produced January 28-February 15, 2015
written by Liz Duffy Adams
directed by Sarah Carleton
Against a background of a long drawn-out war and a counter-culture of free love, cross-dressing, and pastoral lyricism, the 1660s look a lot like the 1960s in this neo-Restoration comedy about the life of Aphra Behn, poet, spy, and first professional female playwright. Before she can complete her latest masterpiece, our daring heroine must solve a pushy producer problem, untangle a saucy love triangle, and stop an attempted assassination of the King. A raucous comedy about sex, love, and gender roles, Or, by Liz Duffy Adams spins the life of Restoration playwright Aphra Behn into a delightfully dizzying romp, worthy of one of Behn’s very own farces.
Chris Caswell as Aphra Behn
Haley Rice as Nell Gwynne, Maria, and Jailer
John Nagle* as Charles II, William Scot, and Lady Davenant
Scenic Design: Jeff Modereger
Costume Design: Cora Fauser
Lighting Design: Jeffrey E. Salzberg
Sound Design: Martha Goode
Props Master: Sue Wade
Technical Director: F. Patrick Orr
Production Stage Management: Dylan Friedman
Assistant Stage Manager: Aliza Kenney
Wardrobe Manager: Gwynn Roberts
MATURE LANGUAGE & SOME MILD SEXUALITY - Recommended for ages 14 and older
* Appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association.
Behind the Scenes
Press on the Play
"Luminaries of seventeenth-century England are resurrected and made to do the frug in OR, a playful, funny and inventive comedy…[Ms. Adams'] 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…Ms. Adams' smartly conceived unraveling of figures corseted in history honors the remarkable facts of Behn's groundbreaking career.” - New York Times
"Liz Duffy Adams' historical romp of a backstage sex farce about Restoration playwright Aphra Behn displays style, humor, and jaw-dropping wit." - BackStage
"Adams' historical play celebrates not only Behn's pioneering career, which Virginia Woolf famously memorialized…('All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn'), but also the side of the writer's tumultuous life that Woolf dismissed as 'shady and amorous'…[Adams] has written an Aphra-disiac valentine, not a stodgy bio-play." - Time Out NY
Press on the Production
"...under the steady direction of Sarah Carleton and with three strong performances by versatile Vermont actors, "Or," is ultimately thought-provoking and entertaining."
"“Or,” a quasi-historical farce by Liz Duffy Adams, is a bawdy romp in 17th-century British theater that attempts respectability with its verse-like language. And Vermont Stage Company has created a charmingly saucy production that opened last week at Burlington’s FlynnSpace."
"In this story, Behn wants to finish her play, keep the king happy but out of her hair and assure Nell that she'll get around to getting it on. There's no hyperbolic crisis, but Carleton keeps the accelerator pedal down to make it a rollicking joyride." - Seven Days