Photo Courtesy of Bruce Ojard
The CSS Theatre put on eight presentations of Moliere’s “The Misanthrope” at the College of St. Scholastica between April 15-25, including a free dress rehearsal on April 15.
The theatre presented an interpretation of Moliere's piece in English, which was translated from the French by noted American poet Richard Wilbur. The theatre program brought in Liz Gray-Larson to direct the performance.
“I like Shakespeare, but he is hard for the general for the public to embrace,” Larson said. “But I like Moliere more because, to me at least, he is much more accessible and easy to understand.”
The play itself was very time consuming to produce, according to Merry Renn Vaughan, the theatre director. Vaughan said that the costumes needed to be made special for the production, since “The Misanthrope” is from the 17th century, and the making of the costumes required even more time to get the play ready for the stage.
The cast of the show was full of beginners, Larson said, but their effort and even good looks helped a lot.
“It’s hard to get a full cast that is good-looking, but we got one,” Larson said. “They’re all doing so well that it’s to the point where I can hardly tell that they haven’t acted much before.”
Larson also said that since she has worked with beginners before, she knows how to keep them calm and settled in nerve-racking situations.
Larson and Vaughan both encourage students and everyone else to come to the show, with Larson acting as “pitch-woman” on top of being the director.
“Come see ‘The Misanthrope’ and laugh while we run around in pretty costumes with our dresses over our heads.” Larson joked.