As the artistic director of the Dorset Theatre Festival, a host of the LAByrinth Theatre Company’s workshops at Bennington, and a member of the famed Actor’s Studio, Dina Janis has studied, worked with, and supported some of the most talented actors, writers, and directors working in theatre today.
Janis has served as the artistic director of the Dorset Theatre Festival for the past six years, where she recently directed the acclaimed production of The Whipping Man by Mathew Lopez and Out of the City by Leslie Ayvazian. As part of her work at the Festival, Janis runs their acclaimed New Play Development Program in conjunction with Theresa Rebeck and The Lark New Play Development Center. Writers Janis has hosted as part of this program include Martyna Majok, Adam Rapp, Samuel L. Hunter, Sherry Kramer, Laura Eason, and Cusi Cram, among others. She has served as one of the contributors to the renowned Kilroy List for the past two years. This list attempts to address gender equity in new play production nationally.
During the summers of 2005–08, Janis hosted the renowned LAByrinth Theatre Company and their well-known Lab Intensive at Bennington College. This intensive brought more than 150 top theatre artists together for two weeks each summer for the purpose of developing new plays. Some of the artists who have participated in the past include Eric Bogosian, Sam Rockwell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ellen Burstyn, John Patrick Shanley, and Stephen Adly Guirgis.
Janis is a lifetime member of the famed Actors Studio, currently led by Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino, and Harvey Keitel. As an actor she trained directly with Kim Stanley, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner. She has taught at Bennington since 2000.