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The last laugh
French playwright Moliere’s classic play The Imaginary Invalid has always held special meaning for theatre arts professor Rhett Bryson.
He was first involved with “Invalid” as a professional actor in Sarasota, Fla. He directed the show at Furman in 1976 and again in 1996. His colleague and friend, theatre arts professor Jay Oney, is reprising the title role of Argan he played in 1996.
This year’s production of “Invalid” is sure to keep the production a favorite for Bryson and many others. “Each student has brought their unique talent and interpretation to the production,” said Bryson. “It’s a fresh, invigorating take on a classic play, full of interesting characters.”
Furman University’s Theatre Arts Department will present the comic genius of Moliere in its presentation of The Imaginary Invalid at the Furman Playhouse. It begins at 8 p.m. April 2-5 and April 10-12 and includes a 3 p.m. performance Sunday, April 6.
Bryson directs “Invalid,” Moliere’s last play, in an adaptation by Eberle Thomas that highlights the healing medicine of hearty laughter. It tells the story of Argan, a hypochondriac who seeks treatment from a host of bumbling doctors offering frightening cures for his “failing” health. While he hatches a plan for his daughter to marry a doctor in order to secure his medical future, his daughter has other plans.
The production features more than 30 Furman students in the cast and crew, including Dakota Adams ’17 as Cleante, Sal Donzella ’17 as Dr. Diafoirus Sr., Sam Nelson ’17 as Thomas Diafoirus, and theatre professor and department chair Jay Oney as Argan. The cast also includes Alan Bryson as Dr. Purgon, Clare Ruble ’17 as Beline, Haley Brown ’17 as Angelique, Erin Barnett ’16 as Louison, Sam Feigenbaum ’15 as Beralde, Rusty Johnson ’16 as Monsieur Fleurant, Robert Fuson ’15 as Monsieur Bonnefoi and Kenzie Wynne ’17 as Toinette. Alan Bryson is lighting and scenic designer and Callie Nestleroth ’14 is costume designer.
Tickets are $16 general admission, $13 for seniors, $10 for Furman faculty and staff, and $8 for students. To purchase tickets or more information, contact the box office at (864) 294-2125.