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Moliere's The School For Wives (Wilbur)

Moliere's The School For Wives (Wilbur)
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Molière
Adapted by: Richard Wilbur
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 81
Pub. Date: 1991
ISBN-10: 0822209993
ISBN-13: 9780822209997
Cast Size: 2 women, 7 men

About the Play:

The School for Wives (English language version of L'école des femmes) is a full-length comedy by Molière, translated into English verse by Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur. A pompous middle-aged bachelor is determined to mold young his ward into the perfect bride – for himself! But, it is he who gets the true education when best laid plans fall prey to a determined rival suitor, a pair of inept servants, and true love in Molière's classic comedy. A resounding popular and critical success on Broadway, this is a sparkling version of one of the great comedies of the French Theater.

The School for Wives concerns a hapless middle aged man who is undone by his own double dealing and double standards. Arnolphe has painstakingly trained the guileless Agnes from childhood to become his obedient and faithful wife. Although he has carefully shielded her from the outside world, romance finds her in the form of the dashing Horace, son of one of Arnolphe's best friends. Unaware of who his rival is, the trusting Horace enlists Arnolphe's aid in wooing Agnes – that leads to a series of hilarious and inventive twists and turns of plot, until the inevitable conclusion is reached: The wily Arnolphe is duped into outwitting himself, and young love, as it will, carries the day. The appeal of a battle of wits, rhyming verse, mercurial shifts from sacred to profane, the soaring poetry and the base humor, all help make Molière's comedies as fresh today as when they were first written.

L'école des femmes was first performed in 1672 at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris, and is considered by many to be Molire's masterpiece. Richard Wilbur's subtle verse translation The School for Wives premiered in 1971 at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in New York City.

Cast: 2 women, 7 men

What people say:

"It once more shows that Molière can be funny, blithe and totally enchanting." — New York Times

"…warmth, the richness of smiling humanity and a marvelous quality of humorous zest." — New York Post

"…a thing of joy…a carefree, happy and sparkling romp to be seen and enjoyed by young and old alike." — New York Newsday

About the Playwright:

Molière was the stage name of Jean Baptiste Molière (1622-1673). His plays achieved great success and elicited enormous controversy with their religious irreverence.

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) was an acclaimed American poet and literary translator. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and United States Poet Laureate, he is one the 20th century's most eminent American poets and literary translators. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry – twice – among many other awards. He also established himself as the finest translator of Molière's plays and his verse translations have been performed for audiences throughout the world.

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