The University Players at the University of Windsor (my alma mater) started off the season with roaring laughter! Molière Impromptu was a riot fit for 17th Century France that was wonderfully enjoyable. Having studied both Molière and the time period in several classes, this play was wonderful both for entertainment but intellectually for me as well.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about this show was its use of Commedia Dell’Arte. It fits in perfectly with the show, as Commedia was one of Molière’s greatest influences and those stereotypes are ever present in his plays. Watching the characters of the play embody the typical characters of Commedia Dell’Arte was fabulous and funny. Plus, knowing that the students study Commedia throughout their university career, it gave them a great opportunity to show off what they’ve learned.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed was that it was a play about playwriting. There are going to be two plays like that this season and I eagerly await the second one. For me, it’s interesting to look at how we choose to remember these playwrights that it’s not just through their own work, or through academic paper, but through their own medium: plays. It makes me wonder how future generations are going to view these playwrights and how much of an impact plays like this will have on that view. That being said, it’s also very funny because it is a play about putting on a play, it is easy to find the stereotypes presented within any theatre company. I loved it, and it made the story even more enjoyable!
The performances by the entire cast were wonderful. It was clear to see how much hard work and dedication went into this play. It was a wonderful ensemble piece, and it’s actually very difficult to talk about them all individually or point out specific people. Each one brought something wonderful to the play, and I felt like they made these stock characters come to life in a most beautiful way. I am so incredibly proud of all of them. It’s such a blessing to be able to see the wonderful young people who I have had the pleasure of acting with, having class with, hanging out with, and teaching on stage in their 4th year, having lead roles and absolutely owning the stage. While it means I go a bit mama bear on them and shower them with my love, it is only because it is totally deserved and I know how hard they work to put on such an incredible show.
I simply must mention the amazing job that was done by the Scenic Artist and Costume designer, David Court and Agatha Knelsen respectively. The actors were adorned in such beautiful garments, and got to be on such a beautiful set it seemed almost surreal. I was so in love with the whole thing, and the people beside me were so impressed, they asked me “Isn’t the theatre like this all the time?” to which I got to answer “No, David created this beautiful place all his own and just for this show.” It’s truly amazing. I am always impressed by their work, and have been since I was a little girl, but this was something truly beautiful; they took this time period which I have studied so much and then made it real before my eyes. It was smashing!
While I would normally be telling you to rush out and get your tickets, I am unfortunately too late on that front. However, what I can tell you is that you definitely need to get your tickets for their next show as soon as you can, and please come out and support these fabulous students in their pursuit of what they love.