New Theater by Women Inspired by the 19th Century

The Victorian era is dramatized in Bay Area theater this month in several works by women. From new interpretations of Dickens and Thackeray classics to an original mystery set in 19th century London, check out one of these plays for a fresh perspective.

“Vanity Fair” at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater: through May 12


Becky Sharp, William Thackeray’s ambitious heroine-of-sorts, comes to life in Kate Hamill’s adaptation of the 19th-century British novelist’s classic. She may not have been born with wealth or status, but ambitious Becky Sharp is determined to attain both--at any cost. By Kate Hamill; based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray; directed by Jessica Stone; a coproduction with Shakespeare Theatre Company.  See details.

“Far, Far Better Things” at Live Oak Theatre/Berkeley: through May 19


Inspired by Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Geetha Reddy's new play tells the story of two women--a Latina domestic worker and a young South Asian doctor--separated by class, race, and the unspoken rules of modern womanhood.  See details.


“Victorian Ladies' Detective Collective” at Berkeley City Club: through June 4


In Victorian London, Sisters Loveday and Valeria run a boarding house for Single Ladies. When a series of gruesome murders terrorizes the neighborhood, the women set out to bring the killer to justice on their own. A “comic collaboration” between local playwright Patricia Milton and resident director Gary Graves.   See details.

See more theater here.