The Lady Demands Satisfaction

A full length farce for 5w, 2m.
Now available from Next Stage Press!

When a young maiden who has never touched a sword learns she must defend her inheritance in a duel, she struggles with a milksop suitor, a servant girl posing as a Prussian fencing master, the actual Prussian fencing master who believes he is there to marry her, a stodgy lord, and her domineering aunt – the finest blade anywhere - to save her house and lands.

Runtime: 110 minutes

Period: 1756

Setting: Pepperston Hall and its grounds.

Evan Sibley as Osric the Poet
Evan Sibley as the poet Osric in the Gulfshore Playhouse Production.
Photo by Edward Morris.

The play won
Premiered by
Babes With Blades Theatre Company
Chicago, IL.
DIRECTOR: Morgan Manasa
FIGHT DIRECTOR: Samantha Kaufman
Deanalís Resto (Trothe)
Kate Booth (Penelope)
Ari Kraiman (Tilly)
Felipe Carrasco (Osric)
Linsey Falls (Abernathy)
A. N. Forman (Luitger)
Megan Schemmel (Theodosia)
with Kim Fukawa, Jennifer Mohr, and Bobby Hoffman (understudies)
Samantha Barr (Production Manager)
Kayla Menz (Stage Manager)
Lauren Brady (Ass't Stage Manager)
Becca Venable (Technical Director/Sound)
Chas Mathieu (Set)
Carlie Casas (Costumes)
Stefanie Johnsen (Props)
Becs Bartle (Lighting)
Kenya Hall (Dramaturg)
Carrie Hardin (Dialect Coach)

Zac Fitzgibbon's Review of The Lady Demands Satisfaction

About The Lady Demands Satisfaction

Farce, Full Length, 5w, 2m

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The play has its own website here!

The webiste has fewer details, but is much easier to read if you just want the highlights!

The Gulfshore Playhouse Production of The Lady Demands Satisfaction

L to R: Rebecca Brinkley, Betsy Hogg, Emily Cramer, Paul Carlin, Tarah Flanagan, Amy Blackman.
The 2020 production at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL. Directed by Jeffrey Binder.
Photo by Edward T. Morris.

The Lady Demands Satisfaction was written for the 2017/2018 Joining Sword and Pen Competition - and my third win! It's a classic farce, set in the mid-1700's, with lots of swordplay, a servant girl posing as a Prussian fencing master who doesn't speak English, the actual Prussian Fencing master who gets mistaken for a servant, a young woman who must defend her inheritance, a conniving suitor and, front and center, Duchess Theodosia Pepperston, the finest blade anywhere!

Why this play?

I wrote this play for many reasons - I wanted to write a true farce, and I wanted to see a coming-of-age story for a young girl that was shown through physical prowess. It began with the final scene; I sat down and wondered what fight scene I had never witnessed on stage. This was a play for the Babes With Blades Theatre Company, and I wanted to give them something truly original to stage. I considered a "fight in the dark", and did indeed include one, although that has been a staple of Chinese Opera for centuries, but then I had my inspiration: A duel where both parties were trying to LOSE the fight. Neither could know the other was trying to lose, neither could reveal they needed to lose the match, and the stakes had to be dramatic and serious... it would be an anti-fight. I wrote that scene first, and then spent weeks plotting the rest of the play to make that duel make sense... and it worked!

The play won the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award, the Region IV David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, and was a semifinalist for the Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Playwriting from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, a finalist for the Austin Playhouse New Plays Festival, a finalist for the 2018 Inkslinger Playwriting Competition, a finalist for the Centre Stage New Plays Festival in South Carolina, and a semi-finalist for the Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Festival in Los Angeles.

Upcoming production!

October, 2024 - Haven Arts Theatre, Spring, TX

The Lady Demands Satisfaction at Haven Arts Theatre

Recent Productions!

June 20-30th, 2024 - Maplewood Barn Theatre, Columbia, MO

The Lady Demands Satisfaction at the Maplewood Theatre

Feb 5-25th, 2024 - Phoenix Theatre, Edmonds, WA

The Lady Demands Satisfaction at the Phoenix Theatre, Edmonds, WA
Katie Wallace as Trothe Pepperston in the Phoenix Theatre production, directed by Eric Lewis.
Feb 5-25th, 2024 - Phoenix Theatre, Edmonds, WA

- Shoreline Area News

A rave review of the Phoenix Theatre production in the Shoreline Area News by Kindle Carpp
Kindle Carpp's Review of The Lady Demands Satisfaction

Nov 11-Dec 12th, 2023 - Gryphon Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand

The Lady Demands Satisfaction at the Gryphon Theatre, Wellington, NZ
Sarah Penny as Trothe Pepperston and Robert Millar as Osric in the Gryphon Theatre production, directed by James Kiesel. Photo by Squidography.

"I am still struggling to grasp how engaging and funny this fever dream of a play is."
- Eyes on Wellington

Another glowing review of the Gryphon Theatre production in Eyes on Wellington by Zac Fitzgibbon
Zac Fitzgibbon's Review of The Lady Demands Satisfaction

The Lady Demands Satisfaction

(L to R) Mattie Rose Davis as Trothe, Mary Hope Ballou as Theodosia, Abbi Perry as Luitger, K'yundra Martin as Penelope and Alex Gilbert as Lord Abernathy.
The 2019 production at the College of Charleston. Directed by Todd McNerney.
Photo by David Mandel.

The Lady Demands Satisfaction at the Gulfshore Playhouse!

One of my favorite productions of any of my plays, the 2020 run of The Lady Demands Satisfaction closed early due to the pandemic shutdown. I would like to thank everyone at the Gulfshore Playhouse for a beautiful, hysterical production - and for their wise, considered decision to keep the community of Naples a little safer by ending the run early.


The Lady Demands Satisfaction won the Region IV David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award.

David M Cohen Award

Rave reviews and a JEFF Recommendation!

The Babes With Blades production in Chicago was recommended by the JEFF Awards, and Samantha Kaufman was nominated for a JEFF Award for her fight choreography.

Emily Modaff of Hooligan Magazine wrote: "'The Lady Demands Satisfaction' is a fierce, feminist farce. It is a commentary on the inherent, yet consistently overlooked, power of womxn. It is queer as hell. This is a 2 hour soundscape of belly laughter, metal on metal, and whatever the sound of pure heckin joy is.
Review by Emily Modaff, Hooligan Magazine.

The Fourth Walsh said: "It’s a Jolly farce! In the mood for a summer escape in the city? THE LADY DEMANDS SATISFACTION is your frothy frolic destination."
Review by The Fourth Walsh.

Albert Williams in the Chicago Reader wrote: "... the show takes the conventions of classic comedy—cross-dressing and mistaken identity, witty repartee laced with puns and double entendres, slapstick violence, satirical commentary on gender and class divisions—and ramps them up with a nonbinary 21st-century perspective. The actors' performances are impressively athletic and exuberantly exaggerated, and the convoluted plot revels in its own improbability. Best of all, this production is genuinely family friendly, with multiple levels of humor designed to appeal to both kids and grownups."
Review by Albert Williams, Chicago Reader.

Harold Jaffe in Picture This Post wrote: "As the cover of the program says, The Lady Demands Satisfaction is 'a Jolly farce.' This phrasing is apt: not only was the play penned by Arthur M. Jolly, winning him Babes With Blades’ Joining Sword & Pen playwriting competition for the third time, it whistles gleefully along such that even the darkest moments have a lighthearted twist. In the words of Stephen Sondheim, it is 'something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone: a comedy tonight!'"
Review by Harold Jaffe, Picture This Post.

Sample Dialogue...

The Lady Demands Satisfaction Excerpt

Babes With Blades

Tarah Flanagan and Emily Cramer at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL.
Photo by Edward T. Morris.

Babes With Blades

The Los Angeles Production at the Loft Ensemble Theatre, directed by Danielle Ozymandias.

The Lady Demands Satisfaction Cast, Rebecca Brinkley, Betsy Hogg, Emily Cramer, Paul Carlin, Tarah Flanagan, Amy Blackman

Phoenix Theatre  Piccolo Spoleto Festival  Loft Ensemble
The Lady Demands Satisfaction         
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