"The Miser" by Moliere opening April 5
Molière is one of the most enduring classical playwrights in the theatre. The Miser is a perfect example of bringing an old story first to the 17th century (it premiered in 1668) and with this translation by David Chambers and updated to the 19th century by director Paul Sulzman, continues to illuminate and resonate and challenge our sensibilities in the 21st century.
“In choosing plays for our 80th anniversary season,” said Artistic Director Richard Camp, “I wanted to emphasize not only the theater’s connective tissue but to illustrate the timeless aspects of theatre itself. The two spellings of theatre/theater are purposely used. I consider “theatre” the overall concept of the art form, and “theater” the edifice in which that art form is performed.”
Theatre has a long-standing tradition of stories that are created and shared throughout the ages. Moliere based The Miser on a play by the Roman playwright, Plautus, who, in turn, based many of his stories on those of the ancient Greeks. The brilliance of theatre lies in the way the stories are re-told throughout the centuries, and in doing so give the stories new meaning and new incarnations for the period in which they are presented.
“The Miser” features a character, Harpagon, who is absorbed with a single-minded obsession: money. He is paranoid that his children are out to rob him. He is loath even to speak the word “give.” In every aspect of his life, Harpagon is driven by his avarice and as a paragon of greed he exemplifies a multitude of facets that still plague our society today. The “greed is good” manifesto spills over into other areas besides money and still lives on in the distorted dreams of many, reaching to the highest levels of government, business, sports, entertainment and other aspects of our lives.
Though this might sound like a dark play, be prepared to laugh, because this being Molière, the entire play is filled with outrageous, absurdist comedy. Molière was/is a master of that genre, and fitting addition to the 2019 season that began by honoring the first show done at the Art Center Theater with Night Must Fall, and now honors one of the classics, reaching back to weave another thread into the patchwork quilt that defines theatre in our theater.
Sign up to learn about upcoming productions, auditions, opening night festivities and more...