Sweet, hilarious, and deliciously bawdy…the show is magic. Please run, do not walk, to OR, as it’s a party no one who has the chance to go should miss.”
– New England Theater Geek

“Doesn’t put a single foot wrong … an inspired bit of comic fun.”
– Rabbit Reviews Boston


by Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Adrienne Boris

Chelsea Theatre Works | 189 Winnisimmet Street | Chelsea, MA

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Spy or poet? Lust or love? Wrong or righteous? History or comedy? 

Aphra Behn is in for a wild night. She’s fresh out of debtor’s prison after leaving behind her life of cloak-and-dagger intrigue. A wealthy impresario has given her just a few hours to write the script that could launch her career in the theatre. The hottest actress in London is vying for a part in her play and a place in her bed. And her former lover, the drunken fugitive spy, comes to town mixed up in a plot to kill her current lover, the reigning King of England. She’ll have to be quick with her quill and clever with her kisses, but Aphra Behn just might survive the night, thwart the assassins, get the girl, start a new life, and show the world that a woman’s place is wherever she damn well pleases.

Tickets just $25.

Approximately 90 minutes.

$5 minimum, tickets at the door

Immediately following the show, free with admission.

Chelsea Theatre Works


Poet, spy, dramatist, translator, whore, royalist, disgrace and wallower in the moral morass; Aphra Behn is a complicated woman. Her origins were probably humble, but we can only speculate about most of her life before the age of 27 when her work as a spy for King Charles II was officially documented in court records.  It is probable she had spied or carried illicit messages even before that, perhaps introduced into that world by a childhood friend with connections at court.

Her marriage was short-lived (if it ever really happened) and she had no known children, but her writings were prolific. Her plays The Rover and The City Heiress earned her a reputation as a peddler of smut, but she was also immensely popular.  Fiercely loyal to Charles the II and the royal cause her whole life, she rejected progressive ideals that modern Feminists espouse.  But her openness about female sexuality and desire, including homosexual love, and her self-sufficiency as a breadwinner broke the mold of expected female behavior.  “The disgrace of Aphra Behn is that, instead of raising man to woman’s moral standard, [she] sank woman to the level of man’s coarseness”.

Hell yeah, she did.


PlaywrightLiz Duffy Adams

Director … Adrienne Boris


Nell Gwynn / Others … Kaylyn Bancroft
Charles II / William Scott
… Michael Poignand
Aphra Behn
 … Anna Waldron


About Maiden Phoenix
(Learn more)
Stories about Women: Where we are, where we were, and where we are going. Maiden Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit theatre company, committed to giving opportunities to female theater artists, onstage and off, by having at least 51% female involvement in all aspects. We focus on plays that tell women’s stories, past, present, and future, in the hopes of breaking down stereotypes, breaking through barriers, and reaching a more equal world.

About Simple Machine
(Learn more)
Simple Machine makes theatre for artists and audiences. Simple machines are the essential building blocks of every complex mechanical device that moves and changes the world around us. Character, language, and action are the essential elements at the heart of all theatre. By focusing on these fundamentals, Simple Machine makes theatre that is engaging, accessible, and affordable.