Letters to the Editor

“Learned Ladies Lures Laughter” (3/6)

To the Editor, I would like to express my sheer delight in reading Micere Johnson’s fine review of Molière’s Learned Ladies in your March 6 issue. Since my retirement from Andover in 1991, where I was happily engulfed in theatrical endeavors of all kinds, I have been busy with various community theatre enterprises, usually in the Camden Opera House, a stunningly renovated turn-of-the-century performance area. The last few years I have mounted As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummernight’s Dream, Hamlet, and this year King Lear, and have always found introducing neophytes to the language of Shakespeare’s plays a wonderfully challenging and rewarding experience. In a community theatre confronting students, to say nothing of less malleable adults, with metered period language involves a great deal of time and patience on everyone’s part. But not until I read your review did I know how to describe what I was up against in teaching a foreign stage language. It is what your review calls “the nuisances of language,” and that wonderful expression, whether or not it is a typo, which, considering we are discussing Molière, is probably the case, but nuances aside, it is indeed a happy neologism. I was privileged to at one time be cast in Guys and Dolls, still one of the most joyous pieces ever assembled, directed by Kevin Heelan, who cast a number of other faculty members as well. Mrs. Quattlebaum, now an archivist, was a general in the Salvation Army, overseeing a variety of Salvation Army workers, including me as Arvide. Nice work if you can get it. Here’s to The Nuisances of Language, Molière, Shakespeare, Wilde, whatever. Greetings to Bruce Bacon, as well as Kevin Heelan. Holly Owen ’43 Faculty Emeritus ’55-’91