stagebeauty-11×17Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company presents the Houston premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, February 12- 28, 2009 at Midtown Arts Center. The production will be directed by Houston theatre veteran, Ron Jones. THE FEBRUARY 19 performance will Benefit the Homeless Pet Placement League

It is 1661, and the most famous portrayer of female roles on the London stage is Ned Kynaston.  Like every other actor of this time, Kynaston is a man. A celebrity artist shining bright at the crest of the Restoration, Kynaston is applauded onstage and off for his interpretations of Shakespeare’s ladies, especially his Desdemona and his famous “death scene.” He’s the toast of the town and the very secret “mistress” of the powerful Duke of Buckingham, until King Charles, (at the prompting of his courtesan, Nell Gwynn) decides to change the law, allowing women to act,and making it illegal for men to play female roles on stage. Kynaston’s world is shattered. He loses his his livelihood, his lover and his sense of self. As the women become stars, Kynaston’s own light disappears until fate and his desire for revenge give him a chance to take the stage again.

“When Ron Jones approached me with this script, I wasn’t sure if it was right for Mildred’s Umbrella. We prefer the margins of theatre and even venture into the outrageous. However, the chance to work with such a talented and well-known director made me want to give it a good read, and I was not disappointed. This is a gorgeous script, and well within our mission. I am very excited to present it to the Houston audiences with such a talented director.” – Jennifer Decker, Artistic Director of Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company.

“A clever exploration of rich territory, the world of the English theater at the seventeenth-century moment when women were first allowed on the stage.” –New York Times.

“Lush…world class…clever…” —Variety.

“An intimate psycho-sexual backstage historical comedy. Splendidly theatrical, it’s a witty allusive game with some feeling payoff, to boot.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 12-28, 2009, Thursdays – Saturdays and Mondays, 8pm

THE FEBRUARY 19 performance will Benefit the Homeless Pet Placement League (pet adoption)
Midtown Arts Center, 3414 LaBranch at Holman, Houston, TX 77004
Ticket Prices: $13 General Public; $6 for Students/ Seniors, pay as you like Mondays.
For Reservations Call: 832-418-0585 or info@mildredsumbrella.com