Moliere’s renowned comedy as performed by The Art Theater of Davis
The Art Theater of Davis will be presenting the one-act comedy, The Impromptu at Versailles, from Oct. 21 to 29 at the Pence Gallery on D Street. The play, originally written by French playwright Molière in 1663, is a much-loved meta-theatrical satire.
The production is made possible by The Art Theater of Davis (ATD) and the Pence Gallery as part of the “Art After Dark” project, which brings live music and performances to the Downtown Davis gallery space.
Timothy Nutter, ATD artistic director, plays a crucial role in the facilitation of these performances; Nutter co-produced the event, directed the play, translated the script and designed both the print and online media as well as the set. He believes this project is important because it brings together a variety of art forms to showcase on Fridays and Saturdays evenings for the community.
“This project is a model for inter-group collaboration across different artistic mediums,” Nutter said.
These performances are meant to provide the community with the opportunity to witness and participate in a form of theater that is otherwise unknown.
Christina Schiesari, who holds a bachelor’s degree in theater from San Francisco State University and a doctorate in comparative literature from UC Davis, is one of the play’s actors. She has been acting in productions put on by ATD for quite some time, most notably as Elena Andreyevna in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanko.
“I have always been interested in the intersection of satire and politics […] in our present era,” Schiesari said. “I believe political satire is quite powerful and can have a significant effect on the political stage.”
Schiesari harkened back to the impact of Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin on the 2008 election.
The presidential elections this year are a huge source for satirical re-enactments of debates and speeches, according to seasoned actress and fourth-year English major Lauren Barrows. Barrows spent much of her youth acting in plays in her hometown and has acted for a few productions in Davis.
“The crazy things being said and just the overall outrageousness of this year’s elections makes writing comedic satirical skits about it pretty easy,” Barrows said. “The Impromptu is a good example of how theater can represent the climate of society at a particular time […] it’s probably one of the most overlooked aspects of theater.”