Artisan, Tribeca set stage ‘Beauty’ for H’w’d

Hatcher retained for big-screen adaptation

NEW YORK — Artisan Entertainment and Tribeca Films have joined forces to pluck a play from near-obscurity and package it for the screen.

Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” has thus far played regional houses en route to a major engagement at the Philadelphia Theater Co.

Set in 1661 London, it chronicles the true ordeal of Edward Kynaston, one of the period’s leading boy actors playing female roles, when King Charles II banned cross-gender performances.

“Compleat” is “one of the most risque and resonant pieces I have seen,” Artisan acquisitions and production veep Rachel Cohen said.

“Not only is it a funny and poignant story,” added Tribeca veep Hardy Justice, “but an incredibly sexy one too.”

The two Gotham companies will co-develop and co-produce the film, with an eye toward a 2001 production date and a 2002 release. Hatcher has been retained to adapt the play for the screen.

Walter Bobbie is directing the stage version, which Barry and Fran Weissler are producing.

Cohen repped Artisan with business affairs exec Beck Sloca; Justice repped Tribeca; and Abrams Artists Agency’s John B. Santoianni, Jack Tantleff and Charmaine Ferenczi repped the writer.