Speakeysie News Desk
ATLANTA- April 7, 2022
The Country Wife
A Restoration Comedy By William Wycherley
Directed by John Ammerman
$15 General Admission Preview Thursday April 14, 2022
$20 General Admission Preview Friday April 15, 2022
Performances April 16-May 1, 2022
All Sunday shows begin at 2:30pm only.
Sponsored by The Bob and Cappa Woodward Charitable Fund
A satirical and bawdy comedy focused on the vices and hypocrisies of Restoration London, The Country Wife has been admired as a farce, condemned as immoral or frivolous, and praised as a sharp and sophisticated drama. Wycherley satirizes female hypocrisy, true and false masculinity and human folly through three neatly linked plots. His racy prose dialogue creates an energetic and complex comedy of sex that combines cynicism, satire and farce.
Cast and Crew
Director – John Ammerman
Assistant Director- Kirsten Chervenak
Stage Manager – Gabi Anderson
Assistant Stage Manager – Patrick Galletta
Costume Designer- Anne’ Carole Butler and Clint Horne
Set Design and Construction – Jeffrey Watkins
Set Construction – Chris Hecke & Joe Rossidivito
Set Dresser- Clint Horne
Lighting Designer – Greg Hanthorn
Sound Engineer- Sean Kelley
Music Director- Rivka Levin
Horner – Eric Lang
Harcourt – Sean Dale
Sparkish – Chris Hecke
Dorilant – Sean Kelley
Pinchwife – Jeffrey Watkins
Jasper Fidget – O’Neil Delapenha
Margery Pinchwife – Kaley Pharr
Alithea – Amanda Lindsey
Lady Fidget – Laura Cole
Dainty Fidget – Patty de la Garza
Mrs. Squeamish – Rivka Levin
Lucy – Anna Holland
Old Lady Squeamish – Mary Ruth Ralston
Quack – Vinnie Mascola
Boyman, Parson – Brewer Kunnemann
Pinchwife’s Attendants – Anna Holland, Kirsten Chervenak
Horner’s Attendant – Brewer Kunnemann
Understudies- Kati Grace Brown, Kenneth Wigley, Daryel Monson, Gracie Wallace
Harry Horner, a notorious womanizer, spreads a rumor that he has contracted venereal disease and that, while being treated for this by a French surgeon, he has accidentally been made impotent. He persuades his doctor, a Quack, to spread this story all over town, hoping that gullible men will leave their wives, sisters, and daughters with Horner without suspicion that he might seduce them.
As soon as the rumor has been circulated, Horner is pleased to find that Sir Jasper Fidget, a businessman who works in the city, comes to call and leaves his wife, Lady Fidget, and her companions, Mrs. Dainty Fidget and Mrs. Squeamish, in Horner’s care. When they are told that Horner is impotent, however, the ladies (who have a reputation for being extremely virtuous) are disgusted and refuse to stay with him. They storm out just as Horner’s friends, Harcourt and Dorliant, arrive to commiserate with him about his new impotence.
As they are talking, Sparkish arrives and the friends scramble to find a way to get rid of him. Sparkish is a bore and so arrogant that he does not understand when they insult him and ask him to leave. They eventually succeed in seeing Sparkish off just in time for Mr. Pinchwife to arrive. Pinchwife was a womanizer in his youth but has recently married a young woman from the country. He has not heard the rumors about Horner and becomes extremely jealous when Horner inquires about his wife and suggests that she may make Pinchwife a “cuckold.” Pinchwife replies that his wife is too simple and stupid to be taken into town and so he plans to leave her at home. He is only in town briefly to arrange Sparkish’s marriage to his sister, Alithea.
Horner notices how jealous Pinchwife is of his wife and decides to tease him. He tells Pinchwife that he saw him at the theatre the previous night with a beautiful young woman. Pinchwife is insulted and storms out and Horner understands, from his reaction, that this woman is his wife.
At Pinchwife’s house, his young wife, Margery, complains to Alithea that Pinchwife will not let her go out and enjoy the town. She tells Alithea that she loved going to the theatre the night before and found the actors extremely handsome. Pinchwife returns and overhears them and berates Alithea for setting a bad example for Margery. Margery begs Pinchwife to let her go into town and Pinchwife tells her that she cannot go because, if she does, young men may fall in love with her. This only increases Margery’s enthusiasm, so Pinchwife tells her that a man has already seen her at the theatre and is in love with her. Margery is excited by this, and begs to know the young man’s name, so Pinchwife locks her in her room to punish her.
Just then, Sparkish arrives with Harcourt to visit Alithea and to show his fiancée off to his friend. Harcourt falls in love with Alithea instantly and begins to court her, brazenly, in front of Sparkish. Although Alithea protests, Sparkish does not notice and seems incapable of jealousy. Harcourt, Alithea, and Sparkish head off to the theatre, Alithea still protesting because Sparkish plans to seat her with Harcourt. Lady Fidget, Mrs. Dainty Fidget, and Mrs. Squeamish arrive at Pinchwife’s house to take Margery to see the play. Pinchwife chases them off, much to their amusement.
While they wait for Sir Jasper, Lady Fidget, Mrs. Dainty Fidget, and Mrs. Squeamish lament that they are always being passed over by men in favor of common women. They feel that men no longer seek out “virtuous” women to have affairs with. While they are talking, Sir Jasper arrives with Horner and Dorilant and tells the ladies that these young men will take them to the theatre. The ladies are horrified and refuse. Dorilant leaves but Sir Jasper insists that it will not harm their reputations to be seen with Horner. Horner takes Lady Fidget aside and whispers to her that he is not actually impotent and says that he has lied for her sake, to get close to her. Thoroughly flattered, Lady Fidget relents and persuades the others to allow Horner to take them out. Sir Jasper rushes off to attend to business, feeling very pleased with himself and the entertainment he has provided for his wife.
Margery, still cooped up in Pinchwife’s house, eventually puts her foot down and forces Pinchwife to take her into town. He agrees on the condition that she dress up like a man so that Horner and his friends will not recognize her. Alithea and her maid, Lucy, accompany them. Horner, Harcourt and Dorilant are also in town and Harcourt tells Horner about his predicament; he is in love with Alithea, Sparkish’s fiancée. Horner tells him that Sparkish will help him to woo her and Sparkish joins them at that moment.
As they are talking, Pinchwife, Margery, Alithea and Lucy walk past, and the men pursue them. Pinchwife tries to avoid them, but the men accost the party and ask who the young man among them is. Pinchwife says that the young man, who is Margery in disguise, is his wife’s brother. Sparkish begins to push Harcourt and Alithea together and implore her to forgive Harcourt for offending her that morning.
Meanwhile, Horner begins to flirt with Margery and kisses her in front of Pinchwife, begging her to take the kiss “to her sister.” Pinchwife, desperate to get Margery away from Horner, tries to hail a carriage but, while he is gone, Horner leads Margery away down another street. Pinchwife is frantic when he returns but Margery reappears a few moments later with a bundle of fruit that Horner has given her. Sir Jasper Fidget arrives and reminds Horner that he must take the ladies to the theatre. He leads Horner off and leaves a disgruntled Pinchwife in the street.
The next morning, Sparkish arrives at Pinchwife’s house to marry Alithea. However, the parson he has brought with him to conduct the wedding is really Harcourt in disguise. Alithea easily sees through this trick and refuses to allow the wedding, much to the confusion of Sparkish. Meanwhile, Pinchwife grills Margery about the time she spent alone with Horner the evening before. When Margery tells Pinchwife that Horner put his tongue in her mouth when he kissed her, Pinchwife can no longer contain his jealousy and forces Margery to write a letter to Horner in which she tells him that she finds him disgusting and will not tolerate his advances.
Margery is upset because she has fallen in love with Horner and thinks of a way to trick her husband. Since he has taught Margery to write letters, which before she did not know how to do, she writes a second letter to Horner, in which she confesses her love to him. When he returns with the letter seal, Margery swaps the letters and seals the one she has written herself, rather than Pinchwife’s, to send to Horner.
Horner is at home with the Quack, who is eager to hear how Horner’s experiment is going. He is impressed with what he hears and even more impressed when Lady Fidget arrives alone. Horner ushers the Quack behind a screen and the doctor watches as Lady Fidget throws herself at Horner. The pair begin to fondle each other but are interrupted by Sir Jasper. Lady Fidget thinks quickly and tells her husband that she is tickling Horner because he has refused to take her shopping. Sir Jasper watches in amusement as Lady Fidget rushes into another room and locks the door, claiming she is going to steal some of Horner’s fine china. Horner rushes in after her and Sir Jasper laughs at the sounds coming through the door.
Mrs. Squeamish arrives moments later and tries to break into the room. She is followed by her grandmother, Old Lady Squeamish. Horner and Lady Fidget re-emerge, Lady Fidget carrying some china, and Mrs. Squeamish tries to persuade Horner to give her some china, too. Pinchwife enters and the ladies immediately leave with Sir Jasper to avoid being seen by another man. Pinchwife has brought Horner the letter from Margery. Horner reads it and is extremely confused about Pinchwife’s triumphant attitude. Pinchwife leaves, but he is brought back a moment later by Sparkish, who insists they must join him for his wedding dinner.
Margery, meanwhile, pines for Horner’s love, and begins to write him another letter. Pinchwife bursts in on her and forces her to finish what she is writing. He is confused when she signs the letter from Alithea and tells him that it is Alithea who is in love with Horner. Pinchwife agrees to take his sister to see Horner and Margery dresses up as Alithea, puts on a mask, and tricks Pinchwife into taking her in the disguise.
Horner is shocked when Pinchwife reappears, this time bringing him a masked woman. The woman says that she will only speak to Horner alone so Pinchwife leaves them. Before Margery can explain herself to Horner, however, Sir Jasper arrives and tells him that Lady Fidget, Mrs. Dainty, and Mrs. Squeamish are on their way up. Horner hides Margery in another room and meets the ladies, who are preparing to get very drunk and have a bawdy evening with him.
Outside Horner’s house, Pinchwife meets Sparkish and shows him the letter which is addressed to Horner and signed with Alithea’s name. Sparkish is insulted and confronts Alithea in the street to break off their engagement. Alithea is confused but relieved. Inside, Horner drinks with the “honorable” ladies who begin to get tipsy. Lady Fidget finally announces that Horner is her secret lover and is surprised when Mrs. Dainty and Mrs. Squeamish confess that he is theirs, too. The group agree to keep each other’s secrets.
When Sir Jasper arrives to take the ladies home, Horner releases Margery, who tells him that she is to be his wife now. While they are in discussion, Sparkish, Alithea, Pinchwife, Harcourt, Lucy, and a chaplain arrive. Pinchwife insists that Horner and Alithea should marry but Alithea denies any knowledge of this affair. Eventually she points out that Margery is dressed up as her and Alithea and Harcourt are united and agree to marry instead. Pinchwife is furious with Horner for “cuckolding” him and prepares to duel him.
Sir Jasper and the ladies return as this scene is underway and Pinchwife tells Sir Jasper that Horner has made a “cuckold” of him too. Sir Jasper is taken aback for a moment, but Horner is saved by the reappearance of the Quack who gives Pinchwife and Sir Jasper his word “as a physician” that Horner is impotent. Margery plays along with this, though she knows that they are all lying, and resigns herself to a future as Pinchwife’s wife.
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Performance days & times:
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 2:30pm.
Seating areas: Main Floor Seats, Box Seats (on floor) and Balcony Seats
Regular Adult Ticket Prices range from $24-$45 depending on the day of the show, ticket availability and the seating area.
Discount Ticket Options:
$15 for Thursday Previews (See online calendar for specific dates)
$20 for Friday Previews (See onlne calendar for specific dates)
Student ticket prices: $15 General Admission Tickets on Thursdays / $20 Balcony tickets on Fridays & Sundays. $5 off Floor & Box tickets on Fridays & Sundays (No student discounts on Saturdays)
Educator prices: $5 off per adult price level per night (Not valid on Saturday nights.)
Military Discount: $3 off adult ticket price
Senior Discount: $3 off adult ticket price
Group Discount (Parties of 10 or more): $3 off adult ticket price
Purchase Tickets Online for most performances at www.shakespearetavern.com
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Education Programs and Workshops: Laura Cole, Director of Education and Training email@example.com
Volunteer Opportunities: Rich Snow, Volunteer Coordinator at Rich@shakespearetavern.com
Accessibility and The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse: The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is handicapped accessible. Please let the box office know if you have any special needs that we should be aware of in order to make your Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse experience the very best we can. Our handicapped entrance ramp/parking is located directly behind our building. Once you turn onto Renaissance Parkway from Peachtree Street, you will turn right onto Courtland Street. The Tavern’s back entrance will be immediately on your right once you clear the building on the corner and the traffic poles. The turn comes up quickly, so please drive slowly. Handicapped parking is directly in front of the ramp, behind our building, and anywhere spaces are available.
Location: The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is located at 499 Peachtree Street NE, just four blocks south of The Fox Theater and directly across the street from Emory University Hospital Midtown.
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Parking: We recommend parking in the Emory University Hospital Midtown Parking Deck located directly across the street from the front doors of The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse on Peachtree Street. Regular parking price is $5.
Food and Beverage Service: The Tavern opens one hour and fifteen minutes before the performance for food and beverage service. Chef for a Night Catering provides a British-pub-style menu for dinner. The Tavern has beer, wine, coffee, tea, soft drinks, bottle beer and draft beers on tap.
Seating and Box Office: Seating is done on a “first come, first served” basis within each designated section (Main Floor, Box Seats, Balcony). Table seating is limited however all seats can accommodate food and beverages. For tickets or more information, call or email The Tavern Box Office at 404.874.5299 x 0 or firstname.lastname@example.org or buy tickets online at www.shakespearetavern.com
The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is a registered 501 ( C ) 3 non-profit organization.
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC) at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is supported in part by the Fulton County Commission under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council. Major support also is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs and the Georgia Council for the Arts. But, PRIMARILY, ASC is funded through the generous support provided by people just like you through the Shakespeare Club, the Royals and the Exceptions.