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Theater education and production in Northfield, VT

Dirt Road Theater is a theater education and production company based in Northfield, VT, founded by Dominic and Maren Spillane. With a passion for original work, DRT's mission is centered around creating theater that explores the joys, struggles, and imagination of our everyday lives. We wholeheartedly believe in the power of theater-making and story-telling as a tool for building whole, healthy people, relationships, and communities. Throughout the year Dirt Road Theater offers camps, classes, and other educational opportunities for kids and adults.

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Maren Langdon Spillane –

After getting her graduate degree in education, Maren lived and worked as an actor in New York City for several years. Since moving back to her native Vermont, Maren has fully embraced her role as theater educator; in addition to teaching and directing for Dirt Road Theater, she has worked in a variety of schools, including Norwich University, U-32, The Warren School, Pacem School, Northfield Middle and Elementary schools, and ArtisTree Community Arts Center. Maren continues to act locally whenever she can, and has enjoyed working with Green Room Productions, Unadilla Theater, Stowe Theater Guild, Dirt Road Theater, Lost Nation Theater, Pushcart Productions, and Middlebury Acting Company. One of her favorite acting jobs to date is performing DRT’s episodic story podcast, Fairies and Dragons, Ponies and Knights.

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Dominic grew up in Colorado and has spent many years acting, directing, teaching, and producing in Los Angeles, New York City, and Vermont. As a teaching artist Dominic spent two years with The Unusual Suspects Theater Company in Los Angeles teaching theater and improvisation to at-risk youth ages 10 to 16. Most recently Dominic has taught acting, stage production, and playwriting with Dog River Ed., and Dirt Road Theater. He is currently developing an online platform for the performing arts called TheaterEngine, while writing and producing Dirt Road Theater’s episodic story podcast, Fairies and Dragons, Ponies and Knights. Recent acting credits include Act 39 (Pushcart Productions, Dirt Road Theater's sketch comedy show Customer Service, Much Ado About Nothing (Stowe Theatre Guild), and Constellations (Green Room Productions). Dominic was also thrilled to direct the world premiere of Vermont playwright Tamar Cole's The Ties That Bind produced by Dirt Road Theater and performed at the Barre Unitarian Universalist Church. 


Tamar Cole – Tamar Cole is a teacher and writer for stage, screen and television. She was a finalist at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference with her play Rhymes and Reasons and has written five additional plays including Variations On A Theme, for which she received a fellowship at the CAP21 theater residency in New York City. Screenplays include Living Conditions, optioned by Director/Producer Taylor Hackford and Producer Graham Leader, that was developed for, and with, Helen Mirren. She has also written for TV, and is co-creator of The System, a TV series about foster care and the department of Children and Families, currently in development. For seven years Tamar was the Director of the Whalebone Mentoring Program on Long Island, where she tutored children ages five to eighteen in math and language arts skills. She currently coaches writers of all ages, and has a special appreciation for the imagination and energy of children.

Rebecca Pearish - Originally from Indianapolis, Rebecca fell in love with acting after her very first performance in a middle school play (she was portraying Gladys Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in case you were curious). Her interest in theater led her to earn a minor in Theater & Drama alongside her degree in Political Science from Indiana University Bloomington. Before landing in Vermont, Rebecca lived in Champaign, Illinois where she worked with adults with disabilities in a day program, occasionally substitute taught, and spent two summers working for the Illinois Migrant Education Program. After becoming a Stay at Home Parent to her oldest daughter, Rebecca discovered that singing songs, telling stories, and engaging in creative play with young children was her absolute favorite thing in the world. Avocation turned into vocation in 2019 when Rebecca became the Youth Services Librarian at the Brown Public Library in Northfield where she is lucky enough to lead weekly playgroups and Storytimes with many small friends. She loves to act in local theater whenever her schedule allows.

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