The Beaux' Stratagem


Villanova, PA (October 19, 2010)…Villanova Theatre is thrilled to continue its 2010-2011 season with an effervescent new adaptation of George Farquhar's comedy, The Beaux' Stratagem. Adapted initially in 1939 by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder (Our Town) and completed in 2006 by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me A Tenor), The Beaux' Stratagem illuminates the stage with its hilarious and astute observations about society and differences between the sexes. Reviewing the adaptation's recent premiere, The Washington Post praised the way it "glides confidently from silly to wry, from the pratfall to the riposte."

Villanova University Theatre professor Shawn Kairschner directs a cast of twenty, accompanied by an award-winning creative team that includes Janus Stefanowicz (Costume Designer), Jerold R. Forsyth (Lighting Designer), Jeremy Foil (Scenic Designer), John Bellomo (Fight Choreographer), and Jenny Jacobs (Choreographer). Complete with beautifully intricate period costumes and musical flourishes -- including a live harpsichordist, violinist and flutist -- the production marries the aesthetics and discipline of an 18th - century period piece with the fun and lightning wit of a contemporary comic romp. The Beaux' Stratagem will be on stage at Villanova Theatre from November 9 - November 21, 2010.

Villanova Theatre is located in Vasey Hall on the Villanova University campus. Performances will be held at 8:00pm on Tuesday – Saturday and at 2:00pm on Sundays. Tickets cost $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students and groups, and may be ordered through Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at

A seldom-seen gem of a play, The Beaux' Stratagem tells the story of Aimwell and Archer, two young gallants who are short on cash and long on schemes, who roam the English countryside in search of wealth and women. When they happen upon the beautiful Dorinda and her equally charming sister-in-law Mrs. Kate Sullen, they hatch a plot to woo and win them. But plenty of hurdles stand in their way: a feisty barmaid with her eye on Archer, Kate's drunken slacker of a husband, Dorinda's eccentric mother, and a band of thugs that threaten to ruin even the best-laid plans.

The play's appeal lies not only in its ability to delight audiences and have them laughing in their seats for over two hours, but also in touching on issues of love and relationships (the process of finding a match, falling in love, revealing one's true identity, living in an unhappy marriage) –all as relevant in the 18th century as they are today. According to director Shawn Kairschner, the adaptation's vibrancy and fun are a synthesis of the particular talents of Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig, who managed to breathe new life into a classic comedy, making it sharper, more relatable and fit for a modern audience.

Portraying the madcap 'doctor,' Lady Bountiful, is Kimberly Fairbanks, last seen on the Villanova stage as the title character in Medea. Audiences will recognize second-year acting scholar Tim Rinehart as Archer from his appearances last season as Orlando in As You Like It and Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, and as Pip/Theo in this season's Three Days of Rain. First-year acting scholar Felicia Leicht, who also appeared in Three Days of Rain (Nan/Lina) will be portraying Mrs. Kate Sullen, opposite second-year graduate student Chris Serpentine (last seen as Jason in Medea). As her drunken husband, Sullen. Charles Illingworth IV, a recent alumnus of Villanova's graduate theatre program, will be playing the role of Aimwell, opposite second-year Costume assistant Stephanie King as the lovelorn Dorinda.

Director Shawn Kairschner has performed and directed in numerous venues in the United States and in Europe. Favorite acting roles include Berowne in Love's Labours Lost, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Antonio Vivaldi in Theresa Bassoon. He is proud to have been in the first cast of American actors to perform at the new Globe Theatre, Southwark, London. As a director, he has worked on both coasts, including a three-year stint as Artistic Director of the Sideway Theater Company in Berkeley, CA, where he directed or produced a variety of pieces from Shakespearean comedies to original one-person shows. For Villanova Theatre, he has directed, among others, Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses and, most recently, last Spring's production of Medea. Other directorial credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Williamstown, MA and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D.

The Villanova University Theatre Department came into being in 1958 under the leadership of Dr. Dick Duprey. Today, Villanova's Department of Theatre offers both a Master of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Practical Theatre. Students enrolled in the theatre program undergo a course of study that combines both scholarly and practical approaches to theatre. Guided by award-winning faculty and staff who are actively involved in the region's professional theatre industry, students gain knowledge and experience through hands-on production work and in-depth academic study in the areas of dramaturgy, script analysis, dramatic literature, playwriting, acting, and directing.

The Beaux' Stratagem will be on stage November 9th-21st, 2010. Show times are 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2:00pm Sunday. Tickets cost $21 - $25 and may be ordered by calling the Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at

Click here to view photos from our history!

Get Involved

Ushers are needed for every performance. Ushers arrive one hour before the show, hand out programs, help seat patrons, and see the show for free! Please contact the Villanova Theatre Box Office at 610-519-7474 if you would like to usher.

Production Crew
We need volunteer crew members to help build sets, hang lights, and sew costumes. This is a great way to experience theatre "behind the scenes" and meet new people. Please contact Business/Production Manager Elisa Loprete Hibbs at 610-519-4897 to volunteer for production crew.

Open Auditions
Want to be in the spotlight? Audition for Villanova Theatre productions! Auditions are held throughout the year. 

Fact Sheet

WHERE: Villanova Theatre, Vasey Hall, Lancaster & Ithan Avenues, Villanova, Pennsylvania

WHEN: November 9 – November 21, 2010
Preview: Tuesday, November 9, at 8:00 p.m.
Opening: Wednesday, November 10 at 8:00 p.m.
Performs Tuesday-Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

$21.00 Tuesday Preview
$23.00 Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday
$25.00 Friday/Saturday evening/Sunday

Daniel Ciba ...Sir Charles/Daniel

Danielle DeStefano ...Lady/Household servant

Rebecca Dulac ...Household servant/ Flutist

Kimberly Fairbanks ...Lady. Bountiful

Charles Illingworth IV ...Aimwell

Michael Jansen ...Boniface

Dustin Karrat ...Bagshot

Stephanie King ...Dorinda

Felicia Leicht ...Kate Sullen

Seth Martin ...Gloss

Brendan Norton ...Foigard

Jessica O’Brien ...Cherry

Barbara Quinn ...Country Woman

Tim Rinehart ...Archer

Tom Saporito ...Scrub

Chris Serpentine ...Sullen

Rob Towarnicki ...Hounslow

WRITTEN BY: George Farquhar

ADAPTED BY: Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig

DIRECTED BY: Shawn Kairschner


COSTUME DESIGN: Janus Stefanowicz

LIGHTING DESIGN: Jerold R. Forsyth

MUSICIANS: Melissa Dunphy/Rebecca Dulac

DRAMATURG: Amanda Curry

VOCAL COACH: Neill Hartley



TICKETS: (610) 519-7474



Brian Morgan Benefit Night: Saturday, November 13
In memory of former Villanova student and actor, Brian G. Morgan, all ticket sales for the Nov. 13th performance directly benefit the Brian G. Morgan '67, '70 Memorial Award Fund. Patrons are invited to the reception that will follow this performance, in which a current Villanova Theatre graduate student will receive the 2010-2011 Award.

Speaker's Night: Thursday, November 18
Patrons are invited to attend a lively post-show discussion with the director, dramaturge, and guest speaker Laura Rosenthal, Professor of English at the University of Maryland. Dr. Rosenthal is an expert on the Restoration period and will shed light on how The Beaux' Stratagem develops various 18th century themes.