Broads’ Word Ensemble is proud to announce Kate Motzenbacker to direct the West Coast Premiere of The Lady Was a Gentleman; set to open April 8, 2017 in the Dorie Theatre of The Complex Stages.
In 1848, celebrated actress Charlotte Cushman left her wife behind and went on (another) farewell tour of the U.S. with her personal assistant Sallie, a free black woman, and an ever-expanding entourage of adoring younger women. The Lady Was a Gentleman imagines this lost piece of queer theatrical history as a screwball comedy of seduction, mistaken identity, and all the fun you can get away with when you’re famous.
Kate Motzenbacker is a director-about-town and member of Son of Semele Ensemble, where she produces Company Creation Festival, a collection of new devised and otherwise collaboratively-created works performed in rep. Her own collaboratively-developed works include The Life of the Night and Why We Become Witches, both adapted from classic queer novels. Kate’s work has been seen at Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings, Chalk Rep, the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Downtown Repertory Theatre, and more. Kate accepted this project because, “Art about queer women’s history tends to focus on two subjects: unadulterated misery or finding true love despite the odds. What a treat to work on this light, laugh-out-loud comedy about a well-meaning lothario!” The Broads couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Kate’s expertise and keen eye to this play.
Written by Barbara Kahn, a playwright known for the dramatization of the forgotten stories of women, particularly lesbians, giving the lesbian community the opportunity to see their history onstage and showing audiences in general the richness of lesbian life both past and present. Originally produced by Theatre For a New City in New York, Barbara is thrilled to see her play take stage in Los Angeles.
Casting is to be completed in January, with rehearsals commencing in February. Broads’ Word Ensemble’s Executive Director Tara Donovan and Artistic Director Danielle Ozymandias will serve as the shows producers. The production team is rounded out by Broads’ Producing Team: Sylvia Loehndorf, Lacy Altwine, and Dana DeRuyck, with designers to be announced.
The Lady Was a Gentleman marks the fourth production for Broads’ Word Ensemble and first of its 2017 season! Later this season, look out for a “classical piece with a twist” at the Hollywood Fringe and a partnership with the LA FPI for “a staged reading series of local female playwrights.”