Tony Award-winning Columbia College Chicago alum Tonya Pinkins ’96 stars in a reimagined version of Moliere’s classic 1662 comedy The School for Wives, accessible for free on YouTube through October 28.
The production is presented by Moliere in the Park with the French Institute Alliance Française in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, LeFrak Center at Lakeside, and Theatre for a New Audience. Using the translation by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur, the production features an all-woman cast, with Pinkins playing Arnolphe, a wealthy middle-aged man who is so intimidated by women that he resolves to marry his young, naïve ward and proceeds to have her trained to be his wife. “We are looking forward to telling this classic 17th century French tale through the lens of a contemporary aesthetic and an all-woman cast to further bring into focus the inherent power of justice and equality over racism and sexism. By casting a Black woman in the central role of Arnolphe—a white man of power and privilege, who is forced to realize that he cannot control or snuff out anyone’s humanity—we are shining a light on the ultimate absurdity of similar American systems of oppression,” said the show’s director, Lucie Tiberghien, in a statement with Moliere in the Park’s executive producer Garth Belcon.
Pinkins won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in the Broadway hit Jelly’s Last Jam. Her other Broadway credits include Tony-nominated turns in Caroline, or Change and Play On!