Directing by Jean-Yves Brignon
Cast: Olivia Auday, Selma Benkaza, Harley de Burgh, Anouk Jurado, Luc Marin, Rachel Wach.
The Count de Febroques has gathered his small coterie in preparation for a lavish party that will include, as per the Count’s custom, an elaborate, if amateur, production of a play. The Count has outfitted his wife and
friendsto rehearse Marivaux’s French classic “The Double Inconstancy.”
The Count, who’s charming, however devilish, has cast all his actors in roles that mirror their own personalities, so that his wife, the Countess plays a scheming grade dame, his beautiful though heartless lover, Hortensia plays type, and the lovely, unaffected governess of his children portrays an ingenue noted for just
such attributes. It is through these machinations that the Count, as the protagonist of the play-within-the-play, can truthfully express his love for the young girl.
The Rehearsal is one of the French dramatist Jean Anouilh's most critically acclaimed and popular plays. Like much of his work, it explores the conflict between idealism and reality by setting a poor young innocent adrift in a sea of human sharks. To bring the play's light exterior as a comedy of manners into balance with the underlying darkness of jealousy and false pride triumphing over emotional honesty, there's a cleverly interjected play-within-a-play to reflect and heighten the impossibility of bridging the gap between the insularity of the idle rich through the centuries.
Play in French with English subtitles. AF Members and students can benefit from a discount ($22 instead of $28).