When I was an English major in college (back in the 60s), I became interested in the woman playwright Aphra Behn—quite possibly the first female playwright in English literature. I am thrilled to learn that a play has been written about this gutsy woman and that it will be performed at Rep Stage, the professional Equity theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC).
WHEN: August 31 – September 18, 2011; A post-show reception follows the Saturday, September 3, evening performance and free post-show discussions follow the September 9 and 16 performances.*
The free love of the '60s — the 1660s — is riotously explored in this recent Off-Broadway sleeper hit based on real-life playwright Aphra Behn's life as an undercover spy and her romantic romps through Restoration England in order to gain entry into the boys' playwriting club.
Christopher Isherwood, in his New York Times review of Or, wrote, "Luminaries of 17th-century England are resurrected...in Or, a playful, funny and inventive comedy by Liz Duffy Adams...her language has a natural period flavor and a formidable wit; her characters possess the spark of fully animated spirits; and she weaves into her story both biographical detail and cultural context with grace.”
“Or, is a perfect way to kick off Rep Stage’s 2011-12 season, in that it is a celebration of all things theatrical,” says Michael Stebbins, Rep Stage’s producing artistic director and the director of Or,. “Or, is a bow to Restoration theater and history. Liz Duffy Adams brings Aphra Behn and Nell Gwyn, two female artistic trailblazers of their day, back to life and back to the theater—front and center—where they belong. Or, also gives the audience the opportunity to meet the ‘merry monarch,’ King Charles II, who was responsible for reopening theaters in London during the Restoration. At a time when the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London wreaked havoc on the city, Aphra, Nell and Charles II lifted the psyche and spirit of the people in a time of need. Theater provided then what it continues to provide today: an escape from the difficulties of the day by way of the play.”
*A pre-show lecture, moderated by Rep Stage’s dramaturge Dr. Lisa A. Wilde will complement Or, before the September 17 matinee beginning at 12:30 PM in Monteabaro Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on post-show discussions and the pre-show lecture, visit www.repstage.org.
Meet the Cast:
The Or, Design Team includes Melanie Clark (costume designer), Terry Cobb (light designer), James Fouchard (set designer), Tim Jones (properties designer), and Ann Warren (sound designer).
About Rep Stage