Vintage Players, in conjunction with Connecticut Heritage Productions, presents The Dresser by Ronald Harwood. The play, set in war-torn England of 1941, chronicles the relationship of a renowned, aging Shakespearean actor and his longtime personal dresser.
Written in 1980, the play has an autobiographical bent. During the 1950s, Ronald Harwood functioned as private dresser to the noted Shakespearean actor/manager, Sir Donald Wolfit. Harwood was well aware that during the bombing of England in World War II, Wolfit was respected for refusing to abandon his touring of the provinces, even though German bombs were causing widespread destruction throughout the countryside.
Much of Harwood's long and prolific career drew on his fascination with the stage, its performing artists, and artisans. In The Dresser, his play within a play examines the war without...and the war within. He sheds light on the narcissism, the humor, and the poignancy of "the show must go on" ethos.
Directed by Carolyn Kirsch, assisted by Ellie Howard, the cast is led by Billy Johnstone (appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity Association) as Norman and Peter Loffredo as Sir. They are supported by Warren Dutkiewicz, Teresa Langston, Natalia Katz, Carolyn Kirsch, Gerry Matthews, John Hall, and Nat Holmes.
These performances benefit the children's programs at Oddfellows Playhouse. For over 40 years Oddfellows Playhouse has provided young people in the greater Middletown area with innovative theater programs that build their self-confidence and help them gain skills that facilitate success in other parts of their lives.