Free Folger Friday: The Country Gentleman

Friday, March 01, 2019, 6:00 pm
Folger Theatre
Free, reservations requested

In 1973, a long-lost manuscript of the Restoration play The Country Gentleman was discovered in the Folger collection. Join scholar Deborah Payne and local actors, directed by Jennifer J. Hopkins, to learn more about this literary treasure, unearthed right here at the Folger.

This pre-show event is free, though reservations are requested.

Reserve Your Seats

An expert on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century theatre, Deborah Payne has published on topics ranging from the Restoration actress to baroque opera. She is the editor of “The Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre” (Cambridge, 2000); “Four Restoration Libertine Plays” (Oxford, 2005); and “Revisiting Shakespeare’s Lost Play: Cardenio/Double Falsehood in the Eighteenth Century” (Palgrave, 2016). Just recently she completed “The Commodiluxe Stage: A New Material History of Restoration Theatre.” Her most recent essays include “Pepys and Theatrical Spectatorship” (RES, 2015) and “Textual Skirmishes and Theatrical Frays: Double Falsehood versus the Scriblerians” in “Revisiting Shakespeare’s Lost Play” (Palgrave, 2016). Professor Payne also has forthcoming a book chapter on eighteenth-century acting companies for A Cultural History of the Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2017). In addition to her scholarly activities, Professor Payne has worked as a dramaturge and literary consultant for theatre and opera companies in Washington, D.C., including The Shakespeare Theatre Company, where she served as their Humanities Research Consultant for several years. Her teaching interests include Restoration and eighteenth-century drama; Shakespeare in Performance; drama and theory; and Modern British drama. 

Jennifer J. Hopkins has been based in the DC area since 2009. After many years working in New York she is happy to call the DC theatre community her home. Locally she has been fortunate to work as an actor with several companies including: Folger, Constellation, Rorschach, Taffety Punk, Longacre Lea, and Keegan. In addition she has been an educator both here and abroad. Locally she is on faculty at The Metropolitan School of Performing Arts in Alexandria. Abroad she has taught Shakespeare workshops to students at Cambridge University in England, and as a founding instructor of The Berridge Conservatory; a summer theatre program held annually in France. Her direction and choreography can also be seen across the country. For Festival 56 in Illinois she has choreographed CabaretThe Full MontyGypsyThe Addams Family, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She has also directed/choreographed their productions of As You Like It,  The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweet Charity, and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Recently you saw her movement work in Nell Gwynn, on which she also served as Assistant Director. For Providence College she has choreographed Bat Boy, a selection of which will be seen in April at The Kenned Center, and The 25th Annual Putnum Country Spelling Bee. Coming up soon in the spring she will serve as choreographer for Constellation Theatre's production of The White Snake. This summer she will be directing a gender-swapped Othello, as well as Mary Poppins for Festival 56, and in the fall she will be choreographing for an ambitious production of Mamma Mia which will be performed at three different theaters across Michigan. She has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory and an MFA from George Washington and Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting. 


Join us for the 8pm performance of Nell Gwynn to follow the talk. Purchase tickets online or by calling the Box Office at 202.544.7077.


This project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanties, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.