Premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s “The Way of the World” set for Dorset Theatre Festival

Opening July 28 and running through August 13, 2016 Dorset Theatre Festival continues its commitment to developing new plays with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s The Way of the World, a contemporary retelling of the sardonic masterpiece by William Congreve.

Winner of the prestigious Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for 2016, The Way of the World is set in the demimonde of the hyper-rich Hamptons and follows the story of a good-hearted heiress who has become prey to the attentions of an amoral party boy. After the callow seduction her aunt, making the older woman a figure of public ridicule, their romance is dead in the water. But his insistence on winning back the moneyed heroine fuels the summer’s gossip in the land of the one-percent. Can love emerge in a world where love means nothing? While embracing a language completely of the moment, the play faithfully revels in Congreve’s gimlet-eyed questions about society. Theresa Rebeck herself will helm the production, bringing with her a star-studded cast, including Drama Desk winner and Tony Award nominee, Kristine Nielsen.

Commenting on the play and the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Dorset Theatre Festival’s Managing Director, Molly Hennighausen, says, “The development and production of The Way of the World sets a new benchmark for the Festival and we are thrilled that our dedication to supporting the creation of new work has gotten the attention of The Edgerton Foundation, known nationally for their stalwart commitment to New Play Development on the highest level.” Notable past winners of the Edgerton Award include, Next to Normal in 2010, Water by the Spoonful in 2012, The Flick in 2014, and Hamilton in 2016.

Acclaimed playwright and writer, Theresa Rebeck has just finished shooting Trouble, an indie comedy-drama she wrote, directed and co-produced, starring Anjelica Huston, David Morse and Bill Pullman. Recent New York productions include, Seminar, starring the late Alan Rickman, Dead Accounts, starring Katie Holmes, and the hit NBC TV series, Smash. A noted author, her third and most recent novel, I’m Glad About You, was published by Putnam in February of 2016. Dina Janis, Artistic Director of the Festival, says of Rebeck, “To anyone familiar with Theresa and her work, it came as no surprise when she was named one of the “150 Fearless Women in the World” by Newsweek Magazine. She’s fiercely talented, and an inspiration; this play is her at her best.”

The Dorset Theatre Festival creates bold and innovative theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring its audience through the celebration of great plays produced with the highest degree of artistry. For more information on this program as well as the Festival in general, please go to or call (802) 867-2223.

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