BC Theatre Presents “A Bold Stroke For a Wife”


Hunter Aversa

The production took place in Cole Hall. The staging of the show flipped traditional seating and had the audience on the stage with the cast, so that the cast could play off of the audience.

Hunter Aversa, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- From Feb. 15 to Feb. 18, the theatre department put on “A Bold Stroke For a Wife,” a satirical comedy by Susannah Centlivre from the 18th century.

The cast included seniors Beth Gaver and Anton Kopti, junior Jon Northrop, sophomores Erin McDaniel, Abby Nester and Grayson Preece and first-years Jam Mark and Kenzie Ragland. Among the crew were seniors Abby Gaver, Matthew Ciccone and Bailey Morrison and sophomore Allison Nickels.

“The production tells the story of Anne Lovely, whose parents decided in their will that Anne required the permission of each of her four guardians in order to marry,” said Communication Coordinator Logan Bogert. “Unfortunately, they are all very different people. They’ll never agree to the same partner for Anne. Enter Colonel Fainwell, who has a plan to be a different person for each of them in order to secure Anne’s hand.” 

The show was directed by Adjunct Instructor of Communication Studies and Theatre Aili Huber. The production was also assisted by Adjunct Instructors of Communication Studies and Theatre Shannon Dove and Holly Labbe and Theatre Sound Designer Ryan Howard.

The staging of the play embraced that of the original period with universal lighting, allowing the actors and audience to see each other. 

The play also had cross-gendered casting, which allowed actors to have any roles available and allowed some to play multiple roles. Cross gendered casting was used in the 18th and 19th centuries and has gained popularity in classical theaters over the past 20 years.

”The way that the stage was set up was really impressive because of how they had the audience on stage with the actors,” said sophomore Elizabeth Melton. “It definitely drew in elements of environmental theatre and was overall a really great show.”

The team for this production took many roles to bring the show to life including set design, lighting design, costume design, makeup and wardrobe and graphic design.

“‘A Bold Stroke for a Wife’ comes from the 2020 Expand the Canon List,” explained the event program. ”A program of Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, Expand the Canon demands space for classic plays for women and non-binary writers through history to be known, read and produced.”

The role of cross-gendered casting made the play stand out among other productions. 

“It’s really cool that they were able to still perform with multiple roles being played by one person,” said Melton. “It seems challenging for the actors, but they were all able to perform really well.”

Additional upcoming theatre events at Bridgewater including Pinion Players’ “Ties that Bind,” written by senior Adam Lorfink in March and Matt Ciccone’s theatre capstone at a later date.

“The best part was the costumes, 100%,” said sophomore Jadon Goldsmith. “I felt like this show was more jovial than the other shows.”