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The Beaux' Stratagem

A comedy by George Farquhar

Adapted by Thornton Wilder & Ken Ludwig

The path to love is rarely smooth in this romp full of misconception and wit.

Department of Theatre & Drama

December 8 - 11, 2011

Power Center


The Story: Having blown their fortunes, two young minor aristocrats (the “Beaux”), Archer & Aimwell, set off to the countryside to try to marry into wealth in order to continue their lives of pleasure. In the town of Lichfield they find their targets – the daughter of a wealthy widower and her unhappily married sister-in-law. Posing as master and servant, the two men quickly find that their carefully planned caper runs afoul due to an unexpected twist — true love. When an innkeeper’s daughter takes a fancy to Archer and the local “parson” tries to recruit them into his neighborhood highwayman gang, their plans quickly go awry. The play is filled with bawdy humor, spirited dialogue, hilarious characters, and romantic charm; our unlikely heroes get exactly what they wanted, if not what they bargained for.

Background: Irish playwright George Farquhar (The Recruiting Officer, the play performed in Our Country’s Good) wrote The Beaux’ Stratagem while on his deathbed in 1707. An instant success, the play was performed frequently, with constant revivals. In 1939, Thornton Wilder, fresh from his success with Our Town, received a request from famed producer Cheryl Crawford for a new look at Beaux’. Wilder worked on the adaptation for nine months before declaring himself “stuck” and abandoning the project. In 2004, Wilder’s nephew rediscovered the forgotten manuscript and asked Ken Ludwig (Crazy for You, Lend me a Tenor) to complete the project. The new Beaux’ debuted in 2006 at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. and was declared by Variety to be a “laudable remake of a historically significant play.” Created by three theatrical voices centuries apart, The Beaux’ Stratagem melds classic and modern sensibilities in a seamless whole that continues to delight.


Emily Berman (Chicago, IL), Ben Blackman (New York, NY),

Reed Campbell (San Francisco, CA), Tyler Dean (Plymouth, MI),

Jeffery Owen Freelon, Jr. (Chicago, IL), Aimée Garcia (Cumming, GA),

Nicole Gellman (Windsor, Ontario, Canada), Melissa Golliday (St. Joseph, MI), Casey Hanley (Mill Valley, CA), Neal Kelley (Ann Arbor, MI),

Alex Madda (Sherman Oaks, CA), Jon Manganello (Grosse Pointe, MI),

Philip Maxwell (Kalamazoo, MI), Margot McGrath (Mill Valley, CA),

Jesse Peri (Stinson Beach, CA), Dan Rubens (Mattawan, MI)

Beaux Stratagem graphic by Chris Purcell

Artistic Staff

Director Priscilla Lindsay
Scenic Designer Vincent Mountain
Costume Designer Jessica Hahn
Lighting Designer Mary Clare Blake-Booth
Composer/Foley Artist Colin Fulton
Wig/Hair/Makeup Designer Dawn Rivard
Stage Manager

Rachael Albert


2006 premiere of the The Beaux' Strategem adaptation at the Shakespeare Theatre Company


Click to view photos from The Beaux' Stratagem


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower