School of Performing Arts finds the funny with feminist farce – Virginia Tech

The School of Performing Arts honors Aphra Behn, the first professional, female British playwright, in its Season of Empowerment with the production “Or,” by Liz Duffy Adams.

The play, which draws inspiration from Restoration comedies and 1960s farces, reflects on Behn’s multi-hyphenate identity as a woman, a spy, and a playwright against the backdrop of 1660s England. In the fast-paced, witty, and physical world of the play, the characters, most of whom are based on historical figures, navigate questions of agency, gender expression, sexuality, and power as Behn races to complete a new play.

“The Restoration period was a time of great change: When Charles II was restored to the throne, he reopened the theatres and proclaimed that from then on, women would play on the stage,” said Amanda Nelson, associate professor of theatre and director of the production. “The Restoration period was an entry point for women in theatre — including as actresses and playwrights.”

“It has been so interesting to find the connections between the Restoration period and the 1960s,” said Madi Stewart, one of two undergraduate dramaturgs for the production. “Who knew how liberating and eccentric the Restoration was?”

Both periods saw cultural shifts in values regarding gender expression, sexuality, and women’s rights. “When Aphra picked up her pen and found her voice,” said Nelson, “she also gave voice to women who had not yet had one in the public sphere.”

Tickets and parking

Performances of “Or,” are Feb. 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 24 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at Studio Theatre, located on the second level of Squires Student Center, 290 College Ave. in Blacksburg.

This production contains adult language /content and a simulated (non-firing) theatrical firearm.

Tickets are $15 general or $12 senior/student and may be purchased through the Moss Arts Center ticket office in person or online. Tickets will be available at the door in the Squires Student Center beginning one hour before the performance (cash and online only). Find links for online purchase.

All seating is general admission. The performance is approximately 90 minutes.

All university community members and visitors will need to display a parking permit, use the ParkMobile app, pay a fee, or pay using an hourly meter to park on the Blacksburg campus unless otherwise noted by signage. Find additional parking information online.

If you are an individual with a disability and/or desire an accommodation, please contact Susan Sanders at least 10 business days before the event.

Written by Ashley Cooper, a Master of Fine Arts in theatre and arts leadership candidate

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Sage Monroe

Hi there! My name is Sage Monroe and I am a politics and business blog article writer currently studying at the University of Vermont. Writing has been my passion since a young age, and I am fortunate enough to be able to pursue it as a career. I spend most of my time researching and analyzing current events to provide insightful and thought-provoking commentary on a variety of topics. My articles can be found on various blogs and news websites, and I am always looking for new opportunities to share my ideas with the world. When I'm not writing, you can find me hiking in the beautiful Vermont countryside or enjoying a good cup of coffee at my favorite local cafe.

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