Molière’s ‘Miser’ makes its way to Price Theater
March 16, 2009

Generational conflict, false pretenses and extreme financial paranoia: These contemporary-sounding themes converge in “The Miser,” the upcoming production at Price Theater. But while the topics ring true to the times, the comedy has been performed for more than three and a half centuries.

First staged in 1668, “The Miser” was written by French playwright Molière. Its plot revolves around the penny-pinching Harpagon, a miser who cares more for his hidden fortune than for his children’s happiness.

“I’ve wanted to direct this show for 16 years,” said Dr. Steven Earl Edwards, the production’s director and Professor of Theatre Arts. “It’s such a fun play and so accessible to today’s audiences.”

In the original production, Molière himself played the title role in the play, which has become one his most enduring works.

“Molière raised comedy to the point where it could rank with tragedy as an entertainment for the intelligent and the cultured,” Dr. Edwards said. “Instead of comedy being lowbrow, he made it highbrow.

 “He is universally regarded as the greatest French writer of comedy, and this work proves why.”

A quick look at the play’s cast of characters gives ready evidence of humorous potential: a hypochondriac miser who loves his dogs more than his children, a matchmaker who’s more interested in proper payment than proper matches, a son who’s in love with the same young woman as his father, and a daughter who’s love-struck for a servant who’s really not a servant at all.

Got all that? Not to worry. It unfolds smoothly as the plot is revealed.

Carrying the lead role in this Price production is College theatre alumnus and Hollis Hand Elementary Principal Jack Morman ’89 M’95, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees on the Hill.

“It’s great to have Jack back on the Price stage in the title role,” Dr. Edwards.

Surrounding him is a cast of nine students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, Theatre majors, non-majors—and a Panther football player. They are William Joel Coady, Ali Grieb, Julia Jones, Tim Quirk, Anna Carroll Sims, Cordaryl Strickland, Joseph Thomas, Kenny Wiley and Benjamin Williamson.

The show opens on Thursday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. and includes evening performances on March 27 and 28 and April 1 – 3, plus a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 29.

To order tickets, call the box office (beginning Wednesday) from noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays at (706) 880-8080. Note that the play does include mature themes.

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