The Hope College Department of Theatre will present “The Miser” on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, and Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. with an additional free matinee on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. All performances will be in the DeWitt Center main theatre.
Moliere’s French neoclassical comedy “The Miser” tells the story of penny-pinching Harpagon, a man who loves nothing more than his beloved cash box - not even his own children. His son, Cleante, falls head over heels for a young girl named Mariane, while his daughter Elise finds her own love in Valere, the young man who saved her from drowning. Valere poses as Harpagon’s steward and will stop at nothing to convince Harpagon that he is the right man for Elise. Tensions rise when Cleante discovers that his father has also been struck by the beauty of young Mariane. With love on their minds, no one seems to notice when Harpagon’s cash box suddenly goes missing. With a bit of manipulation, quick wit and comedy, Moliere’s timeless piece explores the humorous and ultimately isolating impact greed can have on an individual.
Director Daina Robins is excited to bring the work of Moliere to the Hope stage.
“Moliere's ‘The Miser’ is a classic comedy about young love, foolish fathers, clever servants, disguises and mistaken identities,” Robins said. “We are having great fun exploring these time-honored comic conventions and characters while also working to discover the contemporary relevance of the play. As the title indicates, money is a central point of contention and concern in the play — and I would suggest that American culture also manifests quite a strong preoccupation with money, its status, its significance, its necessity, its ruling power in our society.”
In addition to Robins, the production team includes faculty members Richard Smith as scenic and properties designer, Perry Landes as sound designer and lighting design mentor, and Michelle Bombe as costume design mentor. Guest artist Andrew Sounders joins the costume staff as the draper. Staff members Paul Anderson and Darlene Veenstra serve as technical director and costume shop manager. Students on the production team include senior Kierney Johnson of Seattle, Washington, as costume designer and senior Nils Fritjofson of Granby, Connecticut, as lighting designer, while junior Megan Clark of Clymer, New York and first-year student Tim Embertson of Lake City serve as properties assistants. Senior Nathan Gingrich of Potsdam, New York, serves as stage manager, with senior Raven Bouvier of New Orleans, Louisiana, and first-year student Andrea Lowing of Hudsonville serving as assistant stage managers.
The cast includes junior Jose Angulo of San Francisco, California; senior Griffin Baer of Holland; first-year student Timothy Embertson of Lake City; junior Brynne Fritjofson of Granby, Connecticut; first-year student Mackenzie Hester of South Bend, Indiana; senior Sam Hill of Grandville; senior Kierney Johnson of Seattle, Washington; junior Olivia Lehnertz of Bloomfield Hills; first-year student Jacob Moore of Byron Center, first-year student Celia O’Brien of Wheaton, Illinois; senior Deana Velandra of Tipton; and first-year student Riley Wilson of North Canton, Ohio.
Tickets for the evening performances are $10 for regular admission, and $7 for senior citizens, Hope faculty and staff. Tickets are free for Hope College students and children 18 and under, and are available at the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.).
The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Patrons may purchase tickets in person, online, or by calling the ticket office.
No tickets are required for the matinee on Sunday, Nov. 19.
The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th streets.
Pictured above: Brynne Fritjofson, Celia O’Brien, Griffin Baer, Kierney Johnson
Photo Credit: Benjamin Douma