In 1984, Tom Markus, Artistic Director of the Virginia Museum Theatre, commissioned Freyda to adapt her first, and so far, only Italian classic: Mirandolina, or The Mistress of the Inn, by Carlo Goldoni. His idea was to set the play in pre-revolutionary America, specifically at an Inn in Colonial Williamsburg. He gave her 4 months to relearn the American history she had long forgotten and get the play into verse, restructured and ready for rehearsal by October. With the help of David Carlyon, a fellow actor and an American history buff, the project was completed on time and played on the main stage to enthusiastic response.

The play features 5 men and two women, two sets, and could be described as a revolutionary romantic comedy. A musical version is in the works, with Freyda as librettist/lyricist.


(in order of apperance)


FRANK THOROUGHGOOD Our hero. A good, kind, simple man,
working out his indenture at the inn. In love
with Miranda.

COUNT D’ARGENTE A middle-aged, lovable if pompous French
nouveau riche bourgeois, impressed with his own wealth and intimidated by nobility.
In love with Miranda.

DUKE OF BAWLINGBROOK Another middle-aged, pompous but lovable
somewhat impoverished noble Englishman,
for ever in combat with the count over the importance of money vs. title. The two characters are comic foils for each other, reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy. In love with Miranda.

CAPT. ADAM STOUTHEART The handsome comic dashing comic
military figure, far too busy with the impending revolution to be concerned with love, and far too full of himself not to trip over his own sword or bump into an occasional door. In love with Miranda.

MIRANDA Our heroine. Everything a perfect woman
ought to be. Beautiful, intelligent, witty, kind, humorous. Does not know her heart's desire until the end of the play.

JOHN Adams military assistant, a steadying voice
of reason to the hotheaded captain.

ANNA MALASKAYA The older woman. Brought in by the Duke to lure the captain away from Miranda. Beautiful, sophisticated, very wise in affairs of the heart, actually a well-known actress of the day.



(April, 1775. Colonial Williamsburg. The dining hall of a fine inn. FRANK enters and sets up tables for the midday meal. Budget permitting, extras playing servants assist him. After a few moments he speaks to the audience)


A modest place, our quiet little inn.
Surprising spot, perhaps, for plots to spin,
For travelers are weary from the road,
And seek their rest within our sweet abode.
But revolution’s winds outside our walls
Inspire argument within these halls.

            (The DUKE and the COUNT enter and argue)

The proud, colonial Americans
And Europeans fight -- not yet with guns.
But this dispute is more than politics:
It seems our guests are in another fix.
Impassioned politics have counterparts;
Affairs of state share stage with those of hearts.
Now meet our guests.  The first—


            (stepping forward and interrupting)

                                                            The Count d’Argente!



I like the French, but this one? Pas vraiment.


I have a title!






                                                A waste

Of money, if you want to know my taste.


And here's a fellow fool of upper class,
That is to say --


                          A very pompous ass!


            (separating them)

This Englishman, the Duke of Bawlingbrook,
Is rich in title, poor in pocketbook.


His pocket is as empty as his head!


One more remark and yours, sir, will be dead.


On Old World nonsense all day long the fight’ll
Rage and fume -- its money vs. title.
The point of all this struggle, you may say?

            (The CAPTAIN enters and struts about)

But first, let's meet a third who joins the fray.
It's --


            Captain Adam Stoutheart!


                                                            Noble one.

En route to meet with Col. Washington.
He's most impressive-looking on his horse --
And every inch aware of it, of course.

            (The three men circle each other, distrustful)

And so, in a righteous, wrangling, rondelay,
The three debate the issues of the day.


We have to break our union with King George!


But there's a private union they would forge.

            (MIRANDA enters.  All three men freeze and stare in abject longing)

And there's Miranda, mistress of this place.
Bright spirit, firm of figure, fair of face,
The loveliest in all the colonies.
It's she we gentlemen all vie to please.
In manly argument they mouth their quips,
But seek another usage for their lips.
Perhaps I am too frank --


                                                That's understood!


For that's my name, you see, Frank Thoroughgood.
Indentured servant, and her father's friend,
He asked me to, when he had reached his end,
Watch over her, and as a friend I try,
Although my guide she seeks to nullify.
She’s strangely independent, for a lass,
Or woman now, I guess.  Well, let things pass,
Unfold and play, for as you've surely heard,
The picture tells it better than the word.
The Count, the Duke, the Mistress of the inn,
The Captain, me.  Now let the play begin!