Hello Everyone! My name is Emily Hoolihan and I am the MTA Blogger for the Mainstage production of The Learned Ladies by Molière, directed by Jim Peck. I am playing the role of Julien and I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this production (especially since I’m the only freshman in the show…AHH, so excited and honored!). We open February 20th and run through the 23rd, so make sure you come see it!
We started rehearsals about three weeks ago (the cast and crew came back to campus a week before classes started to begin rehearsing!). During our first week, we did a full read-through of the show, which went really well. Each actor did lots of research on their character and we spent time during our read-through discussing our characters’ actions, personalities, and relationship with other characters. The Learned Ladies is a satire on French society that questions the role of women in society and the home; it is also a French comedy, so we all had to work really hard not to laugh a lot during the read-through because the play is super funny. One of my favorite parts of it was hearing all the different interpretations the actors had of their characters. My personal favorite was the character of Bèlise, who is played by the amazingly talented Francine Roussel (who is a Professor of Acting at Muhlenberg,for those who don’t know). She makes this flirty, sassy character so bold that you will not want to miss her in this show (or anyone else for that matter…every actor is doing a phenomenal job)!
We also had Language/Speech rehearsals with our instructor Troy Dwyer, another professor here. Troy helped us understand how much breath support and stamina we will need, in order to give 100% in each performance. We spent time going over all the words in the play that are in French, which many are. Francine, who is a native of France, also helped us with the pronunciations and meanings of the words, which really helped a lot. We then spent time doing breathing exercises to control and develop correct breathing styles for the show. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the proper way to breathe, while speaking the poetic rhyming style of speech in the play.
Now, we have begun blocking rehearsals, which sound like they are going really well! That’s all for now…will update you all soon! Thanks for reading!
featured in the pictures are: Petrea Whittier, Naomi Leslie, and Georgie Simon.