The Learned Ladies

october 6 - 22
sitnik theatre of the lackland performing arts center

By Moliere
Adapted by Freyda Thomas

Philamente and her daughter Armande are rabid supporters of the new intellectual movement among women.  In her overzealousness, Philamente plays marriage matchmaker for her sweet younger daughter Henrietta.  Add to this a meek husband, a loony if lovable sister, a practical sister - in - law and a couple of mouthy servants and you have the makings of a sprightly theatre event!






what the critics are saying

"Director Carl Wallnau has beautifully staged this wacky screwball comedy still funny and relevant after 350 years! The production has it all." -Rick Busciglio, NJ Footlights (read full article)

"The Centenary Stage is presenting a lively production... that is a must-see for metro audiences." -Marina Kennedy, BroadwayWorld (read full article)

"Director Carl Wallnau and a talented 15-actor cast create a blend of sophistication and silliness that makes for a highly entertaining evening." - Jay Lustig, (read full article)


About the Playwright:  Freyda Thomas

The concert piano was Freyda’s first artistic achievement... until the age of 12 when her father, popular Philadelphia area bandleader Eddie Shaw, made her his vocalist. With a mouth full of braces, a prom dress and a ponytail, she began singing with his big band, a career that stayed with her until his death in 1986. An early college and high school teaching career followed her B.A. and M.A. from Penn State University… until the Muse sent her to New York to study and practice acting.

In 1978, while sitting backstage on Broadway, she began translating and adapting Molière’s The Learned Ladies, just for the fun of it. The following winter it was produced at Temple University and her playwriting career was launched. That same adaptation was given its New York debut in 1991 at Classic Stage Company, starring Jean Stapleton and produced by Carey Perloff. Upon Ms. Perloff’s transfer to the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco, she produced it again in 1993.

Meanwhile, Freyda continued to pursue acting and writing careers simultaneously, writing backstage, offstage, in stairwells, on subways, waiting at auditions, and on paper placemats in restaurants. The result was Tartuffe: Born Again, a modern adaptation of the famous play about the infamous religious hypocrite. To provide English-speaking audiences with a more accessible milieu, she updated the play to the 1980s and set it in Baton Rouge, with Tartuffe as a televangelist. In 1996 it was produced at Circle in the Square on Broadway, starring Tony award-winning John Glover as Tartuffe.

Two years later Freyda wrote an original play, The Gamester, inspired by a little-known French classic called Le Joueur by Jean-François Regnard, on the subject of compulsive gambling in Paris in 1699. Prior to its premiere, the play was a finalist in 2000 for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Playwriting Award. In 2001, roughly the 300th anniversary of Regnard’s version, Chicago’s Northlight Theatre premiered The Gamester to critical and popular acclaim (see Reviews). The play was then produced in 2003 by The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and in 2005 by ACT in San Francisco, again a critical and popular production, and published by Dramatists' Play Service later that year.

meet the playwright Sunday October 8 for a special talkback after the 2pm matinee!

performance schedule

2PM 7:30PM 2PM 8PM 2PM 8PM 2PM
X X 6 6 X 7 8
11 12 X 13 X 14 15
18 19 X 20 X 21 22

Buffet Matinee available for groups of 25 or more (click here)

Ticket Pricing Adult Children (under 12)
Matinee / Fridays $27.50 $17.50
Saturday $29.50 $17.50
*Thursday (Buy 1/Get 1) $27.50 N/A

*BOGO OFFER:  Valid ONLY in person at the CSC Box Office, as early as two hours prior to performance time.

All ticket sales are final.

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Centenary Stage Company supports Actors' Equity Association by employing its members.