Molière’s “The Imaginary Invalid” opens tonight as Temple Theaters kicks off its 2003-2004 season.
The satire chronicles the outrageous scheme of a hypochondriac determined to marry off his daughter to a physician so he can have constant medical attention available.
Ironically, the French playwright Molière, otherwise known as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, wrote and performed the play in the final days of his life. He died in 1673.
Temple Theaters will offer a unique version of the play.
Director Ryder Thornton personally translated the script from French to English. Thornton began working on “The Imaginary Invalid” while living in Budapest.
“After seeing many interpretations of the play, I found that the translations varied a lot (depending on the director),” Thorton said.
Inspired by Molière’s work, Thorton sat down and modernized the play. He chose to write the play in prose rather than rhymed couplets as it better aided the translation.
“[The show] goes beyond a social commentary on doctors and really addresses aspects of human nature,” Thorton said.
Although Thorton originally planned for the production to take place in Budapest, plans fell through. Thorton, a graduate student at Temple University, is now using the piece as his thesis project.
Rehearsals for the production began early September and ran six days a week. The cast, consisting of both undergraduate and graduate students, attended rehearsal on the days that correlated with their roles.
“We are quite fortunate that we got the people we did. They fit the roles well,” Thorton said.
Ted Powell, a sophomore Film major, plays the role of Mr. Florid. After watching and learning from graduate students, Powell credits the experience as a powerful learning tool.
“The play is Monty Python-esque,” Powell said, “People will expect the play to be classical and dry, but the classical verbiage makes it very funny. The toilet humor and physical action on stage will surprise Temple students.”
Temple Theaters Promotion Coordinator Pat Allen said that interest and excitement about the production grows steadily as the show dates approach.
“Although people might not be familiar with the play, it is a brilliant farce and the costumes are gorgeous,” she adds.
“The Imaginary Invalid” shows at Tomlinson Theater from Oct. 16-18 and Oct. 22-25 with a daily show at 8 p.m. An additional matinee will start at 2 p.m. on Oct. 25.
Tickets are free for students with a GAF card. General admission is $15. For ticket information, call the Temple Theater box office at (215) 204-1122.
Kiana Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org