Jeffery Hatcher's Compleat Female Stage Beauty: Play Review

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I chose to attend Compleat Female Stage Beauty by Jeffery Hatcher at the Hilberry Theater. The play was about a man in the 1600’s named Edward Kynaston that acted all of the female parts in plays because women were not legally allowed to act. He takes his roles very seriously, making it so that acting is his whole entire life. A woman named Margaret Hughes gets parliament to give her permission to be able to act in a play. When she auditions for the theater that Kynaston is working at, he says no that she can’t act there, ever, just because she is a woman. Another woman was there that day, Nell, and she wants to audition to. Kynaston also tells her no. Unfortunately for Kynaston, Nell was King Charles mistress, and goes to him to have him change the laws. King Charles puts out a decree saying that it is illegal for men to act the female roles, and that woman were now allowed to act in theater. Kynaston is left with nothing. He no longer has a job, no longer has a career, friends, anything. He eventually turns to acting in drag, simply because he only knows how to act as a woman. A friend comes and rescues him from this place, and slowly he recovers from his downfall. He begins coaching the woman that made him have to stop acting, and makes her into the best actress possible. Kynaston becomes a partner in the theater he used to act for, and continues on to coach many different ladies, to make them into really good actresses as well.

The stage was quite small, and had no curtain. The stage would be considered a thrust stage, because it jutted out a bit. There was not very many props used, just a couple of benches, bed, table and stools. The scenery was all very blah, not too exciting. The costumes were quite elegant, definitely looked like they were from the 1600’s time period. By using the costumes that they did, you could easily tell who was one of the more “rich” characters, and then who was more of a peasant. The main character was a...
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