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Lycoming College offers classic comedy with “The School for Wives”

Lycoming College offers classic comedy with “The School for Wives”

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Lycoming College Theatre Department will close out its 50th anniversary season with one of Jean-Baptiste Molière’s greatest comedies: “The School for Wives” translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur. Directed by Theatre Department Chair and Associate Professor Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, the play will be performed in room D-001 of Wendle Hall, adjacent to the lobby of the Mary L. Welch Theatre, 8 p.m., April 10-13.

Arnolphe (performed by Nicholas Auletti ’20, theatre major and history minor from East Quogue, N.Y.), is a wealthy man who fears adulterous wives and educated women above all else. He is under the delusion that he can create a perfect marriage for himself by molding the ideal wife out of the young woman he has raised from age 4 — the naïve and innocent Agnès (Briana Rumsey ’19, theatre major from Waldwick, N.J.). So, what can possibly go wrong? Everything. Although Arnolphe has carefully shielded Agnès from the outside world, romance finds her in the form of the dashing Horace (Daniel Egan ’20, business and corporate communications major, theatre minor from Upper Darby Pa.). Unaware of who his rival is, the trusting Horace enlists Arnolphe’s aid in wooing Agnès, which leads to a series of hilarious and inventive twists and turns of plot, until the inevitable conclusion is reached.

Written in 1662, "The School for Wives" is a social satire that speaks in surprising and illuminating ways to the issues of power, gender, and marriage. “I find Molière’s comedies extremely witty and entertaining. The 17th-century elegant verse combined with the elements of physical comedy and immediacy of Commedia dell’Arte performance tradition communicate powerfully and enjoyably the message of the play. Although Molière himself states that his intent is to highlight the follies of his own generation, the themes of desire for power over somebody’s will and actions and the battle of the sexes sound astonishingly relevant today,” said Stoytcheva-Horissian.

Tickets are free for Lycoming students, faculty and staff. Public ticket prices for all shows are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the box office 570-321-4048.

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