A woman’s artistic beginnings explored in “Or,” a new comedy at Shakespeare & Co

Tod Randolph. Photo by Kevin Sprague.

Tod Randolph. Photo by Kevin Sprague.

Shakespeare & Company presents Liz Duffy Adams’ playful comedy Or, based on the real life of Britain’s first female playwright Aphra Behn. Directed by Alice Reagan and featuring Company actress Tod Randolph, the production runs July 23 through September 4, 2016 in the Tina Packer Playhouse and will be staged in-the-round.

“The play is bittersweet,” says director Alice Reagan. “We know that Aphra Behn would be forgotten and rediscovered many times in the more than 300 years since her death. And yet, the plot keeps moving, the world keeps spinning, and lovers will love. Or, is the story of one woman’s artistic beginnings and a larger story of a permissive, exciting moment in history when the culture shifted an inch or two, and a woman slipped in the door.”

Aphra Behn, known to history as the first credited female playwright, has one opportunity to have her play produced and fulfill her desperate desire to leave the spy trade behind her. The catch? She must finish and deliver her play by morning all while fighting off distracting romantic temptations, attempting to win a pardon, and trying to save the life of royalty. Her hectic antics unfold into a night of hilarity, passion, and self discovery that tells a story that transcends time.

“The language and the relationships in the show are absolutely delicious.” said actress Tod Randolph. “They are ambiguous and fluid—I was immediately drawn to the sexiness of the play.”

Reagan’s production of Or, features Company veteran Tod Randolph as Aphra, with Allyn Burrows as King Charles and Nehassaiu deGannes as Nell Gwynne. The creative team includes Sandra Goldmark (Set Design), Jeanette Yew (Lighting Design), Amy Altadonna (Sound Design), and Govane Lohbauer (Costume Design). Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.

All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” – Virginia Woolf

Tickets for Or, are available online at www.shakespeare.org or by calling Shakespeare & Company at (413) 637-3353 during box office hours. Full-time Berkshire County residents receive a 40% discount for midweek performances during July and August. The Tina Packer Playhouse is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s