The Imaginary Invalid - At John Hinkel Park
Translated by Charles Theron Hall
Adapted and Directed by Meryn MacDougall
Performances Sat/Sun at 4 p.m.
August 22nd-September 6th
plus Labor Day, September 7th
All performances at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre
"The Imaginary Invalid" is the last play written by Moliere, the greatest playwright of Renaissance France, he collapsed onstage while performing the title role and died shortly afterwards. A wealthy man (Argan) is a hypochondriac. His physicians are encouraging his anxieties to make a profit. The doctors use pointless old treatments. Argan decides to marry his daughter (Angelique) to the son of one of his Doctors to gain free healthcare. His daughter is in love with another man. Meanwhile his second wife is scheming to inherit all the estate and leave nothing for the daughters. The smart sassy servant Toinette knows all of this and manipulates the household so that in the end Angelique is betrothed to the man she loves, the stepmother is exposed as a gold digger, and Argan’s hypochondria is cured but believing he has enough knowledge to be his own doctor. The show ends with a ceremony giving Argan his fake doctorate. Our production has been adapted with an original new first scene and numerous other tweaks to emphasize the difficulty of seeking healthcare in the contemporary United States.
Meryn MacDougall is an actor, director, and fight choreographer with experience around the Bay Area. Most recently she was in Theatre of Yugen's "A Noh Christmas Carol". She directed the staged reading of Actors Ensemble's collaboration with the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive on Apollinaire's "The Mammaries of Tiresias", and assistant directed our production of "Hamlet" at John Hinkel Park in 2018.