Molière in the Park, co-presenting with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), and in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, LeFrak Center at Lakeside and Theatre for a New Audience, will present a live stream of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur’s translation of Molière’s biting satire THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, directed by Molière in the Park’s Founding Artistic Director Lucie Tiberghien. The presentation will pioneer Liminal Entertainment Technologies’ innovative StreamWeaver software which pushes the online theater medium into new domains.
The all-woman cast includes Tony and Obie Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Broadway’s Caroline, or Change & Jelly’s Last Jam, writer-director of upcoming socio-political horror film Red Pill), Kaliswa Brewster (Showtime’s “Billions,” ABC’s “Time After Time”), Cristina Pitter (Behind the Sheet at Ensemble Studio Theater), Tamara Sevunts (Daybreak on Theatre Row, Your Alice at BAM), Mirirai Sithole (If Pretty Hurts... at Playwrights Horizons, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play at MCC), Carolyn Michelle Smith (Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet) and Corey Tazmania (Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, Housewives of Mannheim at 59E59).
When the obsessive Arnolphe (Tonya Pinkins) realizes that his ward, 17-year-old Agnès, actually has a mind of her own, he is flabbergasted. Nevertheless, intent on saving face and maintaining control, he doubles down on his decision to marry her. Agnès, despite having been raised to remain completely ignorant, is saved by her own innate intelligence, Arnolphe’s utter failure to see what is right in front of him, and the one thing he cannot steal from her; her humanity.
Molière in the Park’s Founding Artistic Director Lucie Tiberghien and Co-Founding Executive Producer Garth Belcon state: “We are looking forward to telling this classic 17th century French tale through the lens of a contemporary aesthetic and an all-woman cast to further bring into focus the inherent power of justice and equality over racism and sexism. By casting a Black woman in the central role of Arnolphe - a white man of power and privilege, who is forced to realize that he cannot control or snuff out anyone’s humanity - we are shining a light on the ultimate absurdity of similar American systems of oppression.”
The production team includes Garth Belcon (MIP Co-Founding Executive Producer), Thyra Hartshorn (Production Manager), Andrew Carluccio - Video Engineer (Liminal Entertainment Technologies, LLC), three-time Emmy Award nominee Paul Brill - Composer (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Burma Soldier), Lina Younes (Set Design), Ari Fulton (Costume Design), Daniel Williams (Sound Design), Emily Rawson (Animation), Jonathan Kokotajlo (Assistant Video Engineer) and Madison Lane (Production Stage Manager).
THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES streams live on Saturday, October 24 at 2pm EST and 7pm EST. A recording of the stream will be available on MIP’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/moliereinthepark) through Wednesday, October 28, 2pm EST. Viewing is free. Reserve at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/molieres-the-school-for-wives-registration-120285734871. Running time is approximately 90 minutes. For more info visit https://www.moliereinthepark.org/school-for-wives-online.
To appeal to its French speaking audience, hearing-impaired audience and language learners, MIP is offering the option to choose closed captions in French or in English. Please note, only French closed captioning is available for the rebroadcast.
Immediately following the two live performances Molière in the Park will be hosting a live Q&A with team members. Attendees can submit questions directly through YouTube, on Twitter, via Facebook Messenger, or via Instagram direct messages during the event or immediately after.
Molière in the Park’s previous live stream of Tartuffe was a New York Times Critic’s Pick headlined “When Tartuffe meets Trump, It’s Revolutionary.” Jesse Green raved, “This is an implicitly political Tartuffe, full of delight for our undelightful time.” Summarizing the production, he wrote: “With allusions to the White House as well as Black Lives Matter, it tears down walls to rebuild a classic.” The Observer’s David Cote said it’s “Spirited and lively! Molière’s satire of religious hypocrisy hasn’t aged. Played with screen-chewing abandon by Raúl E. Esparza, the Broadway veteran crafts a loose and daffy Tartuffe out of bits of Gene Wilder, Bugs Bunny and Zach Galifianakis.”
Molière in the Park was created in Fall 2018 and is dedicated to being an inclusive and antiracist theater organization. Its goal is to bring high-caliber English language productions of Molière’s timely masterpieces, as well as carefully chosen contemporary plays that focus on language and question today’s world through the lens of history, to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park annually, and the online theatergoing community, free of charge. For info visit https://www.MoliereInThePark.org, like MIP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoliereInThePark, follow on Twitter at @MoliereBKPark (https://twitter.com/MoliereBKPark) and on Instagram at @moliereinthepark (https://www.instagram.com/moliereinthepark).
A Franco-American Brooklynite, Lucie Tiberghien was raised in France and Switzerland and moved to New York in 1995. Specializing in the development of new plays, Lucie has directed world premieres at Second Stage, MCC, The Cherry Lane Theater, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Rattlestick Theater Company, MaYi Theater Company, The Humana Festival, Labyrinth Theater Company, Pan Asian Rep, New York Theater Workshop Next Door, and Arena Stage. She has developed new plays at Playpenn, Sundance, Ojai, The O’Neill, MTC, The Roundabout, Primary Stages, among others. In 2018 she founded Molière in the Park to act on her desire to democratize access to theater and bring free theater to Brooklyn on a regular basis.