French students perform Molière with contemporary flair

Students enrolled in FRE 371: French Theater in Production performed Molière's most popular farce "Le Médecin malgré lui" on Jan. 26 and 27.

The Elon community had the opportunity to experience Molière in French with English subtitles as part of a Winter Term Diversity course.

Nearly 90 spectators enjoyed the farce performed by students enrolled in Assistant Professor Olivia Choplin’s “French Theater in Production” course on Jan. 26 and 27 in Yeager Recital Hall. Le médecin malgré lui (in English The Doctor in Spite of Himself) is Molière’s most frequently staged play, and it offers a whimsical critique of unethical medical practices in 17th-century France.

During the three weeks of Winter Term, the students both discussed and analyzed the play in its historical context and did all of the work necessary to stage it for a contemporary audience. Many of the students in the course had no previous acting experience, but they all enrolled ready to tackle the challenge.

The course offered them an opportunity to use their language skills in a non-traditional classroom setting as they discussed interpretations of the text, brainstormed staging ideas, designed and built elements of the set, created the program and publicity, and, of course, memorized and performed the play—all in French.