Interview: Lucie Tiberghien Brings 21st Century Moliere to the LeFrak Center

A free production of Moliere's THE MISER is playing at the LeFrak Center in Brooklyn's Prospect Park now through May 19th

By: Apr. 30, 2024
Interview: Lucie Tiberghien Brings 21st Century Moliere to the LeFrak Center
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For years, Moliere in the Park, helmed by Founding Artistic Director Lucie Tiberghien, has been bringing accessible theater to Brooklyn. They focus on affordable productions (their works in Prospect Park offer free admission to all), diverse casting, and modern translations that capture the original spirit of the work without overly academic language. Their latest production of Moliere’s The Miser officially opens on May 3 and runs through May 19 in a limited engagement at Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center. We spoke to Tiberghien about the show and everything that Moliere in the Park is doing.

How would you describe your upcoming production of The Miser?

Our production of The Miser is a reinvention of the play for Brooklyn in 2024, while also being incredibly faithful to the original text. I'm interested in the notion that as human beings, we haven’t changed much in 380 years. What makes us alive, and the ways in which we experience the world around us is pretty much the same. In my mind, this is not a depressing thought but rather an optimistic one, because it points to our commonalities and to all the ways in which we are one, as people. If we are able to recognize this, does it make us more empathetic? Does it unify us? Can we all shine in our differences knowing that at the core we want similar things?

When you put these shows together, how do you balance making choices to keep the shows modern and fresh, while honoring the original plays?

I start with the text. I really believe that as it was originally written it is like a classical music score which can be interpreted in many different ways, but the notes remain the same. The original composition, its rhythms, its melodies, if truthfully played can contain any level of modernity. What we’ve done with The Miser, despite the gender swaps and casting a woman in the lead male part, is very much the play that Molière wrote in 1668.

Besides Moliere, what are some of your favorite plays or playwrights?

Before I founded  Molière in the Park I worked as a freelance director and developed new plays with many incredible playwrights. Christina Anderson is one of them. The specificity of the experiences and worlds she depicts make her plays utterly universal. During the pandemic, Moliere in the Park produced an online version of her play pen/man/ship, which tells the story of a young women’s maritime journey back to Africa. pen/man/ship in my view is a classic which will be done 400 years from now.

What have you been reading lately?

Too much news. I do have a book that I return to all the time. It’s by a French psychologist and philosopher named Anne Dufourmentel. The book is called “l’Eloge du Risque,” in praise of risk. It’s a series of essays on daring to step into our lives with the knowledge that at any moment it could all be over, what it means to attempt to overcome our fears, our very real unique set of challenges and material limitations, and dare to open ourselves up to truly love, care for others, face our fears, experience pain, joy and pleasure. As someone who struggles enormously with anxiety and fear, this book has practically become my bible.

What has been the most rewarding part so far of running the Moliere in the Park series?

There are so many rewarding aspects to this adventure, I will only cite one: Seeing the twinkle in people’s eyes, when as they walk by our theater in the round, and stop to watch us teching our show, we tell them that we are doing a play, that it will be running for a month, that it’s free and that we’d like to welcome them and their families.

How can anyone who wants to support Moliere in the Park get involved?

We need all the support we can get. What we do is expensive and takes an enormous amount of fundraising work. We are also a tiny staff. People can support us by making a tax deductible donation through our website or when they reserve a ticket to see The Miser. They can also reach out to us if they want to volunteer, spread the word in their social media platforms, and if they want to join our board, we would love to have a conversation!

What’s coming up next for you?

Continuing to build MIP and also, hopefully, have a bit of a vacation with my children and husband.

For more info and to reserve tickets, go to https://www.moliereinthepark.or


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