The North Carolina Central University’s Department of Theatre will present Molière’s satirical play “The Misanthrope” on April 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. and April 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Performances will take place in the University Theater in the Farrison–Newton Communications Building.
A misanthrope is one who bears generalized contempt or hatred of humanity. Written in the 17th century, the play satirizes the hypocrisies of the French aristocratic society but also engages a more serious tone when pointing out the flaws which all humans possess. It does so through the eyes of Alceste, a man so fed up with people's pretensions, insincerities and falsehoods that he vows to disassociate himself from all humanity. He is confronted with his own hypocrisy when he refuses to leave his lover, Celimene — who embodies what he has grown to hate in all people. Rather than lose her, he attempts to change her by his constant ridicule.
“I love being around candid people — people who can address an issue without sugarcoating the matter,” said Kimora Avent, the production’s director and adjunct faculty member. “However, I have found that persons who are so honest about other people cannot take criticisms about themselves. I hope that the audience will take the time to reflect on how true we are to ourselves and to others.” According to Avent, Alceste’s brutal honesty offers both comic relief and a look into our own lives to see whether we are being politically correct or “just plain liars.”
Born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, Molière was the most prolific and perhaps the most controversial writer of French comedy of his time. His plays satirized French bourgeois society and shocked his audiences by depicting bad habits, immoralities and reckless behavior in a truthful manner. His most controversial play, “Tartuffe” or “The Hypocrite” was protested by the Catholic church and banned by the French government.
Tickets are $5 for students, senior citizens and children aged 4 to 17, and $10 for general admission. The production includes mature subject matter and is not recommended for younger children. To purchase tickets, contact the NCCU ticket office at 919-530-5170. For more information, call 919-530-6242.