Casting Hall Productions to showcase modernized Moliere play

Reuben Wolf, Arts Editor

Aaron Moss, SUNY Buffalo State College’s Assistant Theatre Professor, and Casting Hall Productions have come together to produce and showcase an updated and expanded version of Moliere’s The Doctor in Spite of Himself.

Since becoming a faculty member in 2014, Moss has directed three student productions at Buffalo State.

This project may be his most personal, having adapted what was originally a 20-30 minute intermission play into a 90-minute farce.

“I went back to updating a 17th century satire in the wake of the 2015 presidential candidate announcements,” Moss said. “Moliere wrote the play to satirize French politicians stifling writer’s language, which I also see happening today.”

Written in 1666, the play deals with a bitter woodcutter who beats his wife.  One day, he is mistaken for a brilliant doctor, which the wife uses to exact revenge against her assailing husband.

Moss’ update includes many references to pop songs and many anachronistic cultural hallmarks of our society.  In doing so, he is also making reference to original Shakespeare and Moliere productions, playwrights who often incorporated seemingly random pop culture references into their shows.

Having expanded the play to 90-minutes, Moss said that the plot and characters are the only original elements left in the play.  The dialogue is entirely original.

The most relevant issue being dealt with in the play will be the stifling of language by politicians perpetrated against the media.

“Language and decorum have really crumbled away during and after this election,” Moss said, “but the average joe, the laymen, are the very people who hold the truth.”

The Doctor in Spite of Himself will premiere March 2 and will run until March 11 at 8 p.m. at the Upton Hall Warren Enters Theatre.  There will be special matinee performances on March 4 and 11 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $6 for students, $10 for faculty and staff, and $15 for the general public.

Tickets can be purchased online through the Rockwell Hall Box Office.  For more information, you may call the Rockwell Hall Box Office at 716-878-3005.

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