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“Dorian’s Closet” Runs April 27–May 14 at Rep Stage

New Musical Based on Life of Female Impersonator Dorian Corey
dorian's closet on stage

Dorian's Closet opened April 27 to rave reviews! Read the accolades:

Mark Beachy of the MD Theatre Guide says, "I feel so strongly about the high quality and importance of this musical that I predict that “Dorian’s Closet” will eventually be produced Off-Broadway." And includes this behind-the-scenes video.

Allie Press of DC Metro Theatre Arts calls Dorian's Closet "strong and dramatic...Dorian’s Closet is an important musical that could easily become a classic in decades to come. Don’t miss it!"

Baltimore OUTloud interviews Joseph Ritsch, director of Rep Stage's Dorian's Closet about the genesis of the play and its relevance in today's culture.

Jayne Blanchard of DC Theatre Scene says "It's a thrilling experience. You feel like you are watching the start of something big."

From the Baltimore Sun, critic Tim Smith says, "Dorian's Closet gives an engrossing spin on famed drag artist's life."

Charles Shubow from Broadway World calls the play 'Stunning' and says, "I truly believe DORIAN'S CLOSET has a future in New York."

Columbia, MD – Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College, will premiere a new musical, “Dorian’s Closet,” based on the life of legendary female impersonator Dorian Corey. Directed by Co-Artistic Director Joseph Ritsch, with book and lyrics by Richard Mailman and music by Ryan Haase, “Dorian’s Closet” runs April 27–May 14, 2017.

 “Dorian’s Closet” is a fictionalized account of Dorian’s life and what led to the discovery of a mummified body in her Harlem apartment after her death in the early 1990s. Confronted with ridicule and prejudice, Dorian persisted in her lifelong quest for love and fame. From Dorian’s early days in New York City, through her rise to the height of the Harlem ball scene and Mother of the House of Corey, “Dorian’s Closet” takes us on a musical journey that explores just how far we will go to make our dreams a reality.

Richard Mailman, book and lyrics, is a Los Angeles-based writer and producer for theatre and television. His plays include “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World,” “The Tango,” The Dress” (Sanford Meisner Theater, New York City),  “Christopher’s Yard” (Sanford Meisner Theater, and Interact Theatre Company, Los Angeles) and “In This House.” Mailman began working as a playwright at Our Workshop East and The Sanford Meisner Theater in Manhattan. “Dorian’s Closet” is his first musical. His work as a television writer has been seen on The Sundance Channel, The History Channels, Discovery, TLC, Bravo, HBO, CBS and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN.

Ryan Haase, composer, has worked as a director, designer, and writer in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York City. His professional regional career includes designs for The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival and CenterStage. Haase is a founding member and artistic director of Stillpointe Theatre, which focuses on musical theatre and plays paired with live orchestrations. At Stillpointe, Haase has designed and directed “35mm: A Musical Exhibition,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Assassins,” and “Grey Gardens: The Musical.” Original compositions include “Shovel in the Dirt: A Grave Diggers Musical,” “Cool: Songs From an Untrained Writer,” and a musical about Ryan White that will premiere in New  York City this spring.

Stephen Scott Wormley (Barter Theatre’s “Les Miserables,” Olney Theatre’s “Once on this Island, Signature Theatre’s “Hairspray,” and the “Hairspray” concert with John Waters at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) makes his Rep Stage debut in the title role of Dorian. The production also features Dwayne Washington (“Figaro! (90210)” at The Duke 42nd Street, and “Man of La Mancha” at Bristol Riverside Theatre) as Pepper Labeija and Jay Adriel (Signature Theatre’s “DreamGirls”) as Robert Wormley (Signature Theatre’s “DreamGirls”). James Thomas Frisby plays Jesse Torres (National Tour of “South Pacific,” Olney Theatre’s “Mary Poppins,” and “Smokey Joe’s Café” at Connecticut Reparatory Theatre), with Ian Anthony Coleman as Amazing Grace (Arena Stage’s “OLIVER!,” Imagination Stage’s “Beauty and the Beast,” and Keegan Theatre’s “Dogfight”).

Rounding out the cast are Tiziano D’Affuso as Angel Romano (Imagination Stage’s “The Little Mermaid” and “American Idiot” at Keegan Theatre), Rick Westerkamp as Monica Mugler (Adventure Theatre’s “OLIVER!,” and “Urinetown” at Constellation Theatre), and Keith Richards as Detective Figueroa/Anthony Bennett/Sal Maggio (Adventure Theatre’s “OLIVER!,” The Kennedy Center’s “Children of Eden,” and Imagination Stage’s “Beauty and the Beast”).

“Dorian’s Closet” runs April 27–May 14, 2017, in the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland.

Tickets are $40 for general admission, $35 for seniors and the military, and $15 for students with a current ID. Wednesdays and the first Thursday are pay-what-you-can performances. For tickets and additional information, visit or call the box office at 443-518-1500.

CAST (Order of Appearance)

  • Stephen Scott Wormley (Dorian Corey)*
  • James Thomas Frisby (Jesse Torres)*
  • Dwayne Washington (Pepper Labeija)*
  • Richard Westerkamp (Monica Mugler)**
  • Ian Anthony Coleman (Amazing Grace)**
  • Keith Richards (Detective Figueroa/Anthony Bennett/Sal Maggio)**
  • Tiziano D’Affuso (Angel Romano)**
  • Jay Adriel (Robert Worley)*


  • Book & Lyrics: Richard Mailmani
  • Music: Ryan Haase
  • Director Joseph Ritsch#
  • Choreographer: Rachel Dolan#
  • Musical Director: Stacey Antoine
  • Scenic Design: Daniel Ettinger++
  • Lighting Design: Joseph Walls
  • Sound Design: Mark Smedley
  • Costume Design: Sarah Cubbage++
  • Properties Design: Mollie Singer
  • Stage Manager: Julie DeBakey Smith*

* Members Actor’s Equity Association

** Equity Membership Candidate
++ Member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE

#  Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

i Member of the Dramatists Guild of America

Rep Stage, a professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College, is celebrating its 24th season. The company is a member of the League of Washington Theatres, the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Theatre Communications Group. Rep Stage is recognized by Theatre Washington as a professional DC metro area theatre company and is eligible to be nominated for the Helen Hayes Awards. Performances are made possible by Howard Arts Council, Howard County Government and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the Stage of Maryland and National Endowment of the Arts, as well as through generous individual contributions. Rep Stage is proud to be a partner of Howard County Tourism and promotion. Rep Stage’s artistic leadership is helmed by co-producing artistic directors Suzanne Beal and Joseph Ritsch.

Topics: Arts & Culture
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