Fall play '09: "The Miser" arrives at Uni
Published: Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 7:52pm
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7
Where: North Attic Playhouse
Tickets: $7 for adults; $6 for students, seniors, and children
Director: Barbara Ridenour (for cast and crew, see list below)
Plot: Harpagon is a wealthy penny-pincher who plans to squeeze as much money as possible out of the institution of marriage by arranging for his daughter, Elise, to marry an old man named Anselme, while he himself marries a woman named Mariane. However, Elise has already fallen for another man, Valère, and Mariane is in love with Harpagon's son, Clèante. With the help of a clever matchmaker, a sneaky servant, and a saucy cook/coachman, Elise and Clèante scheme to marry the people they really love.
Director Barbara Ridenour makes a point during rehearsal as cast members Maia Gersten (left) and Stefanie Senior listen. Gargoyle photo by Sindha Agha (click to enlarge)
Nov. 4 update: Ticket prices had been incorrectly reported as $6/$5; the prices are $7/$6.
"It's a good play first and foremost," says director Barbara Ridenour. "For years I've used 'The Miser' in my Theatre Arts I class, so when looking for a good play to do this fall, it jumped out at me."
Performances will be held 7 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the North Attic Playhouse. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for students, faculty, and senior citizens.
Written in 1668, "The Miser" takes place in Paris and follows the story of Harpagon (senior Zack Goldberg), a wealthy but stingy man with two children, Cléante (senior Ethan Schiller) and Elise (junior Stefanie Senior).
The somewhat crazy Harpagon is arranging for Elise to marry an old man named Anselme (John Garvey). However, she is actually in love with Valère (junior Ben Zehr), a servant. Complicating things is Harpagon's desire to marry Mariane (senior Vivian Robison), who is really in love with Cléante.
Throughout the play, Elise and Clèante try to manipulate Harpagon into letting them marry whom they want. Add to this mix several other funny roles, including Frosine the clever matchmaker (senior Anna Gooler), La Flèche the sneaky servant (senior Andrew LaPointe), and Jacqueline the saucy cook/coachman (junior Kahlilah Cooke), and you have a hilarious play with witty dialogue and comically exaggerated characters.
"You can be completely over the top and it's perfectly OK, because that's what you're supposed to be doing in the first place," says Zehr.
But it’s not all humorous for the cast and crew; they’ve been putting in hard work.
"The toughest part so far has been memorizing my lines,” Zehr says.
This seems to be a common challenge.
"[My part]'s a bigger role than I'm used to having," says Senior. "So I have to prepare myself for just being in front of people.”
"I have more lines than I've had in all the other parts I've had combined," he says. "So, it's more difficult for me."
However, the cast has been putting in the work to bring this comedy to life on stage. Uni students can expect a pleasing blend of wit and whim.
"There are several times in the play where I get used as a prop!" Senior says with a laugh. "But if that's not really what floats your boat, then you should come see it if for no other reason than that you get to see Ethan Schiller being really, really outrageous and Zack Goldberg being old."
"You'll see a new facet of your classmates," she says. "It's going to be a great deal of fun for both the audience and the actors."
And just judging by all the hard work, "The Miser" promises to be an entertaining show.
"Whether or not you think the play is going to be good, which it will, productions are a ton of fun to go to, especially if they're put on by people you know," says Zehr. "It's a great way to spend an evening."
FALL PLAY '09: Molière's "The Miser," directed by Barbara Ridenour
- Harpagon (the miser) — Zack Goldberg (sr)
- Cléante (Harpagon's son) — Ethan Schiller (sr)
- Elise (Harpagon's daughter) — Stefanie Senior (jr)
- Valère (in love with Elise) — Ben Zehr (jr)
- Mariane (in love with Cléante) — Vivian Robison (sr)
- Maitress Simone (a moneylender) — Maia Gersten (so)
- Frosine (a scheming woman) — Anna Gooler (sr)
- La Flèche (Cléante's servant) — Andrew LaPointe (sr)
- Jacqueline (Harpagon's servant) — Kahlilah Cooke (jr)
- First Servant (Brendavoine) — Stirling Hobgood (fr)
- Second Servant (La Metluche) — Matthew Meyer (fr)
- Justice of the Peace — Katy Metcalf (jr)
- Clerk to the Justice — Arch Robison (su)
- Seigneur Anselme — John Garvey
- Stage Manager — Tianna Pittenger (sr)
- Costumes — Mary Stasheff
- Set Design — Margarita Mouschovias (jr)
- Lighting Design and Operation — Adam Joseph (jr)
- Sound Operator — Adam Joseph
- Poster Design — Tianna Pittenger
- Program Design — Tianna Pittenger
- Set Crew — Kahlilah Cooke, Maia Gersten, Greta Goldbart (su), Zack Goldberg, Anna Gooler, Stirling Hobgood, Andrew LaPointe, Diana Liu (sr), Katy Metcalf, Matthew Meyer, Margarita Mouschovias, Charlie Newman-Johnson (jr), Arch Robison, Vivian Robison, Ethan Schiller, Stefanie Senior, Fiona Weingartner (jr), Ben Zehr