Plays & Translations

 
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An Italian Straw Hat

By Eugene Labiche
Translated by Arne Zaslove and K.C. Brown

Who doesn’t love a rollicking farce?  And no farce rollicks more consistently than An Italian Straw Hat.  Eugene Labiche’s comic masterpiece came to life in Paris in 1851.  We bring it to life in New Orleans, some time after that: director’s choice!  Songs based on French airs enliven both an elegant soiree and the misadventures of a group of country folk encountering the city.  From an illicit affair to a horse that ate a hat, from kissing cousins to a wedding party in eight cabs… you are sure to “laissez les bon temps roulez” (let the good times roll!).  Full length, flexible cast size.


Realm of the Whispering Ghosts
If Truman Met Einstein

By Claire Zaslove

The Realm of Whispering Ghosts explores an alternate reality in which Truman and Einstein could meet. Tomiko, a young Japanese woman who died in the bombing of Hiroshima, and Frank, an American who met her when he was a prisoner of war, set out to alter the course of events from their position in bardo (the Buddhist afterlife), outside time and space. But their efforts do not go as planned, and may have unintended consequences.

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If you are suffering from any
of these symptoms:
• Feeling bored
• Needing laughter
• Loving comedy
• Loving Molière
…take two deep breaths and call The Doctor!

The Doctor in Spite of Himself

By Molière
Translated by Arne Zaslove

Sganarelle is a lazy scoundrel, and content to be so, until his wife Martine plays a trick on him and he becomes a doctor – in spite of himself! Impersonating a learned physician is rocky at first, but getting paid for fake cures helps Sganarelle come to enjoy the role. Saucy fun with a buxom wet nurse, and saving a lovelorn young woman from an unwelcome marriage, are also perks of the job.

Arne Zaslove is a master of Commedia dell’ Arte, and this version includes his lazzi, or physical gags, from the premiere production of this new translation.


The Imaginary Invalid

By Molière
Translated by Arne Zaslove and K.C. Brown

The Imaginary Invalid is a new translation of Molière’s Le Malade Imaginaire. It was Molière’s last comic work, and Molière played the character of Argan.  He took ill onstage, and died after a performance.

Wealthy Argan has an exaggerated faith in doctors, and an endless series of imaginary illnesses. He is prepared to fritter away his fortune, and offer his daughter in a loveless match, joining her to a member of a medical family. Finally, his clever servant girl Toinette, impersonating a maniacal physician, fools him into finding some common sense – and becoming a doctor himself.

The epilogue features a hilarious chorus of doctors, musically conferring a bogus degree on Argan.

Kelland Lindsey and Leslie Law in the original production at The Bathhouse Theater in Seattle, Washington

Kelland Lindsey and Leslie Law in the original production at The Bathhouse Theater in Seattle, Washington

 

Noted actor René Auberjonois read many a translation of The Imaginary Invalid in preparation for playing the role of Argan, and dubbed this his favorite version.