In 1666, Ned Kynaston is the most celebrated actor on the English stage. His specialty: Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, Desdemona. After the newly reinstated King Charles II decides to allow women to play female roles in public, all hell breaks loose for Ned: he cannot compete with an actual woman, no matter how good his acting chops are! The final straw is when his loyal dresser, Maria, is suddenly starring in his beloved role and he, Ned, finds himself working in a bawdy tavern-house, struggling to survive. After losing his lover, his fame, and finally his pride, Ned must pull himself up by the metaphorical bootstraps to adapt to this strange new world--and perhaps to find a himself little revenge on the side.
Jeffrey Hatcher’s 1999 script inspired the hit movie Stage Beauty, starring Claire Danes as Margaret and Billy Crudup in a tour-de-force performance as Ned Kynaston. With plenty of historical references and gender flip-flops, Compleat Female Stage Beauty is sure to delight audiences everywhere!