by Liz Duffy Adams

March 27 – April 13, 2014


"Liz Duffy Adams’s historical romp of a backstage sex farce
about Restoration playwright Aphra Behn displays style,
humor, and jaw-dropping wit."
— BackStage

Directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray

Amy Carle
Colleen Madden
Norman Moses




Reviews for OR,!

"Or, is set in Restoration England, but it's no fussy costume drama -- not by a long shot. Rather, it's a saucy and smart finish to the company's fifth season."

  - Jennifer Smith, Isthmus - READ THE REVIEW


"On a stage strewn with props from Forward's first five years, Carle gives us a charismatically warm and romantic Aphra Behn. Watching her — and reflecting on this magnificent company that's risen from the ashes of the Madison Repertory Theatre — it's easy to believe that in the world of theater, anything is possible."

  - Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - READ THE REVIEW

The Possibilities are Endless in 'Or,' 
- Aaron Conklin, Stage Write/Madison Magazine

'Or,' is Restoration comedy written for modern times 
- Mike Muckian, Wisconsin Gazette

The Art of the Quick Change in Forward's 'OR,'
- Aaron Conklin, Stage Write/Madison Magazine

What is OR,?

Wrong or righteous? Lust or love? Treacherous or true? Set in 1666 Restoration England, Or, comes complete with secret agents, cross-dressing, rhyming couplets, and lovers hiding in cupboards. It’s just one night in the life of Aphra Behn, poet, spy, and soon to be the first professional female playwright.


Sprung from debtors’ prison after a disastrous overseas mission, Aphra is desperate to get out of the spy trade. Her new play has a chance at a production at one of the two London companies, but only if she can finish it by morning. Latenight interruptions spring from a sudden new love, actress Nell Gwynne; a complicated royal love, King Charles II; and a very suspicious ex-love, double-agent William Scott — who may be in on a plot to murder the king in the morning. Can Aphra resist Nell’s charms, save Charles’s life, win William a pardon, and launch her career, all before the sun comes up?


OR, Production Photos
Photos by Zane Williams

View the embedded image gallery online at:


Exclusive Costume Exhibit at Overture Center!

Inside the Fabric of Forward - a Costume Retrospective

Through April 15th


OR-Costume-Exhibit-Photo-1        OR-Costume-Exhibit-Photo-2


Have you ever wondered how a play gets from the page to the stage? Ever watch a production and wonder how all those fantastic costumes were created? Well, here's your chance to dive into the world of both fabric and farce. For our production of "Or," Forward Theater Company is offering a tantalizing peek behind the curtain. Head to Overture Center and take a look! You may even learn some of our secrets...

With this exhibit, we hope to bring you deeper into the world of costume design by revealing every step of the artistic process. We invited the scores of talented costume designers who have worked with Forward Theater to show a part of their artistry that is rarely seen by audience members: design notes, inspiration boards, costume plots, and most of all, their original costume renderings. These beautiful, often hand-painted portraits serve as the blueprint for the very costumes you see onstage. They are typically shared with the director, stitchers, and other production staff during the early stages of a production, but are eventually laid to rest with other research material, never to be seen by the public.

In an effort to bring our audiences closer to the art that they enjoy on the FTC stage, we are proud to present an exclusive collection of designs from various Forward Theater productions. These materials, and the fully realized costumes they inspired, helped to create the world of many celebrated FTC plays. Whether it be a frolic into the world of spies and seduction like "Or," or the personal side of the presidency in "44 Plays for 44 Presidents," these notes, sketches, and inspiration boards give you a glimpse into what really goes on behind the curtain.


This production is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.