Thursday, April 24, 2008

Moliere Director's Notes

Imagine this scenario: a household, headed by an absent-minded father and held together by a crafty, savvy mother. A lovesick daughter and a bratty son. An overbearing, loudmouthed mother-in-law. A character (or two) living with the family but not quite one of its members (like a space alien, a goldfish, a dog, a robot, or a talking towel) to provide an outside perspective.

An interloper breaks into this serene muddle of characters, offering the father a chance to participate in a crazy scheme, which he eagerly accepts. Can the rest of the family save the household from total destruction?

Moliere was writing these stories over three hundred years before Matt Groening drew his first Simpson and before everyone decided that they loved Raymond (or hated Chris). What's remarkable is the way that, point for point, his plot and character structure matched up to the techniques still used by sitcom writers today. Like The Simpsons and South Park, Moliere also used humor to sneak in his thoughts on social issues of the 1660s-- issues, you may notice, which are also still present in our current world.

And, like South Park and Family Guy, certain "episodes" of Moliere's were so controversial as to be banned from public viewing -- including the play you're about to see.

In short: after three hundred years, Moliere still hasn't jumped the shark. That's... incredible. Fantastic. Awesome.

We hope you enjoy the show!

(See previous director's notes here and here.)

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