PLAYS & PITCHES
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The R/18 Collective is passionate about working with theatres to produce works from the Restoration and 18th century. The pitches on this page showcase some of the great but undeservedly forgotten plays of this era. If you're an actor, director, or producer and want more information about any of these plays, we'd love to hear from you! You can reach us at: R18Collective@gmail.com

More coming soon!
More coming soon!
 
Comedies

Animal magnetism  |  ELIZABETH INCHBALD  |  1788

Cast size:  5M, 2W

Click here for the text

This play turns on the complex schemes employed by their female characters to get what they want in a social and sexual economy which rarely ever takes their desires seriously. This farce has great fun ridiculing masculine claims to knowledge, critiquing mansplaining avant la lettre. Animal Magnetism plays out in three short acts. Producing this play would have immediate comic appeal and would re-introduce audiences to hitherto neglected women playwrights.

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A bold stroke for a wife  |  Susanna Centlivre  |  1718

Cast size:  8M, 3W (doubling possible)

Click here for the text

Young Colonel Fainwell wants to marry Anne Lovely but there’s a problem: he needs the consent of all four of her guardians and they’re very different men. How can he possibly meet the combined approval of a stockbroker, a Quaker, an antiquarian, and an ageing fashionista? The answer: by becoming a stockbroker, a Quaker, an antiquarian, and a fashionista.

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The Wonder  |  Susanna Centlivre  |  1714

Cast size:  7-8M, 4-5W

Click here for the text

A woman hides with a friend rather than face a forced marriage. But can that friend keep the secret, even if the goings-on rouse the suspicions of her jealous hothead lover? Of course! This sparkling comedy of confusions and near escapes takes male possessiveness to task and celebrates female friendship and solidarity. 

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The male coquette   |  David Garrick  |  1757

Cast size:  7M, 5W (doubling possible)

Click here for the text

In this rollicking farce, Mr. Daffodill is a fop/rake blend. He pretends to sleep with many women, but in fact is carrying on with Sophia’s friend Arabella. Sophia is determined to find out how bad he is firsthand, knowing that the more jealous Tukley loves her as well. She takes on breeches to pose as a young Italian gentleman. The other members of the club play out the world of excess Daffodil inhabits, many women get to see the bad behavior exposed, and eventually, Tukley and Sophia get together. 

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love in a village  |  Isaac bickerstaffe  |  1762

Cast size:  6M, 4W

Click here for the text

Rosetta, anxious about marriage to someone she's never met, runs away and becomes a chambermaid in Justice Woodcock’s house. Thomas Meadows is on a similar trajectory: he escapes his father to pose as a gardener in Woodcock’s household. After they fall in love, Sir William reveals that they were each other’s unknown betrothed. The narrative is suitably ludicrous but this musical comedy's representation of English country manners sends up class and gender norms brilliantly.

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tragedies
 

oroonoko  |  Thomas Southerne  |  1696

Cast size:  7M, 2W 

Click here for the text

Southerne's play - based on Aphra Behn's novella - gives us the drama of an African Prince and his beloved who have been sold into slavery in the British colony of Surinam. This play opens an opportunity for actors to explore what W.E.B. Dubois has called “double-consciousness”: how African chattel slavery and its historical legacy have endowed Black people with knowledge of Eurocentric culture and values while denying their claims to social being and, ultimately, life itself.

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