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Press Release
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Maiden Phoenix and Simple Machine present Or, by Liz Duffy Adams

(Chelsea, MA): Spy or poetess? Lust or love? Wrong or righteous? History or comedy? Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company and Simple Machine present the brilliant and bawdy Or, by Liz Duffy Adams, September 8 through 23 at the newly-opened black box at Chelsea Theatre Works in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

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.

Spy-turned-playwright Aphra Behn will be portrayed by Simple Machine co-founder and Maiden Phoenix alumna Anna Waldron. Actor Michael Poignand (Producing Director, Anthem Theatre Company) will play the dual roles of King Charles II and Aphra’s former lover and colleague in intrigue William Scot. The three-person cast is completed by Kaylyn Bancroft (Sister Anonymous, Shit-faced Shakespeare), as legendary Restoration actress Nell Gwynne, enigmatic arts patron Lady Davenant, and Aphra’s trusty and crusty servant, Maria.

Director Adrienne Boris currently serves as the Artistic Associate and Co-Producer at OperaHub, and has directed with New Repertory Theatre, Boston Center for American Performance, Arts After Hours, Anthem Theatre Company, Opera North, Opera Providence, and NEMPAC Opera Project, as well as Exquisite Corps Theatre, of which she was a co-founder and Managing Director.

Tickets are $25 and will become available to the general public at the end of July. The producers are conducting a one-month online fundraiser through Indiegogo. Perks of donation include premium ticket packages, special events with the cast, and personalized poetry for donors.

For more information, visit

About the Companies

Maiden Phoenix (
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. Recent productions include last fall’s multi-award-nominated Sense and Sensibility and the World Premiere of Miss Penitentiary.

Simple Machine (
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. Recent productions include the Boston premiere of rogerandtom and the sold-out and critically-acclaimed site-specific production of The Turn of the Screw.

Calendar Listing Info

By Liz Duffy Adams
Presented by Maiden Phoenix and Simple Machine
Directed by Adrienne Boris

Anna Waldron as Aphra Behn
Michael Poignand as King Charles II and William Scot
Kaylyn Bancroft as Nell Gwynne, Lady Davenant, Maria, and Jailer

Scenic Design by Ryan Bates
Costume Design by Erin Eva Butcher
Lighting Design by Emily Bearce

Friday, September 8 at 8PM
Saturday, September 9 at 8PM (Press Performance)
Sunday, September 10 at 2PM
Thursday, September 14 at 8 PM
Friday, September 15 at 8PM
Saturday, September 16 at 8PM
Sunday, September 17 at 2PM
Thursday, September 21 at 8PM
Friday, September 22 at 8PM
Saturday, September 23 at 2PM and 8PM (Final Performance)

Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

$25 admission
Available now through


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Stephen Libby | | 857-574-0550