Opened January 1993

Theatre: The Classic Stage Company (New York); Director: David Esbjornson; Production Stage Manager: Crystal Huntington; Set Designer: Karen TenEyck; Costume Designer: Claudia Stephens; Lighting Designer: Brian MacDevitt; Composer: Michael Ward; Assistant Director: Anne Kauffman
Cast: John C. Vennema (Pridamant of Avignon), Dan Moran (Amanuensis), Rocco Sisto (Alcandre), Rob Campbell (Calisto/Clindor/Theogenes), Cynthia Nixon (Melibea/Isabelle/Hippolyta), Lynn Hawley (Elicia/Lyse/Clarina), Todd Weeks (Pleribo/Adraste/Prince Florilame), Steve Mellor (Matamore)

Director's Notes: "At age 18, Peirre Corneille (1606-1684) began his career as a lawyer, only to abandon it for the theatre five years later. In 1636, during a period when the theatre in France was enjoying a slight gain in prestige, Corneille wrote 'L'Illusion Comique'. He referred to this play as a "strange monster" because of its unconventional blend of theatrical styles and its violation of Aristotle's three unities of place, time and action-the theatrical dogma of the period. "Corneille's use of a cave as Alcandre's place of enchantment draws on a European tradition in which caves as Alcandre's place of enchantment draws on a European tradition in which caves were regarded as mystical entities-methaphors for the cosmos-places where magic and a sense of the divine dwelled. During the Baroque period, in which Corneille was writing, caves had become a popular theatrical setting where the triumph of art over nature was demonstrated (for instance, mechanical devices were built to fashion fountains out of natural pools of water). This Baroque ideal is reflected in Alcandre's ability to create illusion as splendor and refinement within the rough and primitive environment of the cave."

Designer's Notes: The backdrops shown below were produced in the model only--they were cut from the show for budget reasons.

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PRODUCTION PHOTOS - Act 1 tableau (above); Amanuensis in the cave; Matamore ends the play; Pridamant of Avignon enters the cave

1/4" SCALE MODEL - Act 1; Act 2

PAINT ELEVATIONS - Backdrops, Act 1; Act 2; Act 3

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