NPTC and the
New School for Drama
The Convent of Pleasure
by Margaret Cavendish
Directed by Elyse Singer

Dramaturgy by Melissa Conkling
Assistant Director: Whitney Aronson
March 28, 2014

New School, 
Wollman Hall
65 West 11th Street
Dr. Lisa Walters
President, the International Margaret Cavendish Society
With: Raquel Cion, Michael Sean Cirelli, Tim Cusack *, Dion Graham *,
Susan Heyward *, 
Daliya Karnofsky, April Matthis *, Paul Pecorino *,
Steven Rattazzi *, Dan Paul Roberts, Julia Taylor Ross

R.S.V.P to 
MARGARET CAVENDISH, Duchess of Newcastle (1623–1673), was a 17th Century provocateur; a poet, philosopher, writer of prose romances, essayist, and playwright, publishing under her own name at a time when most women writers published anonymously. The Convent of Pleasure, captures the spirit of the best romantic comedies of the Restoration era, but also takes radical liberties with dramatic form. Cross-dressing, fantastical settings, and burlesques about traditional gender roles are front-and-center. Is this a lost feminist classic, or is the play's debate surrounding the natural law of the sexes its raison d'ĂȘtre? To shine light on the highly theatrical gender play, Elyse Singer will direct a gender-bending cast including performers from NYC's new burlesque world.

On Her Shoulders was founded in 2012 to present staged readings of plays by women from across the spectrum of time and place, with contemporary dramaturgs contextualizing--and in some cases adapting--them for modern audiences. The program seeks to make it impossible to deny or ignore the great tradition and value of women's contribution to the theatrical canon. On Her Shoulders intends to motivate producers and directors to champion and produce these plays in New York and regionally, and to incite audiences to demand to see them. The Play in Context, the dramaturgical and scholarly presentation component to the program, is sponsored in part by the League of Professional Theatre Women, a not-for-profit organization promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in theatre since 1982. www.theatrewomen.org

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