Fresno State sells out opening weekend

Fresno State's department of theater arts runs production of “Malpractice, or Love’s the Best Doctor” on March 11-19. (Department of Theater Arts)

The premiere of “Malpractice, or Love’s the Best Doctor” sold-out last weekend, attracting approximately 150 people.  

“It’s a comedy with wit, physical humor, verbal humor and a dream sequence in the second act that has a quality of a romance,” said Ruth Griffin, professor of theatre arts at Fresno State.

The play’s origins stem from the works of Moliere with an adaptation by the Dell’Arte Players.

“It’s a story about a father and a daughter,” said Emily Smith, production stage manager. “The father is a hypochondriac and he’s forcing his daughter to marry a doctor so that he can always have a doctor in his life, and we deal with the daughter’s struggle as she meets these crazy doctors that she doesn’t want to marry.”

The play is being staged at the Fresno State campus in the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre in the Speech Arts Building.  

The play aims to question the authority and credibility of the medical field from the time it was written to the adaptation which is still relevant today.  

“Now even more,” Griffin said, “in 2016, the industrialization of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, it’s mild, but it’s taking on the fact that there’s corruption within that industry.”

The play opened March 11 and will be in production until March 19.  

“It’s really funny,” Smith said. “It deals with what doctors used to do versus what the medical practitioners do now and to see that juxtaposition is very comedic.”

The wardrobe for the play aims to give the genuine feel for the time in which it was created and first performed.  

“My job was to research the 1650s and replicate garments that would feel authentic to that era,” said Elizabeth Payne, associate professor of theatre arts and costume and makeup design.

The play displays a young woman’s struggle with her own identity while trying to please the demands and desires of her father.

“The moral of the story is to stand up for yourself,” Smith said, “we have a line in the show, and it says, ‘Let every woman possess her own body,’ so we want a sense of you don’t need a doctor to cure yourself. Everyone can do for themselves.”

For more information on tickets, dates and times of showings, visit the box office in the Speech Arts Building.  

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