in
right now, and how it is changing in the economic fallout, and the
impact that's having on us a culture," Janis added.
This political standpoint led to the play's evolution to include music.
"Because of the Greek choruses, as it went along, there were
songs. That's when I realized I need a composer," Thurber explained.
Gould, whose music has been performed in a multitude of theatres nationwide, joined the effort to flesh out the fledgling songs.
Given its musical elements, Thurber describes the piece as a "hybrid."
"You could call it a musical or a play with music. It's not a traditional musical," she said.
Thurber had also included music in her critically acclaimed play,
"Stay," which she said represented a departure from the naturalistic
style she had used before.
"It's just become a different way of telling stories. ‘Dillingham
City' is an interesting combination of natural and highly theatrical.
It's not one or the other, although it has elements of both," she said.
Thurber's step in a new direction is exactly what the Festival hopes to promote, Janis said.
"It takes a lot of guts to do a premier," she said. "It isn't
there for the name, and you're putting yourself on the line by
committing to do it every year."
However, audiences have taken to the New Play Readings Series.
"I thought it would be secondary programming, but it has become
very popular," she said. "The house was almost entirely sold out for
Regional theaters like Dorset are where plays get their
"tryouts," Janis went on to explain. Because the economic pressure is
much less than in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, a place like Dorset
"allows the play to get on its feet."
Although the new plays are still in the stages of development,
they draw big-name talent. Actress Alfre Woodard ("12 Years A Slave" and
TV's "True Blood") came in to read for "Zealot." For "Utterly Changed,"
Kathryn Erbe of "Law and Order" starred.
"We get a lot of well-known actors that are interested in coming
[to DTF] because they have a chance to work on a new piece that they may
develop a relationship with and work on in the future," Janis said.
"We've been graced with tremendous actors. It's partly how we've built a
lot of the community and talent that we have. It stems from first
bringing in these writers."
If you go ...
What: The Dorset Theatre Festival's New Play Reading Series presents Lucy Thurber and Matt Gould's ‘Dillingham City'
When: 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9
Where: Dorset Theatre Festival, 104 Cheney Road, Dorset
Information: (802) 867-2223 or dorsettheatrefestival.org
"Kill for Me," an independent thriller tracking an ex-con's race to save his son, is filming in Amsterdam now through Aug. 10.
According to producer Benjamin Bickham,
the film is set in present-day New York state — though not Amsterdam
specifically — and features a cast that includes television actor Bailey Chase of "Saving Grace" and film, stage and TV presence Dylan Baker of "Happiness," "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" and an Emmy-winning guest stint on "The Good Wife."
"Kill for Me," Chase plays Charlie, who is at the tail end of a 20-year
sentence. Baker plays Hank, a correction officer whose life Charlie
saves during an altercation with another prisoner. On the day of
Charlie's release, Bickham explained, the other inmate issues a threat.
"He says, 'Don't you have a son on the outside?' And he says, 'Well, I
have people on the outside, too.' And he says, 'You'd better find him
first, or he's gonna be dead.'" After that, "It's basically a ticking
clock. Gotta find him first."
Written by Raymond Kwok, the film is being directed by Tim McCann,
whom Bickham described as "a very dark, gritty, thriller-genre
director." Among the other films the pair have worked on together is
"The Aftermath," which follows an addict who risks his life trying to
return a necklace to his estranged wife.
On Thursday, the
shooting was at Sweet's East End Repair at 196 West Main St. and Herk's
Tavern at 65 Bridge St. The filmmakers chose to shoot in and around
Amsterdam "for a couple reasons," Bickham said. For starters: Montgomery
County offers an additional 10 percent tax credit for film productions
beyond the state's 30 percent.
They also liked the older, grungier
look of some of its buildings, he said. "Amsterdam has some great
industrial sites, and, you know, you can spend millions of dollars
trying to build things that look that way. And we're here, and
Aside from locations in Amsterdam, "Kill for Me"
will also shoot scenes in Schenectady and Albany. The movie, budgeted at
"just under half a million dollars," will likely spend from eight
months to a year in post-production. The filmmakers are working on
distribution plans, Bickham said.
The shooting of a small-budget, independent film in Amsterdam is
exoected to generate about $300,000 in economic activity, according to
the film's producer.
The movie is called Kill For Me, and stars Bailey Chase in the lead role
of a man who spends twenty years in prison then gets out to try to save
his son, who had been threatened while his father was locked up.
Written by Raymond Kwok, the filming takes advantage of some of
Amsterdam's old factories and less-than-beautiful parts of the city.
Kwok is also a producer on the project and said he wanted to make the
film in New York, partly to take advantage of the state's tax credits
offered to filmmakers.
The filming is about half finished. Producer Benjamin Brant Bickham,
whose brother lives in Niskayuna, said it's not clear yet how nor when
the movie might open, suggesting it might first be seen on the festival
circuit. He said it's being made with a budget of about $500,000 and a
crew of around forty.
The Binder-Project is really complete. After much work we received amazing response of Eric, Vincent and Kathryn. Thanks so much to all the writer, thanks so much to the crew and thanks so much to Vincent, Kathryn and Eric. Visit our blog to read about every detail of the project. Just click: Here
This site is for entertainment purposes only. I don’t earn any money with it, nor do I profit in any other way.
I do not own any of the shown pictures. I’ll credit every time to the owner and name my sources. - Photo of the header by Colleen Lynch, Cedar Hill Photography; picture editing by me.
The most caps I show will come from http://www.galleries.strangevisitor.org/. I did a few by myself but didn’t plan to label them (too much work). Doing caps is very easy and I think everyone can do that.
It would be nice when you credit after taking my icons or other artwork. I really love to do and share them.
Don’t claim my writing as yours. It was a long journey to come to the point I’m now and there is a even longer way before me.
I love to read comments to my entries. Let me know what you like and what you don’t like. Just with your feedback I can learn and do better in future.