Mrs. Hawking part I
by Phoebe Roberts and Bernie Gabin

Photo by Anna Muench

MRS. HAWKING: Part 1 by Phoebe Roberts and Bernie Gabin is the first episode in a six-part series of stage plays following the adventures of a Victorian lady detective and her young protege. Staged and performed specifically for filmed recording at the Manchester Community Theater in NH, Mrs. Hawking takes a bold new approach to the classic genre of the Victorian mystery caper! The year is 1880 in the reign of Queen Victoria. Young Mary Stone has just arrived alone and friendless in London, unsure of what to do with herself after a lifetime of keeping house for her late parents in India. She has no choice but to accept a position as a house girl for Mrs. Victoria Hawking, an aloof, mysterious society widow who seems to want nothing to do with her. But when she discovers Mrs. Hawking’s true business, as a secret champion to the otherwise helpless women of London, Mary is drawn into a world of new heroic purpose battling against devious blackmailers, rescuing kidnapped children, and struggling against the restrictive place their society forces on women.

Content notes: mentions of stillbirth

Presented by Arisia 2023
Saturday, January 14th at 10:00PM
in the Stone Room at the Boston Westin Seaport

From Breaking Light Productions
at the Manchester Community Theatre at NEMS


Cari Keebaugh as Mrs. Hawking
Circe Rowan as Mary Stone
Christian Krenek as Nathaniel Hawking
LilyDean ten Eicken as Lord Brockton
Jason Tilton as John Colchester
Sarah Parisi Boçi as Mrs. Fairmont
Jackie Freyman as Clara Hawking
Michael McAfee as Walter Grainger
Jenn Benfield as Grace Monroe
Andrew Prentice, Kate Potter, and Pieter Wallace as Ensemble


Director, Production Designer – Phoebe Roberts
Editor, Technical Director – Bernie Gabin
Stage Manager – Naomi Ibasitas
Costume Designer – Jenn Benfield
Lighting and Set Designer – Carolyn Daitch
Sound Technicians – Jason Kuehl, Jacob LaRocca, Nick Silverman 
Hair and Makeup Artist – Hope Prentice
Wardrobe Technican – Kate Potter
Fight Choreographer – Dan Prior

About Mrs. Hawking

Mrs. Hawking, the new series by Boston-area writers Phoebe Roberts and Bernie Gabin, takes a bold new approach to the classic genre of the Victorian mystery caper. Begin with a Sherlock Holmes of sorts, a deductive genius following the threads of wrongdoing as concealed by the careful manners of a straitlaced culture. Blend into this the psychological complexity of a brooding, Batman-esque avenger, driven by old wounds and a fierce indignation over society’s injustice. And to complete the image, give it a twist– make her a woman, her endeavors cloaked by a mask of harmless respectability, when in reality she is a defiant shattering of the delicate Victorian mold. Join Mary as she enters the world of Mrs. Victoria Hawking, and see for yourself what a compelling combination this makes!

And if you enjoyed this, please be sure to come back on Sunday at 8:30PM for the next adventure in the series, Mrs. Hawking part 2: Vivat Regina!

Cast and Crew Bios

Jackie Freyman (Clara) has been performing since the age of six and studied acting, singing, directing, and creative writing at Emerson College. She has lived in Boston and been active in the local theatre scene since 2005. Favorite roles include Clara Hawking in the Mrs. Hawking plays (Breaking Light Productions), Lottie Wilton in Enchanted April (Theatre To Go), the Ghost of Mrs. Ball in Mother Goose’s Grave (Theatre @ First), Tinker Bell in Peter Pan (Post Meridian Radio Players), and Suzanne de Tournay in The Scarlet Pimpernel(Post Meridian Radio Players). In addition to performing, Jackie enjoys traveling, reading, going to the movies (and quoting them), going to the theatre, dancing, and belting it out at karaoke. She is also thrilled to have had her own plays produced on stage for the first time in 2022 with Theatre Company of Saugus!

Cari Keebaugh’s (Mrs. Hawking) 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,!

Michael McAfee (Walter Grainger) 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.

Sarah Parisi Boçi (Mrs. Fairmont) is an eldritch horror Who walks among the living, fueled by spite and bloodlust. She is so grateful and lucky to have been part of this phenomenal production and hopes to work further with Team Hawking in the future. 

Kate Potter (Ensemble) When not being a Victorian maidservant both onstage and behind the scenes, Kate Potter can generally be found making things, reading nonfiction, or talking about history. She has contributed the largest number of fics to the Mrs. Hawking tag on AO3.

Andrew Prentice (Ensemble) is one of the longest running members on team Hawking. He has enjoyed watching this whole ‘experiment in episodic theatre’ grow into an amazing series as the skills of everyone, and the tools at our disposal, have grown and advanced in the last decade-ish. As a stalwart friend of Phoebe’s, and chief morale booster of the team (via insufferable dad jokes, mostly) he is pleased to present you with these most recent fruits of our work, with assurances that there is still more to come as we continue out-doing ourselves. Thank you for coming, and enjoy the show!

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. 

Special Thanks

The Manchester Community Theater Players at NEMS
Alan D. Kaplan

Follow the story of Mrs. Hawking  

On the web: 
On Facebook: 
On Instagram: @mrshawkingweb 
On TV Tropes: Mrs Hawking (Theatre) 

This has been a Breaking Light Production