by Jean Baptiste Molière English verse by Timothy Mooney
Comedy:
Full Length. Estimated Running Time 65 minutes (without intermission). 40-minute version available.
Cast: 8 Male, 3 Female, 11 Total.
Settings:
Two exterior, and one Interior (see details).
Spoof, satire delight audience … A delightful spoof of a doctor who's really a woodcutter … Mooney was hilarious in the title role …. Rhyming dialogue, the commedia dell'arte performance style and 17th century costumes designed by Stephanie Orr also made "The Doctor in Spite of Himself" nearly irresistible…
(John Brandenburg, The Oklahoman)

The wit of his quill brings quite a thrill … Audience members of all ages are in for a delightful hour of mishaps and misunderstandings.”
(Johnnie-Margaret McConnell, The Norman Transcript)


Cast, Set Details

CAST:
8 Male, 3 Female, 11 Total

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
GERONTE, father of Lucinde
LUCINDE, daughter of Geronte
LEANDRE, in love with Lucinde
SGANARELLE, husband of Martine
MARTINE, wife of Sganarelle
MONSIEUR ROBERT, neighbor of Sganarelle
VALERE, steward to Geronte
LUCAS, husband of Jacqueline
JACQUELINE, wet nurse in Geronte’s house, and wife of Lucas
THIBAUT, a peasant
PERRIN, his son

SCENE:
Three settings:* Two exterior, and one Interior
Act I: A wood
Act II: A room in Geronte’s house
Act III: Geronte’s garden
* There is no specific reason why Acts Two and Three might not be played in the same setting.


About the Adaptation

The Doctor In Spite of Himself (1666) was an attack on doctors, written seven years in advance of The Imaginary Invalid, and was a loosely structured farce, in which a woodcutter, again, by the name of Sganarelle, (Moliere, himself, by the way, played all the Sganarelles) finds himself mistaken for a doctor, when his angry wife plays a trick on him. In a typical Moliere device, the patient that he is called in to see is only faking an illness to keep from being married off to someone she doesn't love. In the meantime, however, Sganarelle develops an irresistable urge toward the household's wetnurse, discovering that the disguise of doctor provides a cover for any number of abuses.


Excerpt

Bourgeois Gentleman

The Doctor In Spite of Himself
Act II, Scenes 2-4
GERONTE, SGANARELLE, LUCAS

 

GERONTE

                                     That’s my baby’s wetnurse.

 

SGANARELLE (Aside.)

A juicy bit of crumpet, I must say ...

(Aloud.) Ah, nurse, my doctorship is but the clay

To which your nurseship gives a shape and form.

Ah, would I were the tot, all snug and warm,

(Putting his hand on her breast.)

Who tastes here at the font of your good graces.

At such abundance, my small art abases.

Would that my skills might by you yet be known ...

 

LUCAS

Your pardon, sir, please leave my wife alone.

 

SGANARELLE

What! Is this girl your wife?

 

LUCAS

                                            Ay, that she be.

 

SGANARELLE

(Going as if to embrace LUCAS, he embraces JACQUELINE instead.)

Oh such a wondrous joy that is to me!

I celebrate your mutual affection.

 

LUCAS (Drawing SGANARELLE away.)

That’s fine, sir, please, not quite such strong inflection.

 

SGANARELLE

I do delight to see you so well matched,

I do commend you two, so well attached.

I thrill for her, and risking some redundance,

Salute you, finding wife of such abundance.

(Makes, again, as if to embrace LUCAS, but passes under his arm to throw himself on JACQUELINE.)

 

LUCAS (Pulling him off again.)

Good Lord, sir! Not so many compliments!

I beg you --

 

SGANARELLE

                You’d not place impediments

To celebration of how your rare hearts

Should join in blessed union of fair parts.

 

LUCAS

Ay, celebrate unto your hearts content,

With me, but not my wife to such extent.

 

SGANARELLE

I share the joy of both; know, if I clasp

You in such honor, that I also grasp

(Repeating business.) Your lovely wife with such respectful aim,

To fully know the breadth of --

 

LUCAS (Dragging him away.)

                                              Shame, sir! Shame!

Enough, now, of this manner that you’ve mocked her!

 

Act Two, Scene Three

GERONTE, LUCAS, SGANARELLE, JACQUELINE

 

GERONTE

My daughter will be in directly, doctor.

 

SGANARELLE

I wait, with my vast medical resource.

 

GERONTE

Where is it?

 

SGANARELLE (Touching his forehead.)

                     Right in here.

 

GERONTE

                                            Oh, yes, of course!

 

SGANARELLE (Crossing to JACQUELINE.)

My interest, sir, is in all of your ilk.

And thus, I must make test of Nurse’s milk,

And see to it her breasts are of a nature ...

 

LUCAS (Drawing SGANARELLE away and spinning him around.)

I’ll not be having you to thus engage her!

 

SGANARELLE

It’s duty, sir, examining the breasts

Of any nurse --

 

LUCAS

                     She will not get undressed.

 

SGANARELLE

Audacity! Opposing so a doctor!

 

LUCAS

I’ll not stand by until you have unfrocked her.

 

SGANARELLE

Be off with you, you backwards foolish lout!

 

LUCAS

I’ll not be off, however you may shout!

 

SGANARELLE (Looking darkly at him.)

I might infect you with a wicked flu!

 

JACQUELINE (Pulling LUCAS away and spinning him around.)

Yes, Lucas. That’s enough of that from you.

The doctor must perform examination,

To see my body’s but his occupation,

And if he must some sight of me endure,

It’s nothing that he hasn’t seen before.

 

LUCAS

I don’t want him ta touch thee, on my life!

 

SGANARELLE

Oh, shame! The rascal’s jealous of his wife!

 

GERONTE

Aha! My daughter, sir.

 

Act Two, Scene Four

GERONTE, LUCINDE, VALERE, SGANARELLE, LUCAS, JACQUELINE

 

SGANARELLE

                                   The invalid?

 

GERONTE

My only daughter. Stricken, God forbid.

Were she to die, my heart would surely break.

 

SGANARELLE

Without a doctor’s note? Such a mistake!

Such death would be an insubordination!

 

GERONTE

A chair, here.

 

SGANARELLE

                    Oh, a lovely little patient!

A good, strong man might find a use for her!

 

GERONTE

You make her laugh.

 

SGANARELLE

                                So much the better, sir.

A patient laughing is a healthy sign.

So what’s the problem; what now dulls your shine?

Where is it that you feel this rude affliction?

 

LUCINDE (Touching her lips, her forehead and under her chin.)

Han, hi, hon, han.

 

SGANARELLE

                            I don’t quite grasp your diction.

 

LUCINDE (Repeating gestures.)

Han, hi, hon, han, han, hi, hon.

 

SGANARELLE

                                                 Huh?

 

LUCINDE

                                                          Hon, han.

 

SGANARELLE

Hon, han? I fear that I don’t understand.

What is the meaning of this conjugation?

 

GERONTE

That is the nature of her perturbation.

We know not where the illness may come from,

But find the girl now struck completely dumb.

Until she’s well, her marriage is deferred.

 

SGANARELLE

But why?

 

GERONTE

                The husband wished she might be cured,

Before he might agree to make this match.

 

SGANARELLE

What idiot might pass on such a catch

Of wife with no capacity to speak?

I’d think twice ‘ere a cure that I would seek!

I would to God my wife had been so smote!