by Jean Baptiste Molière English verse by Timothy Mooney
Comedy:
5 Acts; Estimated Running Time 95 minutes (without intermission).40-minute version available.
Cast:
14 Male, 3 Female, 17 Total, plus Extras (see details
).
Settings:
Three exterior, and two Interior.

World Premiere Production Available


Cast, Set Details

CAST: 14 Male, 3 Female, 17 Total, plus Extras
Doubling roles can reduce the total number of performers to 7-8 men and 3 women.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
DON JUAN, son of Don Louis
SGANARELLE, valet to Don Juan
ELVIRE, wife of Don Juan
GUSMAN, squire to Elvire
DON CARLOS & DON ALONSE, brothers of Elvire
DON LOUIS, father of Don Juan
FRANCISQUE, the Poor Man
CHARLOTTE & MATHURINE, peasant girls
PIERROT, a peasant
THE STATUE OF THE COMMANDER
LA VIOLETTE & RAGOTIN, lackeys of Don Juan
MONSIEUR DIMANCHE, a tradesman
LA RAMEE, a ruffian
A SPECTRE
ATTENDANTS TO DON JUAN
ATTENDANTS TO DON CARLOS AND DON ALONSE

SCENE: Sicily
Five settings: Three exterior, and two Interior, with transitions into the “tomb”


About the Adaptation

Don Juan (1665) written while Tartuffe was still banned on the stages of Paris, bore many characteristics of Tartuffe, and may even be the better known play in European production, which leads me to question whether it has yet received a successful translation. Like Shakespeare's Hamlet, Don Juan seems to undergo a transformation in every new era, as each director finds something new. In the course of the play, Don Juan defies every warning leveled at him to mend his ways, and thumbs his nose at all convention and obligation. In this scene, he curses his father who dares to challenge him to follow a more moral path, and intimidates his servant Sganarelle, before turning his attentions on the abandoned wife, Dona Elmire, whose almost-saintly transformation inspires only his most primal urges.


Excerpt

Don Juan

Don Juan
Act IV, Scene 5
DON JUAN, SGANARELLE

 

SGANARELLE

                                                Sir! You’re wrong!

 

DON JUAN

I’m wrong?

 

SGANARELLE

                  Sir ...

 

DON JUAN

                         Wrong, you say?

 

SGANARELLE

                                                   Yes sir, you’re wrong

To have endured his insults for so long!

If I were you, I would have put him out!

How dare he task you here, that foolish lout!

Have asses any more annoying brays,

Than father telling you to mend your ways?

Impertinence! Remind you of your birth?

These hundred trifles which he would unearth?

I ask you, how much more must you endure,

From out the mouth of that unrivaled boor?

A man like you knows well of life’s adventure!

How dare he misinterpret you and censure?

I marvel at your patience. You’re like Job.

I would have sent him packing with a probe!

(Aside.) Oh, cursed cowardice! I make me sick!

 

DON JUAN

Get dinner on the table, and be quick.

 

Act Four, Scene Six

DON JUAN, DONA ELVIRE, RAGOTIN, SGANARELLE

 

RAGOTIN

A lady in a veil has come to call.

 

DON JUAN

Who could it be?

 

SGANARELLE

                            I’ve no idea at all.

 

DONA ELVIRE

Don’t be surprised, Don Juan to see me thus

My urgent need outweighed the worthless fuss.

I’ve left behind this morning’s wicked wrath,

As I have since set out on greater path.

I am no longer she who uttered threats

So jealous of a few debased coquettes.

The vengeance has been banished from my soul,

Along with the misguided love you stole.

The transports of our criminal devotion;

The heady, violent, sensual explosion,

Leave nothing in my heart but stainless flame,

A tenderness, a love detached from shame,

Fair Heaven makes my love a consecration,

Which seeks to serve as only inspiration,

No longer fixed on manner you abuse me ...

 

DON JUAN (to SGANARELLE)

I do believe you’re crying.

 

SGANARELLE

                                         Please, excuse me.

 

DONA ELVIRE

This pure and perfect love sends me with warning

As Heaven weeps at your defiant scorning

I know, Don Juan, of all your sad transgressions,

And Heaven asked me to make an impression

On your disordered mind: They have not glossed it,

The store of mercy you draw from’s exhausted.

Good Heaven hesitates e’er scorn is sent

To give you one last chance to yet repent.

A single day may be all you have left

Before you are entirely bereft.

Through Heaven’s grace, I have won back my peace,

And seek to know the convent’s fond release.

All that I look for is the chance to heal

The damage done my soul in carnal zeal.

Yet as retirement calls me to reckon,

I would be sad if God did not yet beckon

The man I loved, but rather made example

Of how His justice may completely trample.

Such joy for me, if I might turn the blow,

That you might not reap the revenge you sow.

I beg you, grant this final consolation,

That you might not deny your own salvation,

If you won’t do this on your own behalf,

Spare me the grief of seeing Heaven’s wrath

As you’re condemned to the eternal flame.

 

SGANARELLE

Poor woman!

 

DONA ELVIRE

                       You held my heart’s only claim,

And no time on this earth was yet so dear

As that fair moment when you did appear.

For you my duty was all but forsaken;

I freely gave the innocence you’ve taken.

The only recompense which I now seek,

Is you not throw away your life in pique,

But save yourself, reform, for me or you

It matters not what motive you pursue

But please, Don Juan, I cry here at your feet,

And if a lover’s tears can’t urge retreat,

I ask in name of anything that might.

 

SGANARELLE

(Aside, watching DON JUAN)

Oh heart of ice!

 

DONA ELVIRE

                           I have no more tonight.

I’m going, I have emptied out my cup.

 

DON JUAN

It’s late, madame. Please stay. We’ll put you up.

 

DONA ELVIRE

Please, no, Don Juan. Do not detain me more.

 

DON JUAN

Your staying might allow me to explore --

 

DONA ELVIRE

I tell you, no. Don’t waste my time with chatter.

Don’t see me out. But think about this matter.

 

Act Four, Scene Seven

DON JUAN, SGANARELLE, LA VIOLETTE, RAGOTIN

 

DON JUAN

You know, I find that she can yet beguile;

There is a certain charm in her new style.

Her simple dress, her sorrow and her tears

Do quite refresh the way that she appears!

My feelings flared a bit for her unchecked --

 

SGANARELLE

Which is to say, her words had no effect.

 

DON JUAN

My supper, now!

 

SGANARELLE

                            Of course.

 

 

DON JUAN (Sitting at the table)

                                             For all the fuss,

Good Sganarelle, you know I think we must

Give thought to all this talk of reformation.

 

SGANARELLE

Oh, sir!

 

DON JUAN

             We’ll give it due consideration.

Another twenty, thirty years of this

And then we’ll see our souls are not amiss.


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