'Skinflint' features wealth of talent
A new adaptation of a classic Moliere play will make its premiere on the RCC stage over the next two weekends. The Skinflint of the Silver Screen is not only rich in imagination; the production features a wealth of talent - both student and professional.
"It has no socially redeeming value," joked Boston playwright David Frieze, who translated and adapted Moliere's classic comedy of manners, The Miser, in order to give us the new 'Skinflint.'
"At first, I came up with a fairly straightforward version; I just updated the language," Mr. Frieze said. "Then (director) Jim Quinn and I talked more and came up with the idea of a movie studio set in the 1930s."
Some scenes were fleshed out and a few others were cut from the 1660 Moliere original, he added. Meanwhile, a handful of clowns were added to keep the laughs coming throughout.
"It's great fun," said the play's lead actor, Richard Snee, a veteran of Boston theater and visiting lecturer at BSU.
The Skinflint of the Silver Screen tells the story of Harpagon, a greedy widower, who decides to marry off his children, who he believes they are costing him too much. He also runs a B-movie studio during Hollywood's golden age, which teeters on the edge of bankruptcy due to Harpagon's frugality.
Director James Quinn, associate professor of theater, has worked with Mr. Frieze before, coauthoring 10 children's musicals with the playwright, theater critic, actor and singer.
However, collaborating with Mr. Snee was a new experience.
"We planned this collaboration over a year ago and it has now come to pass and has been a great experience for all," Professor Quinn said. "He is terrific in the show and the students in the production rise to the level of his performance."
Indeed, one of the best things about 'Skinflint' is the richness of the experience BSU students will gain from working with Mr. Frieze's translation, and with an acting pro like Mr. Snee.
"I hope they gain a sense of how plays from 340 years ago can be relevant today and get a sense of how theater works," Mr. Frieze said.
As for Mr. Snee? With his resume, he is a walking, talking lesson in the craft, something sure to benefit and inspire his young cast mates. At the same time, he seems to be enjoying the experience of working with some new colleagues.
"it's a great experience to have worked with them as students and now to be on stage with them," he said. (Photos submitted; story by John Winters, University Advancement)
The Skinflint of the Silver Screen will be performed April 26, 27, May 2 and May 3 and 4, at 8 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee on April 28, at 2pm. All performances are held in the Rondileau Campus Center Auditorium. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for senior citizens, military and students with ID; and $5 for kids 12 and under. Call the box office at 508-531-1321 or email email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for information and reservations