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“Kintry Matters”

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Horton, G. L. (aka Geralyn Horton, American playwright, critic/reviewer, actor, director, 1940-____), “Kintry Matters,”

a 30-minute bare-stage Restoration-style comedy in English, set in a student’s college room, England, c. 1697,


; • © 2003 by Geralyn Horton • in G. L. Horton’s Kintry Matters (Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: The Author, 2003); • scripts/rights available from G. L. Horton, 49 Washington Park, Newton, Massachusetts 02460, U.S.A., telephone 617-630-9704, e-mail g.l.horton@mindspring.com; full text available at http://www.stagepage.info. • Cited by G. L. Horton via ftp January 9, 2004; Horton says,

§ Dramatis Personae Arthur Hamm; .Betty (f), a buxom serving wench from a local tavern.

§ Synopsis “Hammond, a randy student, wagers with a classmate that he can smuggle the barmaid Betty into his college rooms and bed her there. This prank is made more complicated because he must hide the doxy not only from his tutor Blakenley and the University's authorities, but also from his valet Kintry, who is not an ordinary manservant but an actress pretending to be one.

§ Comment “Requires a practical door (or excellent mime skills), period costume, plus an old trunk large enough for a actress to be hidden within. • The play is based on an incident in the early life of actress and playwright Susanna Centlivre, whose comedies were the most produced on the English stage between 1710-1820. It is written with the high style and low humor of the period's characteristic comedies.” • [Susanna Centlivre was] born about 1667, probably in Ireland, where her father, a Lincolnshire gentleman named Freeman, had been forced to flee at the Restoration on account of his political sympathies. When sixteen she married the nephew of Sir Stephen Fox, and on his death within a year she married an officer named Carroll, who was killed in a duel. Left in poverty, she began to support herself, writing for the stage, and some of her early plays are signed S. Carroll. In 1706 she married Joseph Centlivre, chief cook to Queen Anne, who survived her. Her first play was a tragedy, The Perjured Husband (1700), and she herself appeared for the first time as Bath in her comedy Love at a Venture (1706). Among her most successful comedies are—The Gamester (1705); The Busy Body (1709); A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718); The Basset-table (1706); and The Wonder! a Woman Keeps a Secret (1714), in which, as the jealous husband, Garrick found one of his best parts. Her plots, verging on the farcical, were always ingenious and amusing, though coarse after the fashion of the time, and the dialogue fluent. She never seems to have acted in London, but she was a friend of Rowe, Farquhar and Steele. Mrs. Centlivre died on the 1st of December 1723. Her dramatic works were published, with a biography, in 1761.”—Encyclopedia Britannica, vol V, 11th edition (Cambridge: University Press, 1910), p. 674; cited on Susanna Centlivre (c. 1667-1723), http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/centlivre001.html, accessed January 14, 2004.

§ Themes 1697, authority, breeches part, Centlivre (Susanna Centlivre, English playwright, actress, c. 1667-December 1, 1723), class and gender roles, English college, English Restoration, impersonation, literate language, randiness, seduction, sex, theatre history, tutor-student relationship, valet, wit.

See also G. L. Horton's

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Page mounted January 21, 2004, and updated October 2, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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