World Premiere of "Orwell in America"

Northern Stage, the region’s award-winning professional theater, to produce Orwell in America, a World Premiere Production

Orwell in America, written by preeminent playwright Joe Sutton, runs live on stage at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, VT, March 11 through March 29. For tickets and information, call 802-296-7000 or visit Tickets start at $15.

In the first years after World War II, George Orwell, author of Animal Farm, is chaperoned on an American book tour by a fetching young woman, provided by the publisher, whose job is to dissuade Orwell from telling America why he is a proud socialist.

This beautiful, smart, and thought-provoking drama was first presented in a staged reading at Northern Stage’s inaugural New Works Now festival last season, to great audience and critical acclaim. Northern Stage is thrilled now to present the world premiere of this production. Artistic Director Carol Dunne says, "I chose this play to be Northern Stage’s first world premiere play because it so beautifully illuminates the widening gap between the haves and have-nots experienced after World War II and accelerating today. Joe Sutton is an internationally acclaimed playwright and faculty member of Dartmouth College, and it is time for his work to be produced in this, his home region.  Starring Jamie Horton and directed by Peter Hackett, both also of Dartmouth College, this world premiere is a result of the blossoming relationship between Dartmouth College and Northern Stage and is a milestone for Northern Stage in the launching of new plays!”

Orwell in America is written by Joe Sutton, Playwright and Visiting Associate Professor (and alumnus) of Dartmouth College. Sutton has had a prestigious career as a playwright and has taught playwriting at such leading professional institutions as New Dramatists and HB Studios in New York. His work has been produced by such theaters as London’s Old Vic, Seattle Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, BAM, Arena Stage, Long Wharf, the Old Globe, as well as other theaters around the country and abroad. In addition to receiving fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, Professor Sutton’s work has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and for “Best Play” by the American Theatre Critics Association. He has won the FDG/CBS Playwriting Award and the Beverly Hills Theater Guild Playwriting Award. His work has been published by Oberon Books, TCG, Dramatists Play Service, and Broadway Play Publishing.

Our production stars Jamie Horton, associate Professor of Theatre at Dartmouth College and former principle actor with the Tony-winning Denver Theater Center. Horton played over eighty leading roles on the DCTC stages and was an active part of the company's new play development program. Directing and acting work have taken him to other theaters around the country, including the Creede Repertory Theatre, the Commonweal Theatre Company, the Mark Taper Forum, the Cleveland Play House, and, closer to home, the New London Barn Playhouse and Northern Stage, where he played Juror #8 in last season’s Twelve Angry Men. He has worked extensively in film, television, and radio -- as actor, screenwriter, and producer. He played a small role in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and was the recipient of a Fox Foundation Fellowship in 2003.  Artistic Director Dunne adds “Jamie’s performance as Orwell in New Works Now 2014 was so exciting, I knew we had to move this piece to our main stage series!”

Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays; sponsored by A.B. Guile, Inc., Lake Sunapee Bank, and Summit Wealth Group. A companion event Athena Lecture “The Playwright’s Journey: Conversation with Joe Sutton” will be held at the Briggs Opera House on Sunday, March 15, from 3:30-4:30 PM. This conversation is free and open to the public.

Discounted tickets are available for preview performances March 11-13. New this season is a $20 Tuesday on March 17 (all tickets $20), a $15 Anytime Student ticket, available for any performance, and lower top ticket prices. A complimentary post-show reception with the cast follows the opening night performance on Saturday, March 14.

Northern Stage is a regional non-profit professional theater that seeks to entertain, challenge, and involve its audiences with ambitious productions. Based in the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River, Northern Stage brings national and area talent together on an intimate stage in diverse classic, contemporary, and new plays and musicals. One of only four independent theaters in the nation that is at least 40 miles from an urban center, exceeds $750,000 in annual ticket revenue, and produces a season of seven months or more, Northern Stage has offered over 100 productions in its 17-year history, and annual attendance is now over 25,000.