SEASON ENDER - Red Deer College performing arts students James Walker, Ben Garneau, Aimbree Lauren and Jared Baker are pictured here during a rehearsal for The School for Husbands/The School for Wives. The play runs through to April 14th in Studio A. photo submitted

The School for Husbands/The School for Wives lights up RDC stage

Shows run through to April 14th in Studio A

It’s easy to see why certain plays stand the test of time, and come across as fresh and packed with vitality as they must have centuries ago.

That’s the case with Red Deer College’s School of Creative Arts’ current production of Moliere’s The School for Husbands/The School for Wives. Directed with absolute joy and precision by Alice Nelson, the show runs through to April 14th in Studio A.

Curtain is 7:30 p.m. with a weekend matinee on April 14th at 1 p.m.

Intent on instructing the perfect wives, suitors Sganarelle (Jared Baker) and Arnolphe (Jayden Baldry) each approach the situation differently, but with similar results.

Both men are bent on capturing particular women – Sganarelle is after Isabelle (Aimbree Lauren) in The School for Husbands and Arnolphe has his eye on Agnes (Kai Hall) in The School for Wives.

Happily, both men are supremely outwitted – and the clever twists and turns the plots take in both plays are absolutely entertaining from the start – thanks of course, as mentioned, to Moliere’s striking imagination but also to this very talented cast.

Baker is fantastic as the cranky, scheming Sganarelle as is Baldry as the smarmy Arnolphe.

Both actors are constantly ‘on’ every single minute they are onstage, which is pretty much the entire duration of each show.

They are fun, engaging and charismatic; as are Ben Garneau as Valere and Arland Clements as Horace – who are also vying for Isabelle’s and Agnes’s affections respectively.

Adding lots of fun moments as well are Cameron Freitas and Shelby Sweetgrass as Alain and Georgette – zany attendants to Arnolphe in The School for Wives.

But it’s the ladies who are really the masters at turning the tables on these guys who are so very determined to marry them. Lauren does a terrific turn as the vivacious, sparkling Isabelle – always one step – no, make that a few steps – ahead of the too-smart-for-his-own-good Sganarelle.

And the sweet-natured Agnes, who greasy Arnolphe is drawn to because of her ‘simplicity’, perhaps isn’t so simple and naive after all.

Calgary-based director Nelson said exploring the layers of meaning and humour in the play has been a delight.

She has clearly poured so much into crafting the details of the production, as has the gifted artistic team of Hanne Loosen who designed the perfect, versatile set for all the rapid-paced goings-on.

Donna Jopp’s costumes fit so well with the feel of the stories and Jessie Paynter’s lighting design nicely enhances the action subtly but extremely effectively as well.

Nelson’s stamp, however, is seen all over both plays.

With her extensive experience as a director and theatre educator, audiences can also see unmistakable glimmers of her influence on the cast from her work as a fabulous puppeteer, improviser and teacher of the art of clowning as well.

Both plays are certainly brimming with humour and well-timed physical comedy – both of which showcase the actors’ sets of flourishing skills that much more.

Nelson said in an earlier interview that several adaptations have been created of Moliere’s enduring work, which was first performed in a far lengthier version in Paris in 1661.

It’s truly amazing how these stories hold up so well today.

Nelson described them as being something like sitcoms – but they have been designed and penned with such a polished style – even an elegance in terms of the flow of the scripts – that there really is nothing about them that feels even remotely dated.

Plus, these women are in effect calling out these men who are trying in vain to manipulate and mistreat them – similar to what’s been going on of late in society today.

It’s all told in humour of course, but there is depth and richness there as well. It just goes to show that there is always room for clever, well-written stories that tap into universal themes. Congratulations to all involved in these witty, thoroughly engaging shows.

For ticket information, check out www.blackknightinn.ca.

Just Posted

Lacombe Generals extend win streak to three in 8-2 win

Lacombe plays Innisfail in final game of 2018

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

Lacombe Police Service rolls out holiday roadside check stops

Officers with approved screening device can request a breath test from anyone they lawfully stop

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

Town Center removed from Lacombe Southeast Area Structure Plan

Developer of Lacombe Market Square requested ammendment to the plan

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read