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By April de Angelis

University of Oregon Hope Theatre

April 2011

Directed by Brian Cook
Scenic Design by Frani Geiger
Costume Design by Gina Love
Lighting Design and Technical Direction by Janet Rose
Stage Management by Heidi Knight-Meigs

Doll Common: Jennifer Balestracci
Nell Gwyn: Jesselyn Parks
Mrs. Mary Betterton: Virginia Rice
Mrs. Elizabeth Farley: Katelyn Elias
Mrs. Rebecca Marshall: Evylyn Brown
Mrs. Elizabeth Barry: Megan Matthews
Thomas Otway: Karl Metz
John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester: Philip Morton


In 1660, Charles II returned to the throne and decreed that women would—for the first time—be allowed to perform on the English stage.  The King and many others turned out in droves to see the newest young beauties, often with the hope of taking one home.  Playhouse Creatures explores the lives of some of these actresses, including the incredibly famous Nell Gwyn.  As they take their turns in the spotlight, some of them go from “it-girl ingenue” to “used up” as soon as the next “it-girl” comes along.  The play is a vivacious account of the fight these women faced to be seen as legitimate actors.

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