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Behind the Curtain: Interview With Lucie Tiberghien - Founding Artistic Director of Molière in the Park

Behind the Curtain: Interview With Lucie Tiberghien - Founding Artistic Director of Molière in the Park

Due to the global health emergency, Broadway theaters have found their bright lights dimmed and their houses dark for the first time in history. As the world works together to stop the spread of COVID-19, the theater industry has been put on hold indefinitely - theaters around the world have closed their doors in compliance with social distancing rules, and Broadway has been shut down in full since March 13. The Broadway shutdown has impacted the lives of all who work in theater industry, who are now facing uncertain and unprecedented circumstances.

In our Behind the Curtain interview series, we are speaking with theatre musicians, stage managers, ushers, bartenders, and more, talking about how they are handling the current circumstances, and discussing the impact that the shutdown has had on the theatre community.

Today, our Behind the Curtain interview is with Lucie Tiberghien, Founding Artistic Director of Molière in the Park.

What is your job title? Tell me about what you do within the theater industry and how long you've been doing it for.

I am the Founding Artistic Director of Molière in the Park, a non-profit in Brooklyn dedicated to presenting free, high quality productions of Molière's masterpieces, in Prospect Park. The company is barely 2 years old. Since our inception we've produced a concert reading of The Misanthrope, at The LeFrak Center at Lakeside, a concert reading of The School for Wives, at The Picnic House (both locations are in Prospect Park), as well as two digital theater pieces since the beginning of the pandemic; The Misanthrope and Tartuffe. Before Molière in the Park I was primarily a director of new plays.

What were you working on when the shutdown was put in place?

Molière in the Park was getting ready to produce our first fully realized production, at The LeFrak Center at Lakeside.

What has communication been like since the shutdown with the people you were working with?

We immediately transferred all communications online and have been quite busy. Online communication has worked very well for us, even if we miss being in each other's physical presence.

How do you feel that people in the theater community have come together during this time?

People seem to have been willing to embrace the challenges of making theater on a digital platform and while this new form presents many limitations, it clearly has also opened up access to theater for many. Our latest show Tartuffe has garnered over 30,000 views, and people who live in communities that don't have theaters (with or without the pandemic), or who can't physically go to the theater, or who can't afford it, have been delighted to have an opportunity to see our work. The current situation has taught us something important, in that respect.

What ways have you found to best deal with the current circumstances?

I think as an artist, it's been about daring to try new approaches, and having faith in the power of a good story, well told, and its ability to bring people together no matter what the platform. I make theater because I believe good plays allow us to see each other empathetically, it makes us feel less alone, it challenges us to see each other's humanity and to question who we are as individuals and as a community. All of this remains true, even online.

How do you think this will change the world of theater going forward?

Hopefully we will take the lessons we've learned and fold them into the way theater has been done until now. I hope there will be a trend towards bringing costs down so that ticket prices can come down as well. And hopefully there will be room for digital live theater as well, even after we are able to come together again in person.

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