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Davidson Theatre Department Presents Molière's The Misanthrope

Chris Murray and Anna Jensen
Students Chris Murray and Anna Jensen are Alceste and Celimene in The Misanthrope.

February 8, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

The Davidson College theatre department presents its spring main stage production, Molière's The Misanthrope, from February 22-25. Visiting Associate Professor Jack Beasley directs the cast in this comedy of manners, which begins at 8 p.m. each night in Hodson Hall of Cunningham Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for senior citizens, and $5 for students.

Originally written and produced in France in 1666, the play achieved great success and, like Molière's other works, sparked enormous controversy for its irreverent attitude toward seventeenth century Parisian society. Widely regarded as the French playwright's masterpiece by many scholars and theatre-goers, The Misanthrope revolves around Alceste (played by Chris Murray), a man turned off by the falsity and frivolity of his contemporaries.

"This is by far (Molière's) deepest and most serious work," Beasley said. "It's far more serious and less comical than most of his plays. He definitely took a cynical, bitter turn when he wrote this."

Witty speeches and comic characters provide sharp contrast to the more serious underlying issue: How can a man who believes that honesty and integrity are the most important bases of human relationships survive in a world of intrigue, gossip, back-biting, and rampant insincerity? And, ironically, what happens when this honest man falls in love with society's most celebrated coquette, Celimene (played by Anna Jensen)?

Murray said his role as Demitrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream last year gave him some previous experience as a lovesick protagonist. "I'm not new to being in love with a woman on the stage," he said.

Jack Beasley
Director Jack Beasley

This is the second time Beasley has directed The Misanthrope. He is a former faculty member in the theater program at UNC-Charlotte who joined the Davidson faculty this year. He received his B.A. degree in theater with a minor in French from Vanderbilt University, and earned an M.F.A. at the University of Georgia.

For more information on the performance, call 894-2361. For ticket reservations call the box office at 894-2340 between 2 and 5 p.m.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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