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Molière's The Learned Ladies takes the stage

School of Creative and Performing Arts presents colourful love satire

Henriette and Clitandre are two young lovers who want to marry, but face one big problem: Henriette’s mother. Photo by Citrus Photography.

By Aurélie Maerten

17th century playwright Molière is regarded as one of the masters of comedy in Western literature. His plays use comic exaggeration as a way to critique society and in The Learned Ladies, Molière takes aim at pretentious learning. There is no better place than an academic setting to explore this.

“Molière’s way of criticizing is so charming and delightful that we cannot help but reflect on our own failings, and feel relieved that we are not as flawed as his characters,” says graduate drama student Inouk Touzin, who is directing the play.

The Learned Ladies tells the story of Henriette and Clitandre, two young lovers who want to marry, but face one big problem: Henriette’s mother, Philamente, supported by her clique of learned ladies, wants her daughter to marry a “scholarly” poet named Trissotin. Henriette’s father and uncle are in favour of Clitandre, but alas her father tends to be controlled by his wife, Philamente.

Touzin adapted the English translation to include some French dialogues, while April Viczko designed the sets and costumes in a punk-rococo style: bold and colourful, a true feast for the senses.

The Learned Ladies runs Feb. 16 to 20 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21 at 2 p.m., and Feb. 24-27 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre.

Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or online.

Please note: Faculty and staff of the Faculty of Arts receive free admission at the box office when showing their Unicard. Students of the University of Calgary can also attend this event for free, thanks to the Claim Your Seat program.