THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES

Translated by Richard Wilbur

October 24th, 2020

"The story of a man’s attempted dominion over a woman in his care and his ultimate failure looks even more ludicrous when every male character appears as a woman."

-The New York Times

Creative Team

co-presented with French Institute Alliance Française

in partnership with LeFrak Center, Lakeside, Prospect Park Alliance, and Theatre for a New Audience

Starring

Tony Award-Winner Tonya Pinkins

With

Kaliswa Brewster, Cristina Pitter, Tamara Sevunts, Mirirai Sithole, Carolyn Michelle Smith, Corey Tazmania

Director: Lucie Tiberghien
Producer: Garth Belcon
Production Manager: Thyra Hartshorn
Technology Consulting Group: Liminal Entertainment Technologies, LLC
Video Engineer: Andy Carluccio
Set Designer: Lina Younes
Costume Designer: Ari Fulton

Light Designer: Marie Yokoyama
Composer: Paul Brill
Sound Designer: Daniel Williams
Animator: Emily Rawson
Assistant Video Engineer: Jonathan Kokotajlo
Production Stage Manager: Madison Lane

FREE and open to all. Closed captions will be available in French. RSVP required to receive links for the live stream.

Synopsis

 

When the obsessive Arnolphe realizes that his ward, 17 year-old Agnès, actually has a mind of her own, he is flabbergasted. Nevertheless, intent on saving face and maintaining control, he doubles down on his decision to marry her.


Agnès, despite having been raised to remain completely ignorant, is saved by her own innate intelligence, Arnolphe's utter failure to see what is right in front of him, and the one thing he cannot steal from her; her humanity.

A Statement from Lucie Tiberghien & Garth Belcon

The School For Wives, at its core, is about gender power dynamics. We are looking forward to telling this classic 17th century French tale through the lens of a contemporary aesthetic and an all female, primarly non-white cast to further bring into focus the inherent power of justice and equality over racism and sexism. Furthermore, by casting a Black woman in the central role of ARNOLPHE - a white man of power and privilege, who is forced to realize that he cannot control or snuff out ANYONE's humanity - we are shining a light on the ultimate absurdity of similar American systems of oppression.

Praise for The School for Wives

"Pinkins and the rest of the able cast create the convincing interplay this absurd fable demands."

-Blogcritics - Jon Sobel

 

"Pinkins, as Arnolphe, exuberantly leads them all. It may be that she and the other quasi-cross-dressers are relishing the opportunity to send up men they’ve encountered over the years who’ve behaved toward them in annoying Molière-like manner".

-New York Stage Review - David Finkle

"Set in Brooklyn, NY, Moliere in the Park’s The School for Wives uses its creative technical wizardry to meet Covid-19 standards with enhanced, virtual sets by Lina Younes transporting actors from a regal city garden to a carefully-detailed bedroom to an inviting cafe.  At one point, it also gives the illusion that the characters are all together.  Ari Fulton’s colorful costumes stay faithful to the time period while providing a certain modern edge."

-The Sleepless Critic -  Jeanne Denizard

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Tonya Pinkins

Kaliswa Brewster

Kaliswa Brewster

Cristina Pitter

Cristina Pitter

Tamara Sevunts

Tamara Sevunts

Mirirai Sithole

Mirirai Sithole

Carolyn Michelle Smith

Carolyn Michelle Smith

Corey Tazmania

Corey Tazmania

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This program is made possible through the generous support of the French Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

We thank our season major supporters: The de Groot Foundation, Samira Wiley, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Elizabeth and Jonathan Weiswasser, Caroline and Paul Cronson, and The Cultural Services of The French Embassy in New York.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions:

ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION

AMERICAN GUILD OF MUSICAL ARTISTS

AMERICAN GUILD OF VARIETY ARTISTS

SAG-AFTRA

through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.

Graphic Design: Unterdruck - Liane Fredel