Since the 1870s, a mysterious play manuscript has sat in the Boston Public Library, largely ignored except by the library’s dedicated staff. Dr. Joe Stephenson of Abilene Christian University aims to change that. He’s reevaluated the anonymous play, entitled The Dutch Lady and written sometime in the late 1660s or early 1670s, and is preparing to release a scholarly edition in 2018 of this surprisingly engaging Restoration comedy. He’s also working with Fred Theatre in the United Kingdom to produce the play, bringing it back to the stage for the first time in over 300 years. Joe joins us to explore The Dutch Lady and its place in Restoration-era theatre.

Title page of the manuscript for The Dutch Lady in the holdings of the Boston Public Library. Photo courtest of Joe Stephenson.

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The pasted-on alternate epilogue for The Dutch Lady, a sign that the play was being reworked for performance. Photo courtesy of Joe Stephenson.

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