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The Beau Defeated

Production Team

 

Director...........................................................................................................................................Fallon Smyl

Stage Manager..................................................................................................................Kyle Showalter

Dramaturg....................................................................................................................................Allison Lyne

Pre-Production Dramaturg..............................................................................................Jean Roche

Costume Designers.................................................................Adam Hobbs & Shawn Passero

Music Director..............................................................................................Genevieve K. Henderson

Music Team.....................................................Adam Hobbs, Morgan Ford & Jacob Laitinen

Props........................................................................................................................................Shawn Passero

Choreographer......................................................................................................................Morgan Ford

Intimacy Choreographer................................................................................Rosemary Richards

Weapons Master.............................................................................................................Jacob Laitinen

Publicity and Marketing……………………………………………………………………………....Fawzia M. Istrabadi, 

  Mikaela Hanrahan, Shawn Passero, 

      Fallon Smyl, Johnny Williams III & 

        Sarah Scarborough
 

Special Thanks

Doreen Bechtol, Dr. Peter Kirwan, Sara Topham, JP Schiedler, Dr. Danielle Warthen, Marie Lupia, Amy Wert, Tori Wright, Mili Koncelik and the

American Shakespeare Center

Cast

In Order of Appearance

 

Betty, Belvoir, Governess.................................................................................................Adam Hobbs

  

Mrs. Rich, Chris, Mrs. Fidget...............................................................................................Jean Roche

 

Boy, Jack, Mrs. Trickwell, Lucinda....................................................Genevieve K. Henderson

 

Lady Landsworth, Lady La Basset, Elder Clerimont........................................Morgan Ford

 

Sir John, Coachman, Mrs. Clerimont..................................................................Jacob Laitinen

 

Younger Clerimont, Mr. Rich....................................................................................Shawn Passero


 

Director’s Note

 

When I first read The Beau Defeated or The Lucky Younger Brother, the first thought that I had about how to create this world was immediately; the Regency period. Many of us today know and love the worlds of Jane Austen and especially, Netflix’s Bridgerton. The more recent Queen Charlotte spin-off of Bridgerton, served as great inspiration for The Beau Defeated as it 

showcased how creating a world where diversity exists and is real throughout is possible (and believable) in a historical setting. While my concept is not the same as Shonda Rhimes’ with visible diversity in POC characters, it is inspired by her with representation of women and LGBTQ+ characters in this time period, people within our cohort of Meadowlark Shakespeare Players that have felt overlooked in the past, myself included. 

 

The cast has been incredibly game to explore this alternate world of historical fiction, and the writing, while odd in many ways, has lent itself to being tweaked and explored through action and exploration that we likely 

would not have been able to in a verse play. The Beau Defeated is a fascinating exploration into the world of womanhood through the eyes of a woman during the Restoration period. Mary Pix takes the time to truly evaluate multiple women’s journey through what it means to find love, deal with the difficulties of status that comes with female agency in a time where modern 

audiences often assume women don’t have any, and discover love. Getting the chance to really dive deep during our rehearsal process into what made these women tick is something that I was incredibly interested in. The deep dives that we got the chance to work during our rehearsal process were focused mostly upon the stories of Mrs. Rich, Lady Landsworth, and Lucinda for 

female agency, although all of the female characters within the show are so interesting and I hope that you fall in love with them as much as I have.

The choice to re-gender the character of Elder Clerimont, with Mrs. Rich falling in love with a woman was an easy one. 

As a pansexual director, why could Mrs. Rich not be bisexual or pansexual herself, having been married to a man previously, but falling in love with a woman now? Showcasing queer love, heterosexual love, and finding self-love through Mrs. Rich, Lady Landsworth, and Lucinda all seemed like equally significant stories of what it means to be a modern woman and how love is ever evolving. The delicious touch that Mary Pix adds to this world is that everyone is in love with everyone else: with the discovery of Mrs. Clerimont and Belvoir finding love together near the end of the show, the discovery of Mr. Rich’s awkward love for Lucinda and inability to show it, Lucinda’s deep love for her governess as someone to confide her hopes and dreams to, Chris’s wish to woo the beautiful Betty but the inexperience to do so, Younger Clerimont’s love for his deceased father, and Elder Clerimont’s love for her dogs.  The explorations we had around this world of love within the rehearsal room were challenging, but something that I greatly enjoyed discussing with the cast throughout the process and finding those moments of joy.

 

The largest discovery through our rehearsal process that has shifted my vision and I will have to say I am so glad that it did, was the addition of Delsarte gestural work. The introduction of this by Doreen Bechtol helped flesh out how characters moved and interacted with each other in a way that I as a director had never thought about before, especially coming from a more naturalistic background. This deep dive into the world of the extreme, and sometimes absurd, with gestures has been joyous to experience. It allowed us to see a different side of the actors during the rehearsal process, and explore the text in a new way. You’ll see all of the actors’ base gestures for their characters within our introductory movement piece at the top of the show and as well as in Younger Clerimont’s and Lady Landsworth’s interactions together. 

Please sit back, enjoy your drink and snacks, and join us for this jolly jaunt through Regency parlours and parks!

 

-Fallon Smyl
 

Dramaturgy Note

The Beau Defeated encapsulates Mary Pix’s Restoration world of social hierarchy and experimentation in a narrative wrapped up in love, desire, and social status that was prominent during a time of social rediscovery and re-establishment. Following Puritan influence within Parliament and the return of Charles II, the Restoration was not only a period of significant political radicalization, but one of significant social radicalization as English society navigated how to behave and present itself. This is reflected in the arts, specifically through the Comedy of Manners genre that flourished during the 

period. Influenced by the Comedy of Humor genre that rose in popularity during the Renaissance, the Comedy of Manners explores the deep, innate curiosities of trying new ways of living that contradict the innate workings 

and hierarchies of society that were still firmly established. 

While dramaturgically working through this background context and what it meant to be a “Person of Quality” at the time, it became more and more obvious that this production of The Beau Defeated is an adaptation of 

Pix’s work. While this production leans heavily into gesture, manners, and physicality that reflects the Restoration period, there’s also an aspect of modernity through the framework of Bridgerton. From music to costumes and 

signifiers that the actors use to transition between characters, the decision to approach Pix’s play through the world of Bridgerton adds a level of beneficial conflict that can be traced throughout the production process. Traditional Restoration narrative tropes meet contemporary understandings of and designs from the Regency. 

Actors take a path of most resistance as they move across the stage or perform greetings to each other while simultaneously treading a path of least resistance during quick, on-stage costume or scene shifts that define the small scale genre as a whole. Themes that are found within the Restoration Period also speak to the Bridgerton framework, specifically love. While there is a focus of an initial romantic spark between the two couples, there is also an emphasis of familial love through the Clerimont family and Mr. Rich, Lucinda, and Mrs. Rich, or even friendly love between Jack and Younger Clerimont and Betty and Lady Landsworth, that is often overlooked yet a foundational touchstone in Bridgerton. These discoveries allowed the cast to explore, adapt, and create new perspectives by breathing new life into these characters and story. Through the combination of the Restoration play with a Bridgerton framework, this production adapts and expands The Beau Defeated beyond the Restoration period through these that will whisk the audience away into a world where everyone finds their own happily ever after 

in their own way.

 

-Allison Lyne

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