Press Releases

Dorset Theatre Festival announces Dance Party Ball fundraiser

Aug 5 2022, 1:34 PM

6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
860 Southern Vermont Arts Center Dr.
Manchester, VT
Arkell Pavilion

(Dorset, VT– July 26, 2022) Dorset Theatre Festival is excited to announce the first Dance Party Ball as the organization’s 2022 annual fundraising event. The Dance Party Ball will take place at the Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Arkell Pavilion in Manchester, VT on Saturday, August 13 at 6:30 PM, and feature a live DJ, dancing, live auction, and more.

“We were very excited to go back to a traditional season in our summer home at Dorset Playhouse, but we were less excited to go back to a traditional gala,” said Dorset’s Board President Mary-Anne Van Degna. “For many years we’ve been looking for an ‘un-gala’ idea to make the annual fundraiser more fun. This year, we just want to dance, have a good time, and celebrate that we are still here,” Van Degna said.

The event is billed as a night to get dressed up and party with friends, dance the night away, and help keep the tradition of professional theatre alive in Southern Vermont by supporting Dorset Theatre Festival. Admission to the event includes an open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, and food stations from the Curate Cafe. Reserved premium tables on the dance floor inside the pavilion, as well as reserved tables under the tent outside, are available for purchase. Single ticket holders will have a reserved theatre seat inside the Arkell Pavilion. The event will feature DJ Mikey Palms, a dance-off competition starring local community members, and a live auction. Acclaimed auctioneer, Chris Ward, will auction off once-in-a-lifetime experiences including a private flight piloted by actor Treat Williams and a private dinner with prolific writer Theresa Rebeck.

“It’s definitely going to be an event you don't want to miss. And if you are going to miss it, there are still plenty of ways to support or get involved,” said Mary-Anne Van Degna, who is also chairing the event. “Live theatre has had an incredibly difficult time the past two years, and producing professional theatre home-grown in Vermont at the Dorset Theatre Festival is an important part of the Southern Vermont arts economy. Anyone who wants to see our arts continue to thrive in our community needs to step up and support a local organization,” Van Degna said.

In conjunction with the Dance Party Ball, Dorset Theatre Festival is also hosting an online auction, offering a Healy Ridge 24 Electric Bike and items from local businesses including JK Adams, Church Street Hospitality, Vermont Kitchen Supply, and more. Find the online auction on the event’s webpage at Some winners will be announced live at the event.

Supporters of Dorset Theatre Festival who are unable to attend are still encouraged to make a donation. Businesses and individuals are also invited to support thorough sponsorship with in-kind donations or event underwriting. Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Dorset Theatre Festival’s Marketing and Development Director, Ryan Koss, at [email protected].

Tickets to the special event are on sale now. More information is available on Dorset’s website Dorset Theatre Festival is a registered 501(c)3 organization, and a portion of the ticket price will be a tax-deductible donation.

Tickets and Subscriptions for the 2022 season are on sale now.


Dorset Theatre Festival’s box office may be reached by calling (802) 867-2223 ext. 101, Wednesday through Friday, 12 – 4 pm. For more information, or to purchase subscriptions and tickets online, visit

Support For Dorset Theatre Festival is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation, the Rodgers Family Foundation, the James H. and Irene M. Hunter Charitable Trust, and the members of the Dorset Theatre Festival World Premiere Circle.

The Festival’s summer home at the Dorset Playhouse is an intimate 298-seat theatre built from two pre-revolutionary barns. The Playhouse has been owned and operated by the community group, The Dorset Players, Inc., since 1929, and became host to the professional Equity Summer Festival, now Dorset Theatre Festival, in 1977.

Since 2010, Dorset Theatre Festival has become a national incubator for new play development, known for highlighting new plays amidst regional premieres, and invigorating interpretations of classic works, as well as a commitment to acclaimed new play development programs nurturing new voices and new audiences for the American Theatre.

Dorset Theatre Festival's mission is to create bold, innovative, and authentic theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, and economically broad region: enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring our audience through the celebration of great plays. We produce theatre that matters.

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