THEATER REVIEW: “Downstairs” @ Dorset Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

June 30th, 2017, 1:00 pm by Sara
Tim Daly and Tyne Daly

Tim Daly and Tyne Daly

Review by Gail M. Burns

Both playwright Theresa Rebeck and actor Tim Daly have close relationships the state of Vermont and the Dorset Theatre Festival. When Mr. Daly was starring in Rebeck’s play The Scene at Dorset in 2013, he suggested that she write a play for him and his sister Tyne Daly to do together. While they have appeared in film and on television together, they have never shared the stage. In this world premiere of Rebeck’s Downstairs they play a brother and sister of similar age to the actors, but there the resemblances ends.

In a recent interview with Stratton Magazine, Rebeck spoke of the influences that her surroundings in Vermont, including her home in Dorset, had on Downstairs. “The specific idea for the play grew out of them and also out of the basement of our guesthouse in Vermont,” Rebeck explains. “It is a strange and interesting space to me, and I thought it might be great to set a play there.”

In that same Stratton interview, Ms. Daly is quoted as saying: “I’ve concluded after 56 years in this business, that I don’t believe in art that doesn’t move you. It has to move you. You have to rile people up either with funny, or scary, or things to think about.”

Downstairs hits all three of Ms Daly’s goals. It is moving, funny and scary, and it gives one many things to think about.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Local Murder Mystery Comes to Dorset Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

June 8th, 2017, 1:00 pm by Sara
Oliver Wadsworth as one of the many characters in “The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.” Photo: Riikka Olson

Oliver Wadsworth as one of the many characters in “The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.” Photo: Riikka Olson

By Gail M. Burns

In 1812 Russell Colvin, a farm worker who all agreed was “feeble-minded,” disappeared from the Boorn family farm in East Manchester, Vermont, where he, his wife and their many children lived with her family. Seven years later, two of his brothers-in-law, Stephen and Jesse Boorn, were accused of murdering Colvin, and sentenced to hang. At almost the eleventh hour, a man claiming to be Russell Colvin was identified in New Jersey and brought to Manchester, where everyone agreed that this was indeed the missing man. Charges were dropped.

This is a very brief synopsis of the true story actor Oliver Wadsworth will bring to the stage in The Tarnation of Russell Colvin at the Dorset Theatre Festival for four performances this week (today-June 10), before touring it to Jamaica VT on Thursday, June 22; Wardsboro VT on Saturday, June 24; and South Londonderry VT on Friday, June 30.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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