The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cutpurse

Event has passed (Thu Jun 29, 2017 - Sun Jul 2, 2017)
Kelly Cullen Community Center
2:00 pm
Theater / Performance Arts


The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cutpurse Middleton and Dekker’s 17th Century comedy in street-punk dress. The adventures of a notorious London carouser, thief, brawler – and woman. Directed by Gaby Schneider. June 16-July 2. All performances are pay what you will.

Theater of Others continues its fearless foray into the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries with Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker’s 1611 comedy, The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cutpurse. Moll is a dramatization of the life of Mary Frith, a carouser, cross-dresser, pickpocket, and street brawler in the lower depths of 17th century London. Gaby Schneider directs a cast of fourteen at the Theater of Others’ home, the Kelly Cullen Community Auditorium, 220 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

In the 17th century, “roaring boy” was slang for a young man who caroused publicly, brawled, and committed petty crimes. Middleton and Dekker mischievously applied the term to their heroine. Producer Glenn Havlan says that, despite her brazen ways, under the surface, Moll sticks to a strong moral code. When her goal is to help unite a pair of young lovers against family wishes, she resists being thrown off track by attempted entrapment and even physical threat.

As a feminist who is naturally dawn to activities traditionally reserved for men, Moll defies the gender and sexual norms of her time. But neither does she neatly fit any of today’s categories. Is Moll trans? Genderfluid? Agender? Asexual? Director Gaby Schneider, who has studied the play over the past six years, concludes that the only sexual identity Moll definitively claims is “not being treated like a whore.” Her fascination lies in her defiance of all assumptions. As she says, “I please myself and care not else who loves me.”

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  1. Kelly Cullen Community Center

    220 Golden Gate, San Francisco, CA