Bringing the smarts to the arts with Eldred Theater’s upcoming play

Eldred Theater is bringing Molière’s brilliant satirical comedy, “The Learned Ladies,” to campus for showtimes this week and next week.

For those who are not familiar with Molière’s work or this play, “The Learned Ladies” is a satirical piece on French culture. Following Molière’s style, this play is a farce, or slapstick comedy. Audience members are supposed to think it is over the top and get a good laugh out of it.

In this play, two young lovers, Henriette and Clitandre, are kept apart because of Henriette’s mother, Philaminte. What her mother, aunt and sister want is for her to marry Trissotin, a scholar. These three ladies are in turn considered to be learned ladies because of their obsession with the smarts and pretentious culture. “This play makes fun of socialites of that time; it makes philosophical people look idiotic” said Paige Yepko, a member of the cast.

Yepko, along with Natalie El Dabh, Keith Dona and Ren Weeden are the four freshmen in the cast. The other cast members include Sara Bogomolny, John Dulin, Bridgette Garb, Nathan Hach, Grace Mitri, Jason Sleisenger and even dental student Luke Hearty. Since all of Eldred Theater’s plays hold open auditions—meaning anyone in the Case Western Reserve University community can audition for a role—there is a real mix of individuals from the university.

The cast members have been rehearsing every day since Spring Break to make sure that the show goes off without a glitch. Since this is also the last show of the season, the actors are trying to finish off the year on a high note.

The director of the show, Ron Wilson, has been working with CWRU and Eldred Theater for about 16 years. Not only is he renowned for his expertise and creativity, but the cast members are also all very grateful to have someone as intelligent and passionate as their director. “He pushes you further in a good way,” said Weeden.

Wilson picked this play in particular because of its wonderful comedy and great language. “We don’t get to choose many classics. It is a sounding piece,” said Wilson.

With opening night approaching, production staff and cast members are all excited to see their hard work on stage. For students that do not usually go out to watch plays, especially Eldred Theater’s plays, they should consider going to see “The Learned Ladies,” because it will provide tons of laughs and be somewhat relatable at the same time. “The audience will have a good time at the theater and a lovely evening filled with some laughs,” said Wilson.

With the play making fun of academia, CWRU students will be able to laugh and smile about the pretentious standards we hold each other to. The purpose of the play is to provide humor and comedy to the community, but also remind them that having fun is completely appropriate and, almost always, necessary. “We sometimes have to check ourselves because we forget to enjoy life,” said Weeden.

Yepko and added, “I want the audience to laugh and take a slice of humble pie. It is something we can all use”.

Play: “The Learned Ladies”
Location: Eldred Theater
Dates: April 10, 11, 17, 18 at 8 p.m. and April 12, 19 at 2:30 p.m.
Price: $5-10