The Imaginary Invalid

Molière, adapted by Constance Congdon, based on a new translation by Dan Smith
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Love is funny. Love is trickery. Love is … smelly? It's certainly a merry-go-round of misplaced desires and hidden agendas in Constance Congdon's fresh and hilarious new take on Molière's skewering of a health-care crisis from an entirely different century. To quell his growing pile of medical bills, Monsieur Argan, a chronic hypochondriac, will go to any length to marry his daughter off to a doctor. Of course, his daughter has other ideas. A narcotic cocktail of romantic triangles, double entendres, and mistaken identities ensues, promising to leave you gasping, giggling, and possibly … in stitches.

Production Info

Cast: 9 total (3 female, 6 male)
Full Length Comedy (about 110 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes
Categories: , Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“Molière penned his final play, the slapstick comedy THE IMAGINARY INVALID more than 450 years ago, and it is not only amazing that this lesser-known play still stands the test of time, but how visionary this comedy, currently being seen in Constance Congdon’s new adaptation at the American Conservatory Theatre, has become. Or should we really be surprised in this age of plentiful medication — as doctors scribble prescriptions faster than it takes to gulp a handful of pills down with a glass of water — that THE IMAGINARY INVALID feels as relevant today as it did when healers swore by snake oil and holy water rather than Nexium and Zoloft? Moreover, Congdon has folded in a healthy dose of present-day nuances and innuendos, as well as beefed up the plot. The result is an entertaining and jovial romp … The great Frenchman’s last contribution to the world’s stage — he died onstage while playing Argan — proves that time has stood still when it comes to the eternal nature of the hypochondriac.” —, Tiffany Maleshefski

“Lean, clean and comically bent … a bright evening of amusement and occasional hilarity.” —Variety, Dennis Harvey

About the Author


  • Molière

    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622 – 1673), known as Molière, was a French dramatist, director, and actor, and one of the world's greatest masters of comic satire. Of his nearly 40 plays, his most famous are TARTUFFE, THE MISER, THE LEARNED LADIES, THE MISANTHROPE, and THE IMAGINARY INVALID.

  • Constance Congdon

    Constance Congdon has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner in Kushner's introduction to her collection TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS AND OTHER PLAYS. In addition to TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS, which has had more than 200 productions worldwide, Congdon's plays include: CASANOVA, DOG OPERA, NO MERCY, LOSING FATHER'S BODY, LIPS and NATIVE AMERICAN. PARADISE STREET, was produced in Los Angeles and Amherst. Three commissions from the American Conservatory Theater: A MOTHER, starring Olympia Dukakis, a new verse version of THE MISANTHROPE, and a new adaptation of THE IMAGINARY INVALID, were all produced by ACT. Also at ACT: MOONTEL SIX, a commission by the ACT Young Conservatory and subsequently performed at London's National Theatre, followed by another production of the two-act version at San Francisco's ZEUM. THE AUTOMATA PIETÀ, another YC commission, received its world premiere at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2002; NIGHTINGALES went to the Theatre Royale Bath's Youth Theatre. Congdon's NO MERCY, and its companion piece, ONE DAY EARLIER, were part of the 2000 season devoted to Congdon at the Profile Theatre. She has written a number of opera libretti and seven plays for the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. THE CHILDREN OF THE ELVI, Congdon's epic and NOT suitable for children, play received its premiere at the Key City Public Theater in 2007. Congdon's plays have been produced throughout the world, including Cairo, Tokyo and Berlin. Her new verse version of TARTUFFE is in a single-volume Norton Critical edition and in the Norton Anthology of Drama. In 2013, Congdon was the Honored Playwright at the GPTC and had a fully-staged workshop of her play about the water crisis in the West, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER. Her recent play HAIR OF THE DOG is about Shakespeare and Marlowe. Her most recent play, ENEMY SKY, is about drones, Islamaphobia, and late-in-life love. Congdon has received three NEA grants, two Rockefeller grants (one for Bellagio), an Albert Sloan grants for TAKE ME TO THE RIVER, The Berilla Kerr Award, Helen Merrill Award, The Albert Weissberger Award, New York Newsday's Oppenheimer Award for Best New Play in NYC, New England Theater Conference Award for Distinguished Service to the Theater (2004), two Great Plains Theater Conference Awards, one for Distinguished Service to the Theater and the other as the 2013 Honored Playwright. She is an alumnus of New Dramatists, The Playwright's Center of Minneapolis, and a current member of The Dramatists Guild and PEN. Congdon has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, but her home is as playwright-in-residence at Amherst College where she has taught playwriting for 25 years. Her work is published by Norton, TCG, Inc, but mostly by Broadway Play Publishing.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 2/5/2016
Pages 80
ISBN 9780881456097

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

World Premiere by the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in 2007, San Francisco, CA

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
The Imaginary Invalid is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


10/9/2016 – 11/19/2016
A Noise Within
Pasadena, CA

7/9/2016 – 10/4/2016
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
Los Angeles, CA


8/24/2024 – 9/9/2024
Berkeley, CA

11/30/2023 – 12/3/2023
Richmond, VA

3/3/2023 – 3/11/2023
Lewis And Clark College - Fir Acres Theatre
Portland, OR

10/12/2022 – 10/23/2022
The University Of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL

10/27/2021 – 10/31/2021
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL

11/15/2019 – 11/18/2019
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL

11/14/2019 – 11/16/2019
Phillips Academy Andover
Andover, MA

2/7/2019 – 2/16/2019
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA

11/14/2018 – 11/18/2018
Notre Dame Film, Television, And Theatre
Notre Dame, IN

10/6/2016 – 10/8/2016
Mclennan Community College
Waco, TX