Students to perform ‘Imaginary Invalid’

Most people feel relief when a doctor says they’re not sick.

But in the play, “Imaginary Invalid,” the hypochondriac character Argan gives doctors a run for their money during Island School’s projection of the play, “The Imaginary Invalid.”

“It’s going to be a great show,” said Peggy Ellenberg, the play’s director and producer.

“The kids are working really hard and they have a wide range of experience, from kids who have been in many plays to kids who have never been in a play before,” Ellenberg said. “They’re also squeezing this into extraordinarily busy schedules.” 

Originally written by French playwright Moliére, the story tells the tale of a wealthy man Argan, who spends most of the time believing he’s sick. 

Although Argan calls three doctors to diagnose his illness, they can’t find any problems. But that doesn’t stop them from milking the hypochondriac for all of his money.

Argan’s greedy second wife, Beline, is also only interested in Argan’s money. His daughter Angelique wishes to marry a man of whom her father doesn’t approve for selfish reasons, and Louison, his other daughter, doesn’t fight against her father’s antics.

Toinette, meanwhile, is Argan’s bold servant, who cleverly works to show her master the only sickness he has is in his mind.

“It’s a classic French farce set in the 17th century,” said Ellenberg. “I like to choose classics, I like to choose scripts that are from really good literature. So I’m really a fan of classical playwrights.”

The production takes this weekend in Island School’s Cafeteria, 1875 Kaumualii Highway. The productions will begin at 7 tonight and Saturday and a 4 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

After the one-hour show wraps up, students will put on a live improv comedy show.

Tickets for the production are $5 and may be purchased at Island School, from the students in the production or at the door the night of the performance.

As Ellenberg prepares the students for the comical production, the Island School drama teacher can’t help but admire the dedication of her actors.

“This is an educational endeavor first and foremost but it’s also an artistic endeavor,” Ellenberg added. “These kids are going to be the actors, the theater goers, the artists and the people who are going to inherit our future and they need to know that we’re behind them and that we support them and that we have high expectations of them.”

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