Theatre department to stage De Angelis’ “Playhouse Creatures”

Playhouse Creatures image

In a time of great social change, the precarious lives of 17th-century English actresses come to life as the Hanover College Theatre Department presents the comedic drama “Playhouse Creatures,” Friday-Sunday, Feb. 17-19.

Set in the mid-1600s, “Playhouse Creatures” examines London’s theatrical world during the early years of England’s Restoration Period. King Charles II, newly restored to the throne after 11 years in exile, had set off a period of grand transformation for the country’s literary, scientific and cultural life. Among the changes, women were granted permission to appear on stages for the first time.

“Playhouse Creatures” has been praised for its careful balance of comedy and heart. Hanover’s production focuses on five actresses and their struggles and triumphs as artists and women in a time where it was challenging to be either. The play, featuring an all-female cast, is directed by Jennifer Schmidt, assistant professor of theatre.

Written by English dramatist April De Angelis in the early 1990s, “Playhouse Creatures” premiered at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1993. The play has since been staged at London’s Royal Victoria Hall in 1997, Scotland’s Dundee Repertory Theatre in 2007 and England’s Chichester Festival Theatre in 2012.

De Angelis has penned multiple plays, including “After Electra,” “Rune,” “Gastronauts,” “Jumpy” and an adaptation of “Wuthering Heights,” among others. She has also written librettos for “Flight” and “The Silent Twins” and radio adaptations of “Life in the Tomb,” “Peyton Place” and “The Outlander,” which won the Writer’s Guild Award in 1992.

Hanover’s presentation of “Playhouse Creatures” will be staged at The Other Place, located between Donner Hall and Ide Hall. The Feb. 17-18 shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Feb. 19 performance will start at 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are free and available in advance. Reservations of tickets are required due to limited seating in the venue. Tickets may be printed or scanned upon entry from a barcode on a mobile device.