A Mrs. Hawking diversion
by Phoebe Roberts and Bernie Gabin
“A comedic spinoff of the ongoing Hawking story, we follow Mrs. Hawking’s other nephew Justin as he trots the globe having romantic adventures in the spirit of P.G. Wodehouse. While on a business trip to Venice during Masquerade, dashing bisexual rake Justin Hawking is there to make deals and make love, not necessarily in that order. But behind the masks of the ball is more intrigue than he bargained for, and Justin must interrupt his dalliances long enough to stick up for those without his privilege to float through life.”
Presented by Arisia 2023
Friday, January 13th at 8:30PM
in the Stone Room at the Boston Westin Seaport
From Breaking Light Productions
at the Manchester Community Theatre at NEMS
MR. JUSTIN HAWKING, a liberated gentleman – Eric Cheung
MR. NATHANIEL HAWKING, Justin’s younger brother – Christian Krenek
MR. PETER MORGAN, Justin’s valet – Pieter Wallace
MISS ROSALINE PEMBROKE, a fellow bon vivant traveler – Naomi Ibasitas
The Honorable MR. CASSIUS EVANS, a socialite and old school friend – Andy LeBlanc
MISS CORA LITTLE, maid companion to Annabel – Elizabeth Ross
THEO PRYCE, Lord Cornin, the groom-to-be and old school friend – Andrew Winson
The Honorable MISS ANNABEL BROADWATER, the bride-to-be – Arielle Kaplan
MRS. EMMELINE BROADWATER, Annabel’s guardian aunt and mistress of the house – Jennifer Benfield
MR. MARTIN QUINCY, Mrs. Broadwater’s butler – Jason Tilton
Director, Production Designer – Phoebe Roberts
Editor, Technical Director – Bernie Gabin
Stage Manager – Cari Keebaugh
Stage Crew – Michael McAfee
Costume Designer – Jennifer Benfield
Sound Technicians – Jason Kuehl, Jacob LaRocca, Nick Silverman
Hair and Makeup Artist – Hope Prentice
Mask Designer – Circe Rowan
Poster Designer – S.K. Artistry
About Gentlemen Never Tell
You’ll notice that our play opens with one fond brother asking another, “I’ve heard you’ve had a hard year. Can I tell you a funny story to cheer you up?”
This is, we assure you, no accident.
If you’ve been following the Hawking saga so far– up to part VI: FALLEN WOMEN –you know we’re up to a fairly dark point in the tale. We’ve always been determined to let the story hit whatever peaks and valleys made it the most compelling, but when it came time to write the new show for this year… we found we wanted to do as Justin did. Tell you a funny story, in hope of making you smile a bit.
So we decided to do our very first spinoff, to take the characters and world of Mrs. Hawking and explore a different corner of it– to see if it could stand up to a very different kind of story, with a very different tone. GENTLEMEN NEVER TELL takes its inspiration from classic romances and comedies of manners, in the vein of Shakespeare, Noel Coward, and particularly P.G. Wodehouse. It stars Justin Hawking, the elder brother of one of our three leads Nathaniel, who you may remember all the way back from his debut in part III: BASE INSTRUMENTS. The character was charming and funny, and we loved him so much we’ve been waiting for a chance to bring him back.
It also gave us a chance to do what we at Team Hawking love to do, approach our classic genres with love, but also with some fresh perspective. Comedies of manners have always been about satirizing the social order, but we wanted to take that one step further. You’ll notice, despite their posh breeding and their fancy ways, everybody in this story is chafing against the restrictions and expectations of society. We wanted to make their wheeling and bucking humorous, but we also wanted to use it layer some meaning into the comedy.
Because even when people are in tough spots, they figure it out. Just as we all do.
And if you enjoyed this, please be sure to come back Saturday at 10PM for our mainline episode Mrs. Hawking part 1, and on Sunday at 8:30PM for Mrs. Hawking part 2: Vivat Regina!
Cast and Crew Bios
Eric Cheung (Justin)
has done stand-up for NBC’s Diversity Initiative, stand-up and sketch at The Comedy Studio, docenting for WGBH, voice work with WGBH, WBUR, WECB, WMFO, Learning Ally, Post-Meridian Radio Players, and Boston Podcast Players
, and stage acting with Another Country, Bridge Rep, a play live-streamed on HowlRound
), and Dream Role Players, and was in Star Trek (2009)
. Since lockdown, he’s joined the board of Playwrights Platform, recorded monologues
, directed 48-hour films
, voiced an upcoming video game
, done Zoom productions of “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit,” “The Importance of Being Earnest
,” and “Waiting for Lefty,” and has a main role in Phoebe Roberts’ upcoming Dream Machine
sitcom, for which he designed the main titles
. Last year, he returned to in-person performing for PMRP at the Boston Theatre Marathon and Playwrights Platform for their annual festival. Most recently, he played Macbeth in Theatre@First’s production. After the production closed, he started shooting his scenes at home for upload to YouTube. Act I has been uploaded and he’s working on Act II right now. Visit https://facebook.com/EricCheungArtist
Arielle Kaplan (Annabel)
is so pleased to be returning to the Hawkingverse in such a delightfully comedic role, particularly as normally she’s embodying the villainous Mrs. Frost. As an actor and violence designer, she has been fortunate enough to work throughout New England, notably with The Barnstormers (Big River, Witness for the Prosecution
), Berkshire Theatre Festival (Babes in Arms
), Advice to the Players (The Comedy of Errors, Henry V
), and the Regent Theatre (Old Jews Telling Jokes)
. She is currently starring as Alice in T: An MBTA Musical
at The Rockwell and can be seen often as Princess Leia with The Rebel Legion. For more personal information, write to her mother.
’s (Stage Manager)
favorite activity is stalking the night in Victorian London as Mrs. Hawking! But when daylight crests the skyline, she can often be found doing funny voices behind a mic for PMRP. She lives on the North Shore with her own Prince Charming, and she is a big fan of tea and glitter. You can follow her adventures on her website, http://www.VeryCari.com
Andy LeBlanc (Cassius) is truly overjoyed to share our team’s hard work expanding the ever-growing Hawking series. With an education in Theatre Arts, Performance from both Salem State University & NYU’s Tisch, Andy has been scratching his storytelling itch since 2003. His most recent projects include performing as Jake in “Evil Dead” (Firehouse Center), Various Roles in “Freaky Friday” (Stadium Theatre), & Riff Raff in “The Rocky Horror Show” (Firehouse Center). He also directed Applause Academy’s first all-ages production, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, which scored four BroadwayWorld Regional nominations including “Best Director”. Andy wants to extend a special thank you to Phoebe Roberts for her invitation to share in her drive for queer storytelling. Enjoy the show!
Michael McAfee (Stage Crew) has been active in fandom since the late 1980s, and has done a little of everything. After seeing the premieres of “Mrs. Hawking” and “Vivat Regina”, he volunteered immediately after Phoebe sent out a call for backstage help; his first show as crew was Arisia 2017, with the reprise of “Vivat” and the premiere of “Base Instruments”. This video of “Mrs. Hawking” marks his first time acting onstage for this series. He has co-written an audio theater adaptation of “Metropolis”, which the Post Meridian Radio Players will be performing in Spring of 2023. He is also trying to get his first full-length theatrical script produced. He is an extrovert, and so will gladly talk at length about projects with you.
Phoebe Roberts (Playwright, Director)
is a writer and theater artist from the Boston area who is one half of the creator team behind Mrs. Hawking, in seven installments currently being produced by Breaking Light Productions. Her other work includes the comedy series Dream Machine and Texts from Avengers Tower
. By day she teaches writing and English at Lesley University.
Elizabeth Ross (Cora) is excited to be performing in this delightful show! She also appeared as Violet Strallan in Mrs. Hawking: Fallen Women with Breaking Light Productions. Her other work includes Touchstone in As You Like It and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dream Role Players, Sub-Commander Tal in Star Trek: The Enterprise Incident and Kate Warne in Confidence Confidant with Post Meridian Radio Players, Epigenes in The Congresswomen and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Theater to Go Inc, Lussurioso in The Revenger’s Tragedy with Theater@First, and Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest with North Shore Players.
Andrew Winson (Theo)
has been dicking around on Boston area stages for the past 20+ years. He knows you think he looks like John Cleese, so let’s all agree we can skip the part where you mention it. He’s sorry he was unable to attend this evening’s showing and talkback. Andrew is 6’8”, and does not play basketball.
The Manchester Community Theater Players at NEMS
Alan D. Kaplan
Follow the story of Mrs. Hawking
On the web: www.mrshawking.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/ladyschampionoflondon
On Instagram: @mrshawkingweb
On TV Tropes: Mrs Hawking (Theatre)
This has been a Breaking Light Production