Kendra A. Medford
The Paw Print
On Friday April 26, I attended the Adams State University Theatre production of “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Dr. Paul Newman. “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” is a play set in the 1660s about a man named Kynaston, the most famous portrayer of female roles on the London stage. When a woman, Mrs. Margaret Hughes, plays one of Kynaston’s favorite roles, Desdemona, at an illegal theater, instead of stopping the show, King Charles II changes the law to allow women to act. After this, Kynaston’s life falls apart piece by piece.
Edward Kynaston was played by John Hauser and Thomas Betterton, another major actor along with Kynaston, was played by Mason Scott Miller. Mrs. Margaret Hughes was played by Bethany Hernandez. Sir George Villiars, Kynaston’s lover, was played by Derek Chacon and Maria, Kynaston’s seamstress, was played by Amanda Wade. Other actors in varied roles included Matthew Wesley, David Boncyk, Erik Thurston as the King, Rachel Byers, Clarissa McNamara, Katie Fuleki, Alexander Adams-Pachl, Caty Herrick, Shawnie Abbott, Mariah Eaton, Ian Orbke, Dante J. Finley, and Logan Osborn.
John Hauser’s performance of Edward Kynaston was, to put it shortly, outstanding. I was completely drawn into this play the entire way through. Derek Chacon and John Hauser did a great job performing together. They were very believable; Hauser did a great job making us believe that he really was in love with Chacon’s character. Also, the costumes for this play were great! Everyone looked the part. The dresses were amazing and made all the women look fabulous. I’d say the costuming was dead on for this performance. During the performance, I looked around at different times to see people’s reactions – in the sex scenes for example.
The scenes didn’t bother me at all, but I know for some people it might have been a little surprising for them to see it performed on stage. While I was looking around observing people, a few people appeared shocked or covered their mouths. Some people giggled, and some seemed unbothered, much like myself. When I was talking to people after the play, some said that they weren’t expecting those sex scenes, or they didn’t understand completely what was going on the entire time. Others, however, loved the play as much as I did.
There were some witty lines in this play at some points, and from what I could tell nearly everyone in the audience grasped the humor. I think if everyone thought about this play, they would see that it is simply about life. Kynaston’s life was perfect; it was going just the way he wanted to, but then out of nowhere, the world threw him a curve ball. That happens in everyone’s life at some point, I’d say. I think we can all really connect with this play, just by being struggling college students. Overall, that is the message I got from this play… a man trying to get through life, just like the rest of us. I think this play was very well performed by everyone in the play, and I was very impressed. I had high expectations when I went in to see the play, and those expectations were not let down in any way. I was very enthralled; I just wanted intermission to be over with so I could see the rest of it!
I was impressed with everyone’s acting skills, the onstage relationships didn’t feel the least bit awkward to me, and I would definitely recommend this play to everyone! (Mature audiences, of course.)