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K-State Today

April 18, 2022

Celebrate 400th birthday of noted playwright Molière with special performances of 'The Imaginary Invalid'

Submitted by Melinda Cro & David Mckay

K-State Theatre and K-State Department of Modern Languages are collaborating to celebrate the 400th birthday of famous French playwright Molière with an original adaption of his play "The Imaginary Invalid" or "Malade Imaginaire." The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 21-23 and at 2:30 p.m. April 24 in the Mark A. Chapman Theatre in Nichols Hall.

The presentation of the play, under the direction of David Mackay, associate professor and associate director of K-State Theatre, is in conjunction with global festivities to celebrate the famous playwright's birth. Other activities in the region include the KCMOlière Festival.

In conjunction with the play, students from the modern languages department have been researching and presenting on the playwright and his works in original French for the course, FREN 711: Molière at 400, which is taught by Melinda Cro, professor and head of the Department of Modern Languages.

In "The Imaginary Invalid," Argan claims to suffer from many maladies but none greater than a severe allergy to medical bills. She concocts a scheme to have her daughter date a doctor so she can receive free health care. What follows is a hilarious romp with thwarted lovers, false identities, silly wordplay and a healthy dose of satire in skewering the medical profession.

 K-State Theatre’s "The Imaginary Invalid" is a modern take on Moliere’s comedy that aims to leave the audience in stitches. K-State modern languages students are providing the resources and background material on this still relevant and funny play. From exploring the history of medicine at the time of Molière to the role music plays in the original production to the playwright’s life and work in Paris, the students in FREN 711 will provide audience members with an eye into the original circumstances of production of this classic French work and its continued relevance today.

To order tickets and for more information on "The Imaginary Invalid," go to ksu.universitytickets.com.

Before the evening performances, K-State Theatre and the Department of Modern Languages invite audience members to join them before the play, at 7 p.m., in the Nichols Hall atrium to explore the context of the play through research posters prepared by the FREN 711 students. On opening night, April 21, and at the matinee on April 24, the student researchers will be available to share and discuss their research with audience members before the performance.

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