The Lady Was a Gentleman

by Barbara Kahn

St. Louis, MO. 1858. Charlotte Cushman’s opening night as Romeo, one of her most famous male roles, leads to a case of the jitters, and encounters with an amorous young female fan and a frontier woman and her mail-order bride. Charlotte’s hectic life on and offstage is held together by her trusted assistant Sallie Mercer, a free and educated black woman during the time of slavery in the U.S. Based on the life of the most famous actress in the English-speaking theatre in the 19th century, who lived her life loving other women, including sculptor Emma Stebbins, designer of Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain.

  • Cast Size: 5W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

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