Cover photo by Brian Paulette

The Pests

Molière, translated and slightly abridged and adapted by Felicia Londré
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This title may also be purchased in the following bundle at 20% off the regular price: MOLIÈRE MASTER CLASS


Molière’s deliciously trifling comedy in a garden setting won the favor of the Sun King in 1661 and set his course to become the most-produced comic writer in the history of theatre. This neglected classic marked Molière’s first mingling of sparkling verse dialogue and dance numbers. While written for a courtly audience, the play dared to mock recognizable personalities and their obnoxious eccentricities. For modern audiences, the human foibles still look familiar and very funny. Desperately in love with the coquettish Orphise, Eraste tries to maintain his aristocratic composure as one obnoxious person after another interrupts his pursuit. Can he appreciate Lysandre’s self-taught, self-proclaimed genius as a singer and dancer? Will he defy the king’s ban on dueling to serve as second for a friend who took offense at another’s unfortunate word choice? Can he follow the card player’s compulsion to recount every move? Or the hunter’s venting about horse and hounds? How can he politely put a stop to the scholar’s torrent of verbiage? Or the financial wheeler-dealer’s spiel? Will Orphise let him explain about the two women smothering him with their theorizing about lovers? In counterpoint to the swatting of pests, three dance interludes allow the company’s creativity to go wild. And there’s a fight scene. Of course, Eraste gets the girl in the end.

Production Info

Cast: 15 total (4 female, 11 male, 2 nonspeaking parts)
Full Length Comedy (about 85 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes
Categories: , Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“Flashy, effervescent and downright fun … It is such a joy to watch the ensemble bring tradition into the now. PESTS obviously has literary accessibility and near-perfect timing, but it also has guts, and in rhyming verse.” —Lonita Cook, Black Bee Buzz

“Londré’s translation highlights the show’s whimsy and the cast does an impressive job of handling Molière’s rhyming couplets.” —Vivian Kane, Kansas City Studio

“Londré’s translation updates the dialogue, but like the original, it’s in verse … It is, to borrow a word from the production’s description, a trifle. But a délicieux one.” —Christine Pivovar, Kansas City Magazine

“Dr Felicia Londré’s translation is superb — wonderfully accessible while also lovingly devoted to Molière’s intentions. I have spent a quarter of a century working with classical texts and the most important thing to remember is that they were all new at one point. They were never intended to be revered at a distance by the viewer, but rather presented in a lively and engaging way. Our production embraces this fully by mixing our contemporary age with the classical style of Molière’s era. Audiences will delight in the witty banter of the text …” —director Matt Schwader, interviewed by Emily Park, INKansasCity

“… a fantastic and lively adaptation which is even more thrilling and vibrant thanks to some of the best talent Kansas City has to offer. I think we’re all ready for this rollicking, frolicking, romping good time!” —Broadway World Kansas City

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.

  • Felicia Londré

    Felicia Londré is Curators' Distinguished Professor Emerita of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she taught theatre history for 42 years, supervised 90 M.A. theses, published 17 books and hundreds of articles and reviews. After retirement in 2019, she devoted three years, as president of the nonprofit KC MOlière: 400 in 2022, to an internationally-acclaimed city-wide, omni-arts celebration of Molière's 400th birthday. That project stimulated her verse translation of THE PESTS from Moliere's Les Fâcheux. With Brieux's AMERICANS IN FRANCE, she is back in her fin-de-siècle comfort zone. Felicia's other translations that have been produced are AN ITALIAN STRAW HAT by Labiche, TRIO by Kado Kostzer and Alfredo Arias, THE SHOW-MAN by Andrée Chedid, THE SNOWMAIDEN by Ostrovsky, TWO MAPLES by Shvarts, and LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE by Malyarevsky. Dr. Londré's 2008 book The Enchanted Years of the Stage won the Theatre Library Association's George Freedley Memorial Award. She served a term (2012–14) as Dean of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre. Felicia's recognitions include ATHE's 2001 Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award and the 2011 Betty Jean Jones Award for Outstanding Teacher of American Theatre and Drama. She taught a semester at Hosei University in Tokyo and has presented papers at many national and international conferences. As Honorary Co-Founder of Kansas City's Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, she served twelve years (1992–2004) on that board. She was resident dramaturg for Missouri Repertory Theatre, 1978–2001.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 3/15/2022
Pages 52
ISBN 9780881459272

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


9/30/2022 – 10/9/2022
Denison University
Granville, OH