November 2, 2009 — The University of Virginia Department of Drama's 2009-10 season will continue with Molière's classic comedy, "The Imaginary Invalid," set to open Nov. 12 in the Helms Theatre.
Translated and adapted by James Magruder, "The Imaginary Invalid" is an outrageous social commentary on medicine and its practitioners. The story follows a hopeless hypochondriac whose "habit" is supported by medical practitioners of all kinds. When it comes time to marry off his daughter, it is no surprise that he sees it as a chance to gain a doctor for a son. But his daughter has other ideas, and the result is a series of romantic misadventures, mistaken identities and more.
Magruder brings Molière's French comedy – first performed in 1673 – to the present day with a playfully brash comedic voice. Molière's sharp wit, as seen through Magruder's contemporary lens, injects serious laughs into a health care debate that is still raging over 400 years after Molière first put these words to paper.
Colleen Kelly, director of training at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, will direct the play.
"The Imaginary Invalid" will run Nov. 12-14 and Nov. 17-21. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14 ($12 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and Alumni Association members; and $8 for students). Parking is free at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, located alongside the theaters.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, and are also available weekdays between noon and 5 p.m., by phone at 434-924-3376 and in person at the Arts Box Office, located in the Drama Building on Culbreth Road. A $3.50 processing fee applies to Internet and phone orders.
Full-time U.Va. students may receive one free ticket to every performance of "The Imaginary Invalid." Free U.Va. student tickets must be reserved in advance and are not available on the day of a performance. For information, contact the U.Va. Arts Box Office.
The Department of Drama season will also include Chekhov's "The Seagull" (Culbreth, Feb. 18-20 and Feb. 24-27); Sarah Ruhl's smart and funny "Dead Man's Cell Phone" (Helms, March 25-27, March 30-April 3) and the musical theater fairy tale "Pippin" (Culbreth, Apr. 22-14, Apr. 28-May 1).
For information on the 2009-2010 season, visit www.virginia.edu/drama.