MBU Shakespeare & Performance Presents: The Frolicks!

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    Join the MBU Shakespeare & Performance program on October 11 and 12 at 7:30 pm at the Blackfriars Playhouse for a pay-what-you-will, world premiere production of Elizabeth Polwhele’s fast-paced and farcical romantic comedy The Frolicks. Written in 1671 and set in 1960s London, this energetic and flirtatious production features familiar characters being driven into plots and traps orchestrated by young and witty women. Through a series of deceptions, plots, pranks, and manipulations, the clever Clarabell and the rakish Rightwit find a way to be together – and manage to marry off everyone else in the play as well.

    The second-year students have taken on a wide range of roles to develop the production under the direction of Guest Directors Sara Hymes and Gregory Jon Phelps, along with support from Intimacy Choreographer Natasia Reinhardt, and S&P faculty. In addition to their work onstage, students split into production teams – dramaturgy, props/set, costumes, publicity, combat, and music – to explore the numerous offstage roles that make ensemble productions possible.

    The Frolicks is being produced in partnership with Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre and their Expand The Canon program. Hedgepig is an NYC-based theatre company that reimagines the classics, creating a legacy of storytelling with gender equity at its core. Expand the Canon is both a celebration and a call to action and demands space in the classical canon for more diverse playwrights, many of whom were underproduced or utterly un-produced in their lifetimes. “Expand the Canon is an annual, curated list of excellent and producible classic plays by women and underrepresented genders. By insisting that excellent plays by a diverse group of women be regarded as classics, we can redefine theatre’s values, and by staging these stories in our communities, we can shift culture.” Elizabeth Polwhele’s The Frolicks is one of the nine plays on Hedgepig’s 2021 curated list of excellent and producible classic plays by women and underrepresented genders.

    With current pandemic restrictions in mind, we welcome everyone to join us in safe communal storytelling and celebrate a newly-discovered Restoration-era female playwright. If you do not have a Mary Baldwin University I.D., you will be asked to produce proof of vaccination at the door. We hope you join us – either in person by booking your tickets through thefrolicksmbu@gmail.com or virtually for our Facebook livestream -on October 11 and 12 for our pay-what-you-will 7:30 p.m. performance of The Frolicks. As a play full of physical humor, situational comedy, and verbal sparring, The Frolicks will keep audiences cheering for their favorite characters. When all’s fair in flirtation and frolics, what does it take to win a happy ending? The Frolicks Poster

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