When: Thursdays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Nov. 1 2015
One of Oliver Cromwell's greatest crimes against the English people was his closure of all theaters, which was the equivalent of shutting off the Internet in the modern era. In 1669 the restored English monarch reopened the theaters after seventeen years of darkness, with some notable improvements — one being that female roles could now be played by women. April De Angelis' comic drama Playhouse Creatures is set in this era of England's first actresses, including Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Farley, Rebecca Marshall, Mary Betterton and the wonderfully named Doll Common. These women are shown onstage and backstage as they navigate this new world: Women can adopt multiple theatrical roles, but they must always adhere to the tightly constrained roles society allows them in their real lives. The Fontbonne University Theatre Department presents Playhouse Creatures at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday (October 22 through November 1) at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-719-8060 or www.mustardseedtheatre.com). Tickets are $10.