Compleat Female Stage Beauty


Writers: Jeffrey Hatcher


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Comedy
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
london, 1666
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Large Cast, Mature Audiences, Professional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, late teen, early teen characters


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 With plenty of historical references and gender flip-flops, Compleat Female Stage Beauty is sure to delight audiences everywhere!

Lead Characters

Compleat Female Stage Beauty guide sections