Our Leading Lady

by  Charles Busch

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  4m, 5f

Set in Washington, DC, in 1865, the play is about Laura Keene, the British-born stage actress whose company was performing Tom Taylor's Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre the night Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth.

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Our Leading Lady

by  Charles Busch

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 5f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

April, 1865. Laura Keene, a famous actress/manager, is performing in Washington, DC during the week the civil war ends. Despite a madcap scramble of backstage squabbles, the ambitious Laura does everything she can to get President Lincoln to attend her closing night performance. Her great plans go awry, as Laura and her theatrical troupe collide with history.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Our Leading Lady is a backstage comedy in which a presidential assassination is not merely a national tragedy but also a vexing interruption in a powerful woman’s quest for fame and glory. Imagine the collision of Gone with the Wind and Noises Off." - Don Shewey, The Advocate

Videos

  • Our Leading Lady
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: American Civil War Era
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: 1865, Ford's Theatre and Laura's hotel roomm in Washington, DC
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 5f
LAURA KEENE
HARRY HAWK
GAVIN DE CHAMBLAY
VERBENA DE CHAMBLAY
MAUDE BENTLEY
W.J. FERGUSON
MADAME WU-CHAN
CLEMENTINE SMITH
MAJOR HOPWODD
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Charles Busch

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which ran five years and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won M ...

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Our Leading Lady premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, NY, March 29, 2007. It was directed by Lynne Meadow.

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