Dorset Theatre Festival

Play in Vermont

Each summer the Dorset Theatre Festival mounts five Main Stage productions in their intimate theatre, built from three pre-revolutionary barns in 1929. Some of the country’s most talented playwrights, actors, and directors flock to DTF, where staging dramatic classics, producing great plays from contemporary canon, and providing a platform for fresh new theatrical voices are always top priorities. Above all, the festival is always pursuing its single mission: to create an environment in which audiences can experience thought-provoking, inspiring, and entertaining live theatre.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dina Janis, Dorset is garnering accolades for its commitment to new play development and is proud to encourage a new generation of playwrights to test their voices here. “We discover new talent. We launch new plays that go on to national acclaim and the lights of Broadway. We mount regional premieres of Tony Award-winning plays to bring the best of Off-Broadway to Vermont,” says Janis.

Through their Giving Back program and educational outreach, Dorset also evens the playing field for underserved populations and families and welcomes them into the theatre experience. They partner with other non‐profit organizations to support creativity, build community engagement, and enrich the cultural landscape. “Our goal is to make excellent theatre a shared community experience and inspire our audiences to think, laugh, and feel long after the curtain falls.”


"With great lodging, restaurants shopping and a legendary swimming hole nearby, Dorset, Vermont is a great summer destination for theatre lovers who want everything, and are looking for more than just the same old straw hat offerings. Dina Janis knows her audiences."

Larry Murray, Berkshire on Stage

Our New Play Reading Series features three established writers in public readings of new work in development. Writers are invited to spend several days at our Farmhouse Retreat with their chosen team of actors and director, in an atmosphere in which there is no pressure for performance results – only a respect for process itself as the end goal. The culmination of this work is a public sharing of their exploration of a new work with our New Play Reading Series subscribers. In a short time, this series has become a successful, vibrant and anticipated aspect of our summer program offerings. In retreat, DTF has served as a home to some of the most innovative playwrights working today, including Rajiv Joseph, Samuel L. Hunter, Adam Rapp, Laura Eason, Anna Ziegler, Ken Weitzman , Nicole Burdette, and Cusi Cram, among others.

White clapboard architecture, marble sidewalks, and a charming town green. Just steps from the theatre, you’ll find country inns, sophisticated farm to table dining, artist studios, walking paths…and Manchester!

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