March 2, 2021

AMERICAN THEATRE | Dorset Theatre Festival Names New Fellows, Commissionees


Wilder, Gancher, Crowther, Cram, Carroll, and Braden.

DORSET, VT.: Dorset Theatre Festival has announced the launch of its new Commissioning and Fellowship Program, welcoming four new playwrights and director Jade King Carroll as a resident artist.

“We believe in centering artists as we move forward now, determined to help build the American theatre that will come next,” artistic director Dina Janis said in a statement. “I consider Jade one of the most important and visionary thinkers of our time, and it is an honor to have her join me now as resident artist helping to lead the Festival forward.”

Carroll has worked as a director at the Festival for the past three years, and her work has also been produced at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), Hartford Stage, and PlayMakers Repertory Company, among other places. She also served as associate director for A Streetcar Named Desire and The Gin Game on Broadway.

“This fellowship is not about the product of a single play, but the support of an entire artist,” Carroll said. “As the Festival plans for the future in this uncertain time, the one certainty is that theatre starts in an artist’s mind, so we are investing in just that.”

The festival’s new fellows include playwrights Jihan Crowther and Josh Wilder, who will join commissioned playwrights Cusi Cram and Sarah Gancher.

Crowther’s work has been developed and produced at Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), and Cornerstone Theater Company, among others. She has been an Emerging Artists Fellow at NYTW and a member of EST’s Youngblood. She has also received two EST/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation commissions and is an affiliate artist at New Georges.

Wilder is a Philadelphia playwright whose work has been developed, commissioned, and produced at the Fire This Time Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Kennedy Center, among others. He is a former Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center and the first recipient of the Jerome Many Voices Fellowship.

Cram will be adapting the novel The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Vermont writer Ann Braden. A playwright, screenwriter, and director, Cram has had work produced at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, SolFest Latinx Theater Festival, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, among others. She received three Emmy nominations for her work on the WGBH children’s program “Arthur.”

Gancher’s work has been seen at the National Theatre in London, Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, the Quarter6Quarter7 Festival in Budapest, and many theatres across the U.S. A recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Award, Gancher is a frequent collaborator with Blue Man group and Cirque du Soleil.

In addition to the commissioning and fellowship program, the Festival has also commissioned playwrights Chisa Hutchinson and Theresa Rebeck for their new StageFree Audio Plays, which will premiere later this year.

Dorset Theatre Festival’s mission is to create bold, innovative, and authentic theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational, and economically broad audience.

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