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Compleat Female Stage BeautyCompleat Female Stage Beauty
by Jeffrey Hatcher

September 4-26, 2009

Directed by Rhonda Clark


Carpenter Square Theatre opens its 26th Season with the Oklahoma premiere of “Compleat Female Stage Beauty,” a dramatic comedy by Jeffrey Hatcher that imagines events around a famed actor of the 1600s.

When women were men on London stages, Edward "Ned" Kynaston was the hot superstar. It is 1661, and after eighteen years of Puritan suppression, the Restoration has begun. Charles II has returned from exile to take the throne, and being an ardent patron of the arts, reopens the public theaters.

The public flocks to see Kynaston, especially fawning over his delicate portrayal of Desdemona in Shakespeare’s OTHELLO. The ladies clamor for his attention, but in secret he is the "mistress" of the Duke of Buckingham.

One night, a woman by the name of Margaret Hughes illegally takes the stage to play Desdemona. The novelty of it causes quite a sensation, saving her from jail time. The king’s mistress, Nell Gwynn, longs to be a comic actress. At Nell's urging, Charles decrees a new law that allows women to act and bans men from playing female roles. With the stroke of a pen, Kynaston loses his livelihood, his lover and his sense of self. He teeters on the brink of self-destruction, until fate and his desire for revenge persuade him to take the stage again.

  

  

Historical Background for the Play:

Britain has emerged from the privations of Cromwell's Puritan Protectorate. Charles Stuart has returned from exile and been crowned King Charles II in April 1661. This time is known as the Restoration, and after years of repression, hedonism and the love for the finer things in life were embraced by the public. Charles particularly loved poetry and son and was an ardent theatregoer. He reopened the theatres that had been forced to shut down or go underground for 18 years. Much of what we know about Restoration London and events of the day come from Samuel Pepys' famous Diary that he kept from 1660-69. He attended the theatre quite often, sometimes twice a week, and he often wrote about performers, including Edward Kyneston who was esteemed for his portrayals of Shakespeare's women. Thomas Betterton became one of the leading actor-managers during the 1660's, and at one point, Charles II sent him to France to observe their theatre improvements. During this time "Restoration Comedy" became a recognized theatre genre, and people of all social classes attended the theatre. While playwright Hatcher uses actual passages from Pepys' diary in the dialogue, he uses much dramatic license with dates and some historical figures in his play. He fuels the dramatic conflict in his story with an actual event in 1661 when Charles II rewrote English law to allow women to perform on the public stage and banned men from playing women's roles.

 

 THE CAST    

 

Edward Kynaston   Sean Patrick Eckart
Thomas Betterton   Tyler Woods
Samuel Pepys   Brent Weber
Villiars, Duke of Buckingham   Rodney Brazil
Maria / Female Emilia   Caitlin Cairns
Lady Meresvale   Jodi Nestander
Miss Frayne   Tessa Dillman
Sir Charles Sedley /
Mistress of the Revels
  Terry Veal
Margart Hughes   Michelle Swink
King Charles II   Michael Gibbons
Nell Gwynn   Holly McNatt
Prime Minister Hyde / Ruffian / Sir Peter Lelly   Shawn Elmore
Male Emilia / Bouncer / Ruffian / Thomas Killigrew / Drunk / Olly   Todd Clark
Courtier / Ruffian / Drunk   Katrius Muhammad
Courtier / Mrs. Barry / Drunk   Lesley Montgomery
Stage Manager &
King's Servant
  Tom Gibson
     

THE CREW

   
Director & Sound Design   Rhonda Clark
Set Design   Caleb Schnackenberg
Rhonda Clark
Costume Design   Charlotte Rose
Lighting Design   Amy Ackerman
Stage Manager   Bob Cross
Light Board Operator   Kory Kight
Sound Technician   Kathy O'Meara
Set Construction   Caleb Schnackenberg
Scenic Artist   Nick Backes
Other Scenic Painting   Caleb Schnackenberg
Costume Assistant   Amy Ackerman
Stage Combat Consultant   Tyler Woods
Properties   Rhonda Clark
Running Crew   Mona Cross, Tom Gibson
Dressers   Mona Cross
Jodi Nestander
Caitlyn Cairns
Poster & Ad Design   Jonathan Siler
Website Photos   Rhonda Clark
CST Webmasters   Don Lusk
Phil Carlton
CST Artistic Director   Rhonda Clark
CST Box Office Manager   Vicky Zipf
CST Technical Director   Steven Gillmore
  .  

 SPECIAL THANKS TO

Jon Womastek - Rodney Brazil - Doobie Potter - Don Lusk - Greg Humphries - Amandanell Bold - Scott Hynes - Chris Briscoe

Cast Sponsor: Laurel Jaworsky
Opening Night Party Sponsor: Ann Eggers

 
   

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