A VERY GREAT MISCHIEF
February - June 2022 | NZ Fringe Festival & Brighton Fringe Festival
A Very Great Mischief is a queer spin on Cyrano Bergerac and Twelfth Night in the farcical style of Oscar Wilde. Written by emerging playwright Laura Anthony (they/them), this play tells the story of two British families turned upside down by the discovery that homoerotic tendencies are not exclusively male, no matter what the laws of Great Britain might declare.
The events which occur in the script are inspired by the true story of a resolution to add "acts of indecency by females" to then already-extant buggery laws of Great Britain.
The clause was presented in August 1921 to amend Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, which was used to send Oscar Wilde to prison in 1895, for ‘committing acts of gross indecency with male persons’. Such an amendment was lambasted by the Earl of Desart as "a very great mischief" that would not deter women from same-sex encounters, but rather inform those who were not aware that they could engage in such acts.
The original cast of A Very Great Mischief features:
Laura Anthony as Cyrene
Jessi Baden-Campbell as Lady Thurston
Mari Blake as Christine
Andrea Rose Cardoni as Roxane
Sky Nelson as Lewis
Cameron Pillitteri as Antony
Mark Simmons as Lord Thurston
The original production is directed by L.A. Mars and stage managed by Lisa Geerhart.
August 2021 | Theater for the New City
Effigy provides an unflinching look through the lenses of race, revolution, and queerness at three eras of unrest in the United States: the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Playwright Laura Anthony’s natural, overlapping dialogue shifts seamlessly through the stories of a forgotten revolutionary, a wounded Union soldier, and a university classroom overshadowed by the American legacy of racism. With an ensemble of seven actors, Anthony offers audiences an intimate window into these three indelibly linked moments in time.
“When we first set out to adapt Laurens’ story for the stage, we were worried about the play becoming this pretty, glowing memoir piece,” says Mars, director of the piece and long-time creative partner to the playwright. “The antebellum period informed and expanded the story, but it didn’t fully ground it. A modern narrative, with modern voices, really pulled it together into this larger tale of warping legacies and the failure of generations upon generations to not just forfeit racism, but embrace antiracism to a meaningful degree. 'Effigy' doesn’t allow for excuses of moral relativity or ignorance to be made for our contemporaries, but it also acknowledges that we ourselves are still struggling––and, at times, failing––to do better in the society that we have inherited.”
The original cast of Effigy featured:
Frank Bläuer as Henry Laurens, Captain Sutherland, and Dean Latham
Andrea Rose Cardoni as Loretta Latham and Jessica Cohen
Maxwell Lamb as Alexander Hamilton and Lieutenant Abernethy
Cameron Pillitteri as John Laurens and Eric McEnery
Mark Simmons as George Washington and Dr. Boswell
Tatiana Skyy as Keturah, Mariah, and Daria Mesley
Isaiah Caleb Stanley as Billy Lee, Thomas Ross, and Gavin Costillo
The original production was directed by L.A. Mars and stage managed by Lisa Geerhart.
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