University Players opens its season with the comical romp Molière Impromptu, September 19 to 28 at Essex Hall Theatre.
In this work translated and adapted by Rinne Groff from three short plays by Molière, the famous playwright and his acting company have been commissioned by the king of France to perform a new play. Under extreme pressure of a last-minute rehearsal, it doesn’t take long for chaos to ensue: the script is boring, the actors don’t know their lines, and petty spats threaten to tear the company apart.
With time running out, a staging of improvised hilarity rises to a crescendo as the actors rush to pull together a stellar performance worthy of winning the hearts of the court of Versailles.
Dora Award-winning director Jim Warren, who directed Tartuffe for University Players in 2013, is well experienced in Molière’s work.
“The comic scenarios in Molière Impromptu and the commedia dell’arte are the forerunners of our modern day comedy troupes, such as Second City,” he says. “These troupes still borrow from that rich history of improvisation and the basic humour still resonates with theatre audiences today.”
Saturday matinees are new this season. Wednesday through Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. On Sunday, September 21, a “Talk Back” discussion with the director and actors will follow the performance. Tickets can be ordered online at www.UniversityPlayers.com or by calling 519-253-3000, ext. 2808.