At first glance this play is about England's first female playwright Aphra Behn ... who also happens to be a spy! It takes place during the 1660’s, immediately following the reign of Oliver Cromwell who had shut down all theaters in London and had them demolished. King Charles II is brought to the throne and immediately permits two theater companies to begin producing plays. Charles’ support of and interest in cultural freedoms sets in motion a newly released energy spurring a restoration/revitalization of the theater. As you can imagine the appetite for theatre, which has been denied for so long, is huge. And so, a new era of artistic and social freedom is ushered in. In a rollicking comic fashion, Or, intertwines and layers the freedoms of the 1660’s restoration with the the sexual revolution of the 1960’s … and today. With a deeper look Or, is about embracing change and the power and vitality of social, artistic and sexual freedom.
What excites you about working on this show?
Pretty much everything. I love working with the historical characters of Aphra Behn, King Charles II, Nell Gwynne, William Scot and others. And the complicated/hilarious situations in which we find them. I’m very excited to work with three wonderful actors taking on eight intriguing characters. I love the pace, the plot twists, the mad-cap antics … the list goes on and on. So much fun!
What would you like the audience to be thinking about after the show?
What a fun, entertaining, and enlightening time they just had at the theater.
Why should someone come to see this show?
Because underneath all the antics is the underlying theme of the importance of change and working towards freedom, peace, and love.
What is your favorite line from the show?
Was there ever a simple time, since there were people in the world?
There was, long ago.
Before the wars of ministers and kings
Before the need to struggle for our bread
Before all strivings base and harsh there was
A golden age of happiness sublime
Where lovely nymphs – like you with fewer clothes –
In fragrant groves lay hidden from the sun
Which dappled through the leaves to gild their days
While night time ‘neath the pearly moon there played
The gentle shepherdesses and their swains
Living all for poetry, music, love
Before the grim unnatural rule of law
Of gods and men, O sweet Arcadia!
Unfettered, unrepressed, and unashamed
A happier better time could not be named.
Sounds fabulous. And guess what – it sounds like right now. The puritans had their day, now it’s our turn to make a new golden age.