A Divine Kerfuffle by H. Russ Brown
The year is 1895 and Sarah Bernhardt is the greatest actress to ever grace the Victorian stage – just ask her! The “Divine Sarah” fears, however, her once bright star may be fading with all the attention suddenly being lavished on a talented, younger rival. When she stumbles across an incredible new script written by a naïve, but up-and-coming playwright, though, Sarah is convinced her path to theatrical immortality is assured… until her rival also gets her hands on a copy. Throw in a fuss-budget theatre manager, a stern Teutonic maid, a nimble-footed usher, plus a hilarious jumble of confusions and complications – and the stage is set for the ultimate showdown as the two dueling divas cross wits and blades in this frantically funny farce!
- Cast Size: 3M 3W 6M/W
- Running time: 90+ minutes
- Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
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About the Playwright
H. Russ Brown is a Theatre Artist/Educator currently serving as Head of Theatre/Artistic Director for the College of the Mainland Theatre program in Texas City, TX.
H. Russ began his career over 25 years ago in his native Texas. He has worked professionally in the theatre as an actor, director, dialect specialist, movement coach, fight director, and nationally award-winning playwright – writing dozens of shows that have been produced in theatres across the country.
He has been honored numerous times for his plays including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts New Visions/New Voices award for his musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic short story, THE SELFISH GIANT, and the 2005 Kenndy Center American College Theatre Festival’s NST Fellowship for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Playwriting for his comedy, STUD DUCKS AND HORNY TOADS.
H. Russ has taught/guest lectured at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, Illinois State University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Ball State University, Lon Morris College, Nicolet College, Spoon River College and Western Illinois University – just to name a few. He holds a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University and an M.F.A. in Acting from Western Illinois University.
His greatest source of pride, however, is his beautiful wife, Elizabeth, and his amazing kids, Grant and Auben.
“Love is my Sword, Faith is my Armor,& Humor is my Shield.” – H. Russ Bown
ALSO by H. RUSS BROWN
H. Russ Brown’s raucous farce, “A Divine Kerfuffle” is classic of the genre on arrival. Combining solid structural elements with imaginative full-throttle silliness, constantly turning tables and consistently surprising the audience, while still resolving in a satisfying and hilarious finish, it’s a “master class” for the actor and director. For everyone else, it’s just a flat-out crowd pleaser.
It should be said, farce is hard! Having “stakes” worth watching and finding truth in the absurd is becoming a lost art. This viewer has seen it devolve into mugging and breaking the wall in an attempt to wring out even a tiny laugh. “…Kerfuffle” is bringing silly back and is a welcome addition to the lineage of excellent farce.
The play also affords the theatre that does it casting flexibility in terms of type, gender, and even cast size to an extent. Historic (Starring Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse for gawd’s sake!), lots of “backstage” fun, well considered physical bits, it checks all the boxes and delivers.
You won’t be sorry you fell into “A Divine Kerfuffle.”
This is one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in years! A good old fashioned, though new fashioned, farce: hilariously funny, sharp, and fast paced, with door slamming aplenty (Moliere would be very pleased). It was wonderful, too, to see the women getting a chance to swash their buckles, for a change. A hilarious evening in the theater!
Smart, fast-paced, and hilarious! Brown has structured an an excellent farce which includes swashbuckling divas and a devilishly fun plot twist. A fun feast for actors and audiences alike!
Thanks to H. Russ Brown for offering up that rarity if modern theatrical scripts…a well-written farce!
This play is fun to watch and offers a fantastic opportunity for women actors to show their abilities in sword fighting as well as their prowess on the stage. This show is great for all audiences and its fast pace keeps your interest.
We opened our season with show, and it was roaring success! . It was truly a wonderful experience….elevating a new show, having an opportunity to work with the writer, including a new skill of sword fighting, implementing the techniques and difficult physical skills required in a farce, a fabulous exercise in comic timing, the opportunity to approach a specific style of theatre, the chance to explore dialects in a comic way, the challenge of telling a complex story, the vocal dexterity required to tell said story…..and I could go on! It was educational, entertaining, and an overall BLAST! Our audiences loved it as did our students.
Strong characters all around, and nonstop comedy. Never a dull moment. Always keeping up the pace. Truly a great show.
Exceptional work by H. Russ Brown who brings farce into the 21st century with a highly comedic work that insists on diversity in casting and offers women the opportunity to shine in roles that are both physically and artistically challenging. Delectable dialogue, site gags galore, grand storytelling and dueling all rolled into an evening of perfect theater that will leave audiences in fits of laughter. Highly recommend.
My students enjoyed doing the ONE-ACT version of this only SO MUCH for competition. We were awarded superiors for our production and BEST COSTUMES! The adjudicators loved it as much as the audience. This show is an incredible opportunity to blend heightened language, comedic timing, physical comedy, fight choreography, beautiful costumes, a period unit set, and diverse and equitable casting all in one. It was such a joy for my students to step into these characters and we had a blast adventuring through the process together. GREAT CHOICE for high-school and beyond!