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Austin College Theatre Students Present The Misanthrope
Article By: by Austin College
Posted: 9/20/2013 Views: 3551  Impressions: 11431
Categories: Education, Entertainment: The Arts

SHERMAN, TEXAS-The Austin College theatre program presents the comedy The Misanthrope September 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. in Ida Green Communication Center's Beardsley Arena Theatre. Tickets, available at the production, are $8 or free with a valid Austin College ID. The event is open to the community.

A misanthrope is one who dislikes or mistrusts other people and society. One of playwright Molière's most recognized works, the play's plot satirizes French society in the 17th century, but audiences since that time continue to find parallels to their own lives. The Austin College production, directed by Kirk Everist, associate professor theatre, is a comedy performed in a verse translation of the play by Richard Wilbur. The performance will last approximately two hours, including one intermission.

The play's central character, Alceste, insists on truth and honesty and scorns the hypocrisy of society. Ironically, he finds himself in love with a woman who is deceitful in most of her interactions and much concerned with appearances.

Everist offered the following plot summary: "Alceste has decided he's had enough of the insincere gossip and constant self-promotion that he sees around him; but he can't let go of his love for Célimène, whose popularity and charm continue to bewitch him. His friend Philinte can't convince him to soften his position, and Alceste manages to offend just about everyone around him by speaking entirely with total sincerity-even ending up in court for libel. Meanwhile, Célimène's popularity is endangered when her various admirers start comparing the messages she's written them and noticing that what she says and what she writes don't always match. Matters come to a head as private messages are made public, private opinions are aired for everyone to hear, and (as usual in a comedy) love affairs implode, explode, and emerge in unexpected places."

"Moliere resembles contemporary authors like Aaron Sorkin in that he creates intelligent characters that not only challenge each other in a bare-knuckle combat of wits, but challenge the audience as well," Everist said. "In our production, we've concentrated on presenting an array of interesting people who are actively annoyed by each other, in the interest of discovering the lengths they'll go to in order to preserve their self-image-in a world defined by constant visibility. In Moliere's time, political and public life was all about publicly performing oneself; in our own, social media generates an environment remarkably similar to 17th century France."

The Austin College production does not include modernized text, though some period references have been removed. Everist said that theatre historian Phyllis Hartnoll believed that Moliere's plays "defy translation" because they were so clearly products of their time; many productions of The Misanthrope play the style of 17th century manners as itself the subject of the comedy. "Ours is more interested in finding out what these characters can tell us about our lives today-and laugh about it," Everist said. "So our characters, like us, populate a world with mobile devices and Tweets, in which the latest gossip is almost instantaneously public, and in which we are so in touch with everyone else it becomes difficult to stand being around anyone at all. It becomes easier, in this context, to understand Alceste, the character who decides he must only tell the truth, because he so despises the hypocrisy of perpetual politeness."

Senior Conner Skinner of Hallsville, Texas, plays Alceste, in love with Célimène; senior Cody Edwards of Eastland, Texas, plays Philinte, Alceste's friend and confidante; junior Julio Malave-Torres of The Colony plays Oronte, a high-ranking official, in love with Célimène; and senior Lizzy Lincoln of Round Rock, Texas, plays Célimène, Aleceste's beloved. Other cast members are senior Jessica Pehrson of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, as Eliante, Célimène's cousin; senior Maddy Fouga of Fort Worth, Texas, as a friend of Célimène; sophomore Lindsey Womack of Austin, Texas, as Acaste, a noble, an admirer of Célimène; sophomore Reed Cook of Owasso, Oklahoma, as Clitandre, a noble and an admirer of Célimène; senior Dani Henricks of Round Rock, Texas; freshman Chris Patton of Houston, Texas, as the guard; and sophomore Kendall Nibert of Houston, Texas, as Dubois, Alceste's valet.

Sophomore Johanna Hunter of Whitewright, Texas, serves as the stage manager for the production. Costume designer is junior Anika Payne of Fort Worth, Texas; sound designer is senior Katherine Ailshire of Sherman, Texas. Set and lighting designer is Liz Banks, assistant professor of theatre.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives.

Associated Events
Austin College Theatre Students Present The Misanthrope
Sep 26, 2013 - Sep 28, 2013
Ida Green Communication Center?s Beardsley Arena Theatre
The Austin College theatre program presents the comedy The Misanthrope September 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. in Ida Green Communication Center?s ...
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