The Playboy of Seville
Tirso de Molino's drama "The Trickster of Seville" was the first to introduce the character of Don Juan to theatre audiences and had a enormous impact on western culture, influencing Mozart, Byron, and Shaw to name only a few. Tirso, a Mercedarian monk and one of the bright lights of the Spanish Golden Age, wrote a surprisingly racy and entertaining morality play - full of music, song, sex, and spectacle - about a young nobleman who makes a profession of seducing women all the while maintaining that there'll be plenty of time to repent before it's time to die. A visit from the statue of the murdered father of one of his victims teaches him otherwise.

Venue:
Directed by:
Written by:
Production Dates:
Cast & Characters:
Cubiculo Theatre
Clinton J. Atkinson
Tirso Dc Molina
April 16, 1971 (premiere)
Michael Moriarty (Don Juan), Meryl Streep (Tisbea), Philip LeStrange (Catalinon), John High (Don Gonzalo), Alden Rockwell
Production Notes
Vassar's Miscellany News reviewed this production after its premiere. "Meryl Streep '71 is appearing in The Playboy of Seville at the Cubiculo in New York City in her off-Broadway debut. Ms. Streep plays the fishermaid Tisbea in the first known revival of the original Don Jaun story by Tirso Dc Molina, "The Trickster of Seville", written around 1616. The Cubiculo is an experimental theatre affiliated with the National Shakespeare Company at 414 West 51st Street. This production is using the translation of the Spanish classic made by Adrienne M. Schizzano and Oscar Mandel, and the direction by Clinton Atkinson carries the play through its exciting climax, emphasizing the freshness of this original Don Juan on which numerous other versions have been based.

Michael Moriarty plays Don Juan in a super-cool, nearly bored-to-death interpretation. He is not the usual Don Juan but his presence immediately convinces and carries the show supurbly. Meryl Streep as Tisbea is the most outstanding of Don Juan's lovers. Her acting has the perfect gestures and brings the part to an excellent level; and it is yet another kind of character to add to the Miss Julie, Forsine or Millwood characters that she has done at Vassar. The play is both held back by some mediocre acting in some small parts and also thrust forward by some excellent talent. Among the latter are John High as Don Gonzalo (and later as Don Gonzalo's statute), and Philip LeStrange as Catalinon, Don Juan's lackey. Both appeared last year on the Vassar stage in The Miser. Alden Rockwell '70 also makes her off-broadway debut.
Links & Research