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Women's Lives Surrounding Late 18th Century Theatre

Women Involved in Theatre

Women's Plays

After the period known as the Restoration, women started to have their plays published. Mrs. Aphra Behn was one of the first English playwrights. She was the wife of a very well to do Dutch man; after he passed away she was hired by the government (British) for a political position.  Soon after, Behn began writing frequently. Aphra Behn was extremely fond of comedy, as it was also her strong point. Her main focal point was on “forced marriage” – this was actually the title of her first produced play (1670). Behn lived in the male dominated world of the Restoration, making it difficult for most women to stand out, however she was well able to make her unique female characters who made their own decisions.  She created 18 highly successful plays, many of which are still studied and read today.


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