Nell Gwynn (2019)

Folger Theatre produced Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale, original music by Kim Sherman, directed by Robert Richmond, from January 29th 2019 - March 9th 2019.

Photo by Brittany Diliberto, Bee Two Sweet Photography. “They’ve put a woman on the stage!” Nell Gwynn (Alison Luff) becomes a stage sensation in England. (Also pictured left to right: Catherine Flye, Quinn Franzen, Christopher Dinolfo, Kevin Collins.) 


An orange seller from the streets of Drury Lane steps onto the stage and becomes the darling of the Restoration theater. Nell discovers one of her biggest fans is none other than Charles II. Smitten with Nell’s spirit, the king brings her to court as a favorite mistress. Commissioned by Shakespeare's Globe, this sparkling portrait of a rare woman earned accolades in London, including the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. This heart-warming and hilarious look at an amazing woman of her—or any—age is “a roaring good time” (DC Theatre Scene).


Entertainment unions represented in Folger Theatre productions include The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (**), United Scenic Artists (***), and the Actors' Equity Association (*), which includes members of the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.


  • Regina Aquino*, Lady Castlemaine & Louise de Keroualle
  • Caitlin Cisco*, Rose Gwynn
  • Kevin Collins, Musician
  • Christopher Dinolfo*, Edward Kynaston
  • Catherine Flye*, Nancy & Ma Gwynn
  • R. J. Foster*, King Charles II
  • Quinn Franzen*, Charles Hart
  • Michael Glenn*, John Dryden
  • Nigel Gore*, Thomas Killigrew
  • Jeff Keogh*, Lord Arlington
  • Alison Luff*, Nell Gwynn
  • Alex Michell, Ned Spigget
  • Zoe Speas, Queen Catherine, Musician


  • Kimberly Braun, Nell Gwynn
  • Darrell Johnston, Charles Hart & King Charles II
  • Ned Read, John Dryden
  • Kevin Collins, Lord Arlington & Thomas Killigrew
  • Jack Schmitt, Edward Kynaston & Ned Spigget
  • Robin Weiner, Musicians
  • Julie Weir, Lady Castlemaine & Louise de Keroualle
  • Renee Elizabeth Wilson, Rose Gwynn & Queen Catherine
  • Miranda Zola Nancy & Ma Gwynn

Creative Team

  • Jessica Swale, Playwright
  • Robert Richmond**, Director
  • Kim Sherman, Original Music
  • Tony Cisek***, Scenic Design
  • Mariah Anzaldo Hale***, Costume Design
  • Andrew F. Griffin***, Lighting Design
  • Matt Otto***, Sound Design
  • Michele Osherow, Resident Dramaturg
  • Eisenburg/Beans Casting, New York Casting
  • Teresa Wood & Manna-Symone Middlebrooks, Folger Casting
  • Diane Healy*, Production Stage Manager
  • Jessica Short*, Assistant Stage Manager

Production Team

  • Jennifer Hopkins, Assistant Director
  • Christina Miller, Production Assistant
  • Zoe Speas, Music Captain
  • Fabiolla de Silva, Portuguese Dialect Coach
  • Katharine Pitt, French Dialect Coach
  • Bella Faccia, Inc., Set Construction
  • Jonathan Dahm Robertson, Assistant Scenic Designer
  • Ansaldo Costume & Denise Wagner, Costume Construction
  • Vlada Pakhomova, Props Master
  • Adele Gresock, Millinery
  • Anne Nesmith, Wig Designer
  • Ali Pohanka, Wig Assistnat
  • Cidney Forkpah, Wardrobe Head
  • Erin Flemming, Assistant Lighting Designer
  • Alex Keen, Master Electrician
  • Kristen Roth, Assistant Master Electrician
  • Brandon Roe, Sound Engineer
  • Courtney Hammond, For Eisenberg/Bean Casting Casting Assistant
  • Erica Power, Casting Intern
  • Grafik, Graphic Design & Advertising Agency
  • Emily Tartanella, Marketing Design Consultant
  • Brittany Diliberto, Bee Two Sweet Photography, Promotional and Production Photography
  • WAPAVA, Archival Video
  • APTV, Mark Fastoso, & Lee Fanning, Promotional and Production Video
  • C2, Open Captioning

Folger Theatre

  • Janet Alexander Griffin, Artistic Producer
  • Beth Emelson, Associate Artistic Producer
  • David Polk, General Manager
  • Charles Flye, Theatre Production Manager
  • Rebekah Sheffer, Assistant Technical Director

Other Media


"There's not much more you can ask for ... perfect for a 21st-century date" - Washington City Paper

“Loving and resplendent … a romantic comedy of the highest order” – DCist

“Nothing short of miraculous … A joyful visit to our theatrical past” – BroadwayWorld, DC

"I thought it was great fun" - WETA Television's Around Town

“There’s so much that’s irresistible about Nell Gwynn … a roaring good time” – DC Theatre Scene

“Visually opulent … and full of wicked fun” – DC Metro Theater Arts

Nell Gwynn is ultimately irresistible … Jessica Swale’s script truly sparkles” – TheatreBloom

Alison Luff is “sparkling” as Nell Gwynn – Brightest Young Things

"It's easy to see why both king and audience are smitten" with Nell Gwynn - Washington Blade

“Bold, bawdy entertainment ... sidesplitting” – MD Theatre Guide

“A Valentine to the magic of an independent woman … as close to perfect as you can get” – The Hill is Home

"A thoroughly entertaining spectacle ... do not miss this production" - BroadwayWorld, Baltimore

“Exuberant and hilarious … a true gift to theater lovers everywhere” – Plays To See

"A moving and passionate story of an incredible woman" - The Sentinel Newspapers

"Hilarious ... Nell Gwynn is exceptional" - The Culpeper Times