Dorset, VT: Dorset Theatre Festival will stage Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, a moving story that confronts race and religion, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, from June 25th through July 5th, 2015. Intimate Apparel is the recipient of the American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play. “This is a profoundly moving play about people who have been marginalized and erased from the public record,” says Dina Janis, Dorset Theatre Festival Artistic Director. “It is fascinating to look at our shared history through the eyes of an African American woman living in New York City in 1905, and it has been exciting for our team to recreate that time and place and bring it to life.”
Intimate Apparel tells the story of Esther, a lonely black seamstress who stitches sumptuous corsets and negligees alone in her boarding house bedroom. When she receives a letter from a workman digging the Panama Canal, she begins to dream of sewing her own trousseau, eventually negotiating the choice between a love that is accepted and one that is true.
Playing the central role of Esther will be Marinda Anderson, seen recently in the World Premiere of Fairfield at Cleveland Playhouse and also in Macbeth at Lincoln Center. Her solo show about jazz legend Sarah Vaughan was performed at LaMama Theatre.
Janie Brookshire will portray Mrs. Van Buren, Esther’s socialite client, who struggles in a loveless marriage. Janie was seen on Broadway in The Philanthropist and Man and Superman at Irish Repertory Theatre.
Avery Glymph will play George, a worker on the Panama Canal, who wins Esther through his letters. He was seen on Broadway in The Tempest and at the Roundabout Theatre in McReele.
Elain Graham, as Mrs. Dickson, the owner of a boarding house for women where Esther lives and works, recently performed in Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live at Primary Stages in NYC, and can be seen in the upcoming 17th season of Law & Order.
Charles Socarides, as Mr. Marks, an Orthodox Jewish textile merchant who is drawn to Esther, was in Dorset Theatre Festival’s production of Red last season co-starring with Tim Daly. Other credits include appearing in the film Bad Hurt as well as in both Awake and Sing and Old Money at Lincoln Center.
Chantal Jean-Pierre will portray Mayme, Esther’s boarding house friend and a prostitute. She is known to regional audiences for having played the role of Ruth in the Weston Playhouse production of A Raisin in the Sun, as well as nationally for playing Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre.
Playwright Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined received Obie, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play. She is the recipient of the 2007 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, and the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama.
Director Giovanna Sardelli is a resident director for the Dorset Theatre Festival having directed The Pavilion, Murder on the Nile, Good People, Clybourne Park, Dial M For Murder, and Deathtrap in the past. Her upcoming work includes Halftime with Don by Ken Weitzman at O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph at the Geffen Playhouse.
The design team includes Andrew Boyce, scenic design; Sydney Maresca, costume design; Michael Giannitti, lighting design; and Ryan Rumery, sound design. Intimate Apparel Production Sponsors are JOY All Things Underthings, The Barn Restaurant, and Season Sponsor, Manchester Designer Outlets.
Special Event programming for this production includes a special Pre-Show talk with Williams College Professor of History, Gretchen Long, who will speak on Black Women in the United States. She will be joined by members of the production team on July 2 at 6 pm in the DTF Gallery Cafe. Also scheduled is a special July 4th Matinee performance at 3:00 which will include pre-show Holiday Festivities with hot dogs and free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cones.
Ticket prices range from $20- $49 for adults. Student tickets are $20 and youth (12 and under) pay only $8 for any performance. Save up to 15% over single ticket prices by purchasing a subscription for the Summer 2015 Season. For more information and details about these and other special events at the Playhouse, call 802-867-2223 or visit dorsettheatrefestival.org.