A Word from...Betsy Nowrasteh, Rhetoric Drama

Betsy Nowrasteh
I’ve always loved "The Miser" By: Molière. Ever since I first saw it as a kid in Stratford, this play has been one of my all time favorites. I love how smart and how silly it is; it is the perfect hybrid of over the top physical humor and deeply insightful moments. I love the way Molière helps us laugh at ourselves by creating endearing characters and goofy moments that, at least for me, resonate with at least some small hint of familiarity. But under all of the humor, there are also moments of true brokenness and pain, which make the play all the more powerful.

Recently the seniors and I did a podcast with Dr. Peterson about this production. During the podcast, we discussed briefly the true, good, and beautiful in terms of this play. As a classical Christian school, we strive to do great works that are part of the literary canon, works that challenge us intellectually and philosophically as well as artistically. Every time we open a new script and begin a new production, our goal is to grow as individuals and as a group and to strive for excellence and understanding. In this play, we have explored themes ranging from romantic love to the love of money above all things, to duty and honor, to the consequences of employing flattery and dishonesty to get ahead.

One of my favorite characters in this play is poor Master Jacques, whose honesty and sincerity are met only with chastisement and punishment. At one point he tells the audience that he is resolved never to tell the truth again, “for only liars and flatterers prosper.” In that moment I find myself thinking of the Psalms and Proverbs that tell us not to be envious of wicked men, or those who do wrong--that even though they may prosper in the short term, they will always wither like the grass. Sure enough, as the play progresses, we see the fruits of Master Jacques' choices, and although the consequences are played out in humor, they are nonetheless very clear.

As always, I am so thankful that we as a school have the freedom to do such challenging and enriching theater with such wonderful people. The parents, students, staff, volunteers, teachers, and administration who have come alongside us to make this play happen are such a gift. We hope you will enjoy it.
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