By: Aristophanes (446-389 BCE)
Athens is in a sorry state of affairs. The great tragedian, Euripides, is dead, and Dionysus, the god of the theater, has to listen to third-rate poetry. So, he determines to pack his belongings onto his trusty slave, Xanthias, and journey to the underworld to bring back Euripides! Hi-jinks ensue.
Strepsiades is an Athenian burdened with debt from a bad marriage and a spendthrift son. He resolves to go to the Thinking Shop, where he can purchase lessons from the famous Socrates in ways to manipulate language in order to outwit his creditors in court. Socrates, represented as a cunning, manipulative, irreverent sophist, has little success with the dull-witted Strepsiades, but is able to teach the old man's son Phidippides a few tricks. In the end, the play is a cynical, clever commentary on Old Ways vs. New Ways, to the disparagement of the former.
By: E. L. Blanchard (1820-1889)
Whittington and his Cat
Whittington and his Cat, or Harlequin Lord Mayor of London was the 26th Grand Comic Christmas Annual, written by E. L. Blanchard for performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London in 1875. Pantomimes are a favourite Christmas entertainment in England, and in Victorian times were usually written in rhyming couplets. They featured a Principal Boy (played by a girl) and a Dame (played by a man). Over the years they became ever more elaborate with fantastic costumes, huge casts and spectacular transformation scenes...
By: Edmond Rostand (1868-1918)
By the author of Cyrano de Bergerac, this comic-romance formed the basis for the long-running 1960's musical "The Fantasticks". - Summary by WendyKatzHiller Persons in the Play: Sylvette: Jenn Broda Percinet: Joanna Michal Hoyt Straforel: Larry Wilson Bergamin: ToddHW Pasquinot: Wayne Cooke Blaise : Rebecca Brown Stage Directions: WendyKatzHiller Edited by: WendyKatzHiller Proof-listened by: sanved23, WendyKatzHiller and Rapunzelina
By: Molière (1622-1673)
The Miser is a comedy of manners about a rich moneylender named Harpagon. His feisty children long to escape from his penny-pinching household and marry their respective lovers. Although the 17th-century French upper classes presumably objected to the play's message, it is less savage and somewhat less realistic than Molière's earlier play, Tartuffe, which attracted a storm of criticism on its first performance.
By: Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)
Keep Your Own Secret
"Love and perseverance will at last vanquish every obstacle. Today I have kept out of the way of every possible hindrance... and at this moment I actually behold myself in her house.... I have, as you know, spent all the day in concealment, and I have got into the house unseen by any one. What cross event can now happen to disappoint my hopes?" Anybody want to bet that all will go as planned in this comedy? - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma: fluffbemeal Don Caesar,...
Don Manuel and Cosmo are visiting town to stay with Don Manuel's friend Don John de Toledo for the young Prince's christening, when suddenly a a veiled lady begs for their aid and protection. "My honour and my life are forfeit if I am overtaken or discovered by the person that comes yonder in pursuit of me." And so the intrigue of this farce begins.... - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Don Manuel Enriquez: Adrian Stephens Don John de Toledo: Greg Giordano Don Lewis de Toledo, his brother: ToddHW Cosmo,...
By: William Davenant (1606-1668)
Law Against Lovers
The Law Against Lovers was a dramatic adaptation of Shakespeare, arranged by Sir William Davenant and staged by the Duke's Company in 1662. It was the first of the many Shakespearean adaptations staged during the Restoration era. Davenant was not shy about changing the Bard's work; he based his text on Measure for Measure, but also added Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing — "resulting in a bizarre and fascinating combination." He made Angelo from the former play, and Benedick from the latter, into brothers.
By: Alfred Sutro (1863-1933)
Mollentrave on Women
Mollentrave has written a “Love Doctor” book for men entitled “Mollentrave on Women” which purports to give any man the “Midas Touch” with the fairer sex. But as King Midas could’ve told us, these things have a way of backfiring… - Summary by Son of the Exiles Cast list: Mr. Mollentrave: azureblue Sir Joseph Balsted, K.C., M.P.: Mike Manolakes Everard Swenboys: Ethan Hurst Lord Contareen: Adrian Stephens Mr. Dexter: ToddHW Mr. Noyes: Alan Mapstone Peters, Sir Joseph’s Butler: Cavaet Martin, Mollentrave’s Butler: David Purdy Lady Claude Derenham: JennPratt Margaret Messilent: Nichole James Miss Treable: Joanna Michal Hoyt Mrs...
By: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
The Princess is a serio-comic blank verse narrative poem, written by Alfred Tennyson, published in 1847. The poem tells the story of an heroic princess who forswears the world of men and founds a women's university where men are forbidden to enter. The prince to whom she was betrothed in infancy enters the university with two friends, disguised as women students. They are discovered and flee, but eventually they fight a battle for the princess's hand.
By: Alice Gerstenberg (1885-1972)
Alice in Wonderland (Drama)
A dramatization of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for the stage. In this version, Alice goes through the looking glass and encounters a variety of strange and wonderful creatures from favorite scenes of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland the Through the Looking Glass. Including a conversation with the Red and White Queens, encounters with Humpty Dumpty, the Mock Turtle, the Cheshire Cat, and the Caterpillar, and of course everyone's favorite Mad Tea Party.
Irish Wit and Humor
Excerpted anecdotes from the biographies of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell, relating humorous snippets of politics in 18th and 19th century Ireland. For some these may be poignant in addition to being humorous and for others they may be humorous in addition to being poignant. (
By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
The Cherry Orchard
The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...
Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.
By: Antonio de Solís (1610-1686)
One Fool Makes Many
"I will discuss this matter in an allegory: ... There was once upon a time a man, and he had a sister; and this said sister, she had a brother; and so this sister fell in love with another brother, and he had another sister; and one day what should she do, but take it into her head to run away with him? So then, after that, the brother, from whom the sister had been stolen, stole the sister of the thief. Now will you be pleased to tell us whether it would be best, in such a case, that each man should...
By: Aristophanes (446BC - 385BC)
Lysistrata read by the Classics Drama Company at DePaul. The Classics Drama Company at DePaul is a new gathering of Thespians and Classicists dedicated to performing and understanding ancient literature. If you live in Chicago and attend DePaul University, we welcome new additions to our group. Contact Dr. Kirk Shellko (email@example.com), if interested.First performed in classical Athens c. 411 B.C.E., Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is the original battle of the sexes. One woman, Lysistrata, brings together the women of all Greece, exhorting them to withhold sexual contact from all men in order that they negotiate a treaty...
By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)
The Grand Babylon Hotel
Theodore Racksole, a rich American multi-millionaire, buys the Grand Babylon Hotel, a luxurious hotel in London, as a whim – and then finds out there are strange things going on – a German prince is supposed to arrive but never turns up, someone is found murdered in the hotel, but then the body disappears. With the help of his independent daughter Nella and another German prince, Racksole sets out to solve the mystery.Bennett wrote this as a 15-part serial, for a lark, in 15 days, and sold it for 100 pounds. It first appeared in The Golden Penny in 1902, which described it as “the most original, amusing, and thrilling serial written in a decade”.
By: Arthur Law (1844-1913)
You could be forgiven upon reading that title, not to mention auditing the opening scene, for thinking that this is a play of a simple country girl fallen among aristocratic Victorian-era swingers in the big city. But this Country Mouse is anything but innocent. - Summary by Son of the Exiles Cast list: The Duke of St. Kitts : Alan Mapstone Lord Robert Wyckham : Greg Giordano John Bowlby, M.P. : ToddHW The Hon. Archibald Vyse : ksb013 Jephcot : Wayne Cooke Servant: James R. Hedrick Lady Sylvia Bowlby : Matea Bracic Violet Aynsley : Jenn Broda Angela Muir : TJ Burns Mrs. Cropper : WendyKatzHiller Stage Directions: Michele Eaton Editing: Michele Eaton
By: Arthur Lewis Tubbs (1867-1946)
Miss Buzby's Boarders
Who knows what might be going on in Miss Buzby's boarding house, where she accepts theatrical types? - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Jerome Townsend, a lover somewhat in the background: Tommy Hersant Felix Marden, who is not afraid to come to the front: Adrian Stephens Mr. Smith, a mysterious individual: ToddHW Alexander Pettifer, a worm that finally turns: Alan Mapstone Jimmie Spangler, a song and dance artist: David Purdy Marguerite Marr, a star in vaudeville: JennPratt Lillian Wendale, by the villian still pursued: ashleighjane Pansy Purple, Jimmie's professional partner: Kelly S...
By: Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934)
The Amazons: A Farcical Romance
This 1895 farce inspired by the outlandish idea of women wearing pants, centers around the predicament of the three daughters of the eccentric Marchioness of Castlejordan, who determined to have sons, raised them like boys. She encouraged them to dress and act like boys at home, yet dress like ladies when out. As the girls come of age, they are conflicted. They want to please mother by acting as her sons, but, suddenly smitten with three gentlemen, they are compelled to grow up and be ladies. When their suitors secretly come to woo, they aren’t sure what to do……and what will mother do if she finds out?
A man's wife is caught up in Philanthropy, generously supporting all sorts of good causes. But that does not include her husband's interests in "the Turf or the Stable - no feeling except one of positive distaste." So what is he to do? How about somehow getting her to "endow a Home for about twenty decayed jockeys and stablemen ... who have outlived their chances on the turf and fallen on bad days?" Sounds very noble, but of course that is not quite what he has in mind.... - Summary by ToddHW Cast...
Freaks: An Idyll of Suburbia
When Mrs. Herrick's brother Charlie dies, he leaves his money in trust for members of the circus he used to own under the name of "Segantini's World Renowned Mammoth International Hippodrome and Museum of Living Marvels". When five of the Extraordinary Mortals of the circus show up to visit with the Ordinary Mortals at Mrs. Herrick's country house, there is a clash of cultures.... - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Ordinary Mortals: Mrs. Herrick, nee Smith : Linda Webster Ronald : Adrian Stephens Sheila : Matea Bracic Lady Ball-Jennings : Sonia Sir Norton Ball-Jennings : Alan Mapstone Reverend Stephen Glyn : Greg Giordano Mr...
Subtitled "An Original Fantastic Comedy in Three Acts", this should be another enjoyable farce by Pinero, including memory loss, mistaken identity, crime and detection, romance, and many other of life's various complications. "Your husband?" "My husband!" "Begorra! It's not bigamy, but trigonometry, he's been attempting". - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Captain Dionysius McCafferty : Larry Wilson Dr. Titus : Steven Fellows Montague Joliffe: ToddHW Mr. Hinxman: alanmapstone John : Tomas Peter Mr. Buzzard : Adrian Stephens Mr...
Wife Without A Smile
Mr. Rippingill can not get his wife to relax her stony features and smile. Maybe even laugh. "Avis - Lady Whitstable and the pickled salmon. Now consider for a moment, my pet - reflect. What a grotesque contrast! A fine, crusted specimen of our English aristocracy and - pickled fish! The mere contemplation of two images so violently opposed in itself makes for mirth. Doesn't it dearest?" But it is tough going. So he tries to.... - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Seymour Rippingill: Greg Giordano Haynes Webbmarsh: Alan Mapstone Vivian Trood: Tomas Peter John Pullinger: ToddHW Foley: James R...
Gentlemen out away from London, looking for wives. "I'm going to settle down, hearthrug and slippers and all that sort of thing." "So a lot of us have made up our minds to marry and retire from public life, and as I couldn't find any suitable partie in London - ." Add lost relatives, over protective fathers, a rich widow or two, and you have all the ingredients for a first rate farce. - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Lord Leadenhall: Adrian Stephens The Chevalier Walkinshaw: Rob Marland John Mable:...
When his younger brother incurs a large betting debt, what could be easier than for a man to borrow the money to save him from the factory he runs while his employers are away. Whoops; his employers are coming back before he has repaid the money. Ah, perhaps his wife can get the money from a friendly Lord who was once her suitor.... A friendly card game perhaps. What could go wrong? - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Lord Kengussie: Son of the Exiles Baron Croodle: ToddHW Harold Boycott: Mark Nelson Jules Faubert: Alan Mapstone Millicent Boycott: Sonia Dorinda Croodle: Jenn Broda Margot: Adrian Stephens Stage Directions: MichaelMaggs Editing: ToddHW
"Sweet Lavender" must be regarded as one of the most successful stage-plays of modern times, and there can be no question that it has proved so far the most popular of Mr. Pinero's works. Its representations may be counted by the thousand, and its popularity has extended over many latitudes. The reason of this is not far to seek: it proclaims itself in the gentle humanity and genial humour of the play. ... a sort of modern fairy tale." - Summary by Malcom C. Salaman, October 1893 Cast list: Horace Bream : Matthew Reece Geoffrey Wedderburn : ToddHW Clement Hale : Karsus Richard Phenyl : Andrew James Dr...
Princess and the Butterfly
The English-born Princess Pannonia had spent the twenty years of her marriage isolated in the Prince's remote Hungarian castle. Now widowed, she returns to London to re-engage with former friends, all fearfully facing middle-age. Can romance be rekindled with a former flame? Or will it be found with someone new or perhaps someone overlooked before? - Summary by ToddHW Cast list: Princess Pannonia: awonski Sir George Lamorant, Bart.: Greg Giordano Fay Zuliani: Jenn Broda Edward Oriel: Tomas Peter Blanche Oriel: Michele Eaton Lady Ringstead: Sonia Mr...
By: Augustin Daly (1838-1899)
Night Off; or A Page From Balzac
There are a number of subplots going on in this play. The Professor has unearthed a play that he wrote back in his University days. He has read it to his housekeeper while his wife was away at the expensive spa ... she disapproves of the theatre ... and said housekeeper was so fascinated by it that when a travelling dramatic troupe manager lobs into town, the Professor is receptive to the manager's manipulative and unscrupulous offer to put on his play. Meanwhile, one of the Professor's daughters has chanced across a page from Balzac which states "Every bride that lives if she could but know the past and secret life of her husband would renounce him even at the steps of the altar...
By: Barry Pain (1864-1928)
A rollicking parody of the Margot Asquith memoirs, in which Pain’s character, Marge, beguiles us with the most personal details of her dysfunctional family, and delights in relating every cringing, if not wholly accurate, minutiae of her exciting private life.
By: Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
An outbreak of plague in London forces a gentleman, Lovewit, to flee temporarily to the country, leaving his house under the sole charge of his butler, Jeremy. Jeremy uses the opportunity given to him to use the house as the headquarters for fraudulent acts. He transforms himself into 'Captain Face', and enlists the aid of Subtle, a fellow conman and Dol Common, a prostitute. In The Alchemist, Jonson unashamedly satirizes the follies, vanities and vices of mankind, most notably greed-induced credulity...
Volpone, or, The Fox
Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is among the finest Jacobean Era comedies. Volpone is a Venetian gentleman who pretends to be on his deathbed, after a long illness, in order to dupe Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, three men who aspire to inherit his fortune. In their turns, each man arrives to Volpone’s house bearing a luxurious gift, intent upon having his name inscribed to the will of Volpone, as his heir...