More Money, Love: Theater Stages ‘The Miser’

By Scott Craig   |   March 1, 2022
The Miser poster artwork by Scott Anderson

The Westmont College Festival Theatre and John Blondell, Westmont’s award-winning director and professor of theater arts, stage The Miser, or the School for Lies, Moliere’s funny, highly theatrical on-the-verge-of-the-absurd comedy February 25-26, March 3-5 at 7:30 pm, and March 5 at 2 pm, all in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $15 for adults, and may be purchased online at For more information, please contact (805) 565-7040.

“Moliere’s plays are confections of marvelous artifice,” Blondell says. “This play, like all of Moliere’s, exposes characters pushed to play elaborate double-games, in order to survive in a materialistic society. Love and money! How can we get it and how can we get more? Everyone lies, everyone tricks, everyone deceives, and all for their own particular ends.”

Blondell, back at Westmont following his first semester serving as Westmont’s global ambassador in the performing arts, says Moliere’s wildly funny comic romp is as timely in Santa Barbara 2022 as it was when Moliere wrote it for Parisian audiences in 1668. 

“I felt that the situations, atmospheres, acting opportunities, and themes would be good ones to tackle for our department, and the theme of the obsessive quest for money, and the consequences that result, is a good theme for any day and time,” he says. “Lovers want to get married, a parent wants to hoard wealth and obstruct those marriage plans, and everyone around those characters scheme and plot and contrive to get what they think is best for them. In addition, this play is just plain great fun.”

The cast includes Rory Nguyen (Harpagon), Alaina Dean (Cleanthe), Joel Michelson (Elise), Emiliana Brewer (Valerie), Noah Nims (Marianne), Emily Derr (Anselme), Ford Sachsenmaier (Frosine), Emmie Matthews (Simon), Maegan Randolph (Jacques), Ash Vanyo (La Fleche), Juliana Moore (Dame Claude), Ciena Fitzgerald (Brindavoine), and Claire Bassett (La Merluche). 


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