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Read “House of Monkeys”

Moliere House of Monkeys

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We all need to laugh, and what better model for discovering our own grace for laughter than a man who relished laughter and comedy in his work above all else?

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Bring the life and work of Moliere to your audience

Molierecovnew

Read the opening scenes of “House of Monkeys” on line at Smashwords Download the full, two act play for FREE thru August 13.

Like most of Moliere’s work, the script is written in rhymed couplets. The three monkeys are the primary musical performers who dance and sing to 14 songs throughout the play.

The play features scenes from many of Moliere’s plays including, Tartuffe, A School for Wives, The Ridiculous Young Ladies, The Impromptu at Versailles, and The Imaginary Invalid.

Performance time: The play runs for an hour and forty minutes in two acts.

Cast: The minimum cast is for 16 actors. 8 men and 8 women with some doubling and depending on how the roles of the three monkeys are cast. More actors can be added for crowd and ceremony scenes.

The script is 102 pages formatted on 8 x 11.5 paper, printed on one side.

New Cover Quiz

Can you guess which famous movie promo shot the new cover for “Days and Lies” is modeled from?

childsilence4
Leave a comment with a guess. If correct you get a free download of “Days and Lies” on Amazon Kindle

Teachers, Managers, Youth Leaders


Most board games cost about $15 -$20

The Meet Your Playful Self – Workshop

The last half of the book, Meet Your Playful Self; The Workshop, gives you a detailed, step-by-step map for your own playful group.

The paths or exercises, derived from 40 years of working with improvisers, offer you a short cut to your intuitive, playful self by-passing years of trial and error, frustration, and confusion you might experience on your own.

A decorative cell phone cover cost $9.99

Teachers, Coaches, Youth Leaders

If you are a teacher, coach, or youth leader, you can lift segments to practice with your students. Whether you teach History, Math, Phys ed, or Soccer; you can use the workshop to explore listening as a skill and offer your students a guide to understand when they are listening and when they are not listening.

A ticket to a Lady Gaga concert costs $95 – $188

Managers, Business Leaders

If you are a manager, you can use the workshop paths “Talking Fast”, “Yes…and…”, or “Counting and Listening”; and I promise you will be far ahead in building the “team” spirit that will lift the morale in a department, erase petty conflicts, and as a result, increase productivity, profit, and performance.

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Parents

If you are a parent, you can use the workshop like you might play the game of charades with your children and their friends. You can play the interactive games like “being”, “Zip, Zap, Zoop”, “Clap Around”, or “Playing with an Object” to enjoy the intuitive, playful nature of your own children. As Plato says, “You can learn more about a person in one hour of play than a year of conversation.” What’s more – it works!

A “Would You Rather” card game stocking stuffer costs $40.00

Improvisers, Directors, Actors

If you are an improviser, you know to well how easily the magical intuitive moment escapes you in your work. We don’t even know the why or how, but before we know it, we find ourselves in a conceptual, unproductive trap. The exercises in the Workshop offer the best conceptual routes like “The Three Levels of Acceptance” or “Push to 10″ to keep your group in the intuitive groove, grind, and gristle.


The book Meet Your Playful Self is now FREE thru September 11 at this link
Smashwords

___________________________________________

Smashword Ebooks – A first date?

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

This is one of the most important paragraphs I will ever write. I am now 65 years old, and I have written two full length fiction novels, one non-fiction novel, and three plays over the past thirty-five years. All of this work has sat in boxes. I tried submitting two of the books to agents, editors, or publishers for a short time, and gave up. My bad.

Then came computers, smart phones, social media and a whole new means of communicating with the world, but most importantly with you. Now, I can share my work with you in a personal way, without suffering the pains and arrows of outrageous query letters, rejection, and frustration. This is now about me and you. Oh boy!

After a short stint with Amazon Corporation, I’ve finally lighted upon a electronic publishing platform that fits like the hug from a friend. Ebook sales have grown exponentially over the past five years for many different reasons. For me, distribution of electronic books, has taken the corporate book sellers and the demand query letters, and waiting for weeks and months for a simple reply – off the table!

Of course, with the advent of books you can be download in a few seconds at a very low price, you have much to choose from. So, this is and invitation to you. A chance to introduce my work to you. Just you and me.

Now, I can write these words to you. It is just you and I. Some of you may know me from the “Theatre” world, or as a blogger, or a friend on twitter or face book. Now, I am inviting you to take a look at my work on Smashwords. I know this is asking a lot of you. I do not take it lightly. I feel as though I am back in high school, phoning up the girl in the third row to ask for a first date. All I can offer is my gratitude for just reading this far. I hope you will give a book or play a read.

Any feedback, even “No, I don’t want to go out on a date.” will be deeply appreciated.

Now available
on KINDLE

The Play “Moliere – House of Monkeys”
MolierecovnewSmashwords

A playful romp through the life, love and work of MOLIERE

Even if you know little or nothing of the French playwright Moliere, you will be enchanted by the telling of the story by three dancing, singing, and rather puckish monkeys as they come alive to peel at the life of Moliere like the skin from a succulent banana. The trio winds us through the loves, the controversies and scandals, while offering the funniest scenes of Moliere into the monkey mix. We meet the lovers, Madeleine and Armande, the detractors Montfleury and De Vise, and witness the final scene of Moliere’s life as he plays Argan in the “Imaginary Invalid”. Now available on

You can read more about the play in the category "Moliere House of Monkeys" link on this page.

Non-Fiction – “The Secrets of ‘Funny” – Meet Your Playful Self”bookworkSmashwords

A step-by-step map for you, your family, and friends to awaken your playful nature from the teacher who first introduced Chris Farley to Improvisation.
This book represents 30 years of research to give you 47 steps to become a more playful and funny person. Now available at

You can read more by clicking the "Meet Your Playful Self" category on this page.

Fiction – “Days and Lies”

smashjcov2Smashwords

“Days and lies” is a psychological thriller, set in the University town of Madison, Wisconsin, that is guaranteed to keep you guessing. Yes. A twelve mile system of tunnels really does exist below the campus. So does the Willy Web, the Lair, and the answer to how a little girl becomes invisible. Now available at Smashwords for $3.99.

Fiction – Coming soon. “Night MARE – Central Park Possessed”
Covernew

I drove a horse an carriage through Central Park for two years in the mid 1970’s, while a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The first draft of the book was written in the Chaqquamegan National Forest in 1978 while on a Summer-long, escape-from-New York. It was typed on a Smith Corona typewriter, and sat in boxes for the past 30 years. It will be published on Smashwords in the coming weeks and be available for pre-orders.

A First Date?

So would you go on a “first date” ride? I hope so.

You can email me direct with any questions, comments, or suggestions at cord@myplayfulself.com

Read “Days and Lies”

smashjcov2

“Days and lies” is a psychological thriller, set in the University town of Madison, Wisconsin, that is guaranteed to keep you guessing. Yes. A twelve mile system of tunnels really does exist below the campus. So does the Willy Web, the Lair, and the answer to how a little girl becomes invisible.

You can read the first chapters Free. If you like it, you can download the complete novel for the priced of a doughnut and coffee on Smashwords

Because We Need to Laugh

Because we need to laugh

Molierecovnew
I ask that your help make the lingering dream of thirty years: to bring Moliere’s love, life, and work to the stage in a fun and jolly tribute written in rhymed couplets.

The Madison reading of “Moliere – House of Monkeys” will unfold at the Lowell Center on Langdon St. at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13.

Below is a the video for a future Kickstater campaign. Does it work for you? Please leave a comment in the reply box at the bottom or email me at cord@myplayfulself.com.

A musical romp through the life, love, and work of Moliere

The video was edited by Roger TIme of TImeless Recordings in Gays Mills, Wisconsin who is also creating the “Birth of the Monkeys:” sequence for the top of the show.

The Goal is…

Timeless Recording face book page

Moliere gave his fortune to form the Theatre Illustrious 1643

Read the play on line or download now for Free. Read Play

Now we need your help

The play is written, the music composed, now we need your help. The Kickstarter event is coming soon. Right now, you can help with your “social support”. It is more important than your money. Please move the cursor a few inches and write a comment.

Visit and read more about the play on the “House of Monkeys” web site.

Join and like the page “Moliere- House of Monkeys” page on face book.

Moliere will not be found in a grave
But in every laugh and giggle he gave
To people over the course of time
We end as we started. Now, join in the rhyme!

You can write directly to the playwright at cord@myplayfulself.com

You can tweet your support to #playfulself, #moliere, or #houseofmonkeys on twitter.

A Valentine – the Death of Moliere and Madeliene

The French playwright, Moliere, worked heart and hand with Madeleine Bejart through all of their years of laughter, struggle, and tears. They died on the same day: February 17 – one year apart. Madeliene died on that day in 1672. Moliere died on that day in 1673.

The day of their death is just one of the many coincidences of time and place that are woven through the House of Monkeys. On the day after the death of Madeliene, Moliere brings the audience into the costume shop where the dresses and sashes they wore on the stage are stored. He hears the words spoken by his dearest Madeliene, as he touches the fabric and is haunted with the scent of time passed.

Moliere – House of Monkeys
now available on KINDLE

back5

Scene 4

(Enter Moliere alone. He is in the costume shop of the theatre. He opens the door of the costume closet to reveal the dresses in storage. He lifts the arm of the dress we recognize as the one Madeleine wore in the earlier scene; the dress he hid beneath to avoid arrest. He lifts the arm and smells the scent.)

Moliere

You know a trick that I might vanish in air?

Voice of Madeleine

Yes. An old comic trick. Hide you here under my skirts
Where you will act the part of pleats and inserts.

(Moliere laughs)

Moliere

(He moves to the table which was used in the seduction scene of “Tartuffe”)

Voice of Madeleine as Elmire
Pull up this table, and get under it.

Moliere as Orgon
(Aloud)

What?

(Voice of Madeleine as Elmire)

It is essential that you be well hidden.

Moliere

Just one year ago to the day we…
(He laughs and then coughs violently and sits heavily in chair at the table. Throwing himself into his chair)
Ah! I am done for. It is enough to kill me!

Armande
(Entering)

Is that you?…

Moliere

…It is I. (coughs) It is me.

Armande

We are waiting your word to cancel tonight’s play.

Read and download the full play “House of Monkeys” on Smashwords

Moliere – Allah and the Koran

Read Moliere – House of Monkeys on KINDLE

Most who know of Moliere and his work, also know of the plague of woe that visited him with his satire of the Catholic Church and Christian reverence found in the one of his most known works, the play “Tartuffe”. Far fewer people know of his satire of the Muslim religion found in the play”The Bourgeouis Gentleman”, and armed with the repercussions brought by any perceived slight of AllahAllah or the Koran in recent history, the satire of Moliere in the Turkish Ceremonies in “The Bourgeouis Gentleman”, might well call for his death, if he were alive.

Unlike “Tartuffe” , “The Bourgeouis Gentlemen, was a collaboration written only in part by Moliere, Lully composed the music, Quinault the lyrics, and Corneille the bulk of the dialogue.

The play is nothing new, it was first presented before the royal person on October of 1670 and is discussed here with interest as to how the comic satire is viewed today.

Le Bourgeois gentilhomme is a five-act comédie-ballet—a play intermingled with music, dance and singing—by Molière, first presented on 14 October 1670 before the court of Louis XIV at the Château of Chambord by Molière’s troupe of actors.

The video is in a loose version of French, and the English translation is below the video.

The edited translation is from Albert Bermel from the publication The Doctor in Spite of Himself and The Bourgeois Gentlemen

The Fourth Interlude consists of a “Turkish” ceremony of music and dance.

Six Turks enter in pairs, dancing solemnly to the accompaniment of instruments. They carry very long carpets to which they execute dance movements. The Turks lay their carptes on the ground and kneel on them. They prostrate themselves as they chant “Ali” [The name of Mohomet's son-in-law]. They rise chanting “Allah” alternating the two names, knelling and rising until the end of the invocation, when they all stand and chant, “Allah ekber [Great is God]”

MUFTI
If you know,
say so,
If you know not,
say naught.
Mufti am I,
very high.
You understand not?
Say naught.
Answer, Turks, is this man a
true believer? Or an Ana-
Baptist?

TURKS
No.

MUFTI
A Zwinglist?

TURKS
No.

The questioning continues as heard on the sound track. Then on further.

MUFTI
To Mohamet night and day
To Jourdaina I will pray.
I will make a paladaina.

TURKS
Hey Valla!
Yes, by Allah!
Yes, by Allah!
Hey Valla!

Later on in the ballet

The Mufti re-enters wearing an enormous ceremonial turban with four or five rows of lighted candles on top. Two Dervishes escort him. They carry the Koran. They make Monsieur Jordain kneel. Then forcing him to lean forward on his hands, the place the Koran on his back to serve as the Mufti’s lectern.

“House of Monkeys” Composer Bill Neil in Italy

Visit Bill Neil’s web site to see, hear, and experience what the muse had to offer on his travels to Italy

1-venice-maze1

I recently traveled to Italy for a premiere of “Notte dei Cristalli” in Padova. As I traveled I recorded some images that focused on one or two themes. I shared my images with architect Gregory Splinter. He then created some very interesting intuitive designs that in turn inspired some digital sound creativity on my part. Where is this all headed? Well, a future Project FourthStream performances will I present new compositions inspired by these images and Gregory’s words!
3-circo-massimo Transcend.

Transcend ourselves

beyond the encumbrances

of our own thoughts,

of our own agendas,

of our own concerns.

Allow the eternal truths to enter,

to be discerned by all.

See and hear more of Bill’s journey on his web site

Theatre CLOSED

The “Wicked Comedy Tartuffe”

After over four years of controversy, emotional upheaval, and financial strife for Moliere. and before the script for “Tartuffe” was available to the public – the play was finally allowed a public performance on Friday August 5, 1667.

The following morning Moliere received notice that the play Ark_close3was prohibit any further public performance. Guards were placed at the doors of the theatre, posters were torn down, and the theatre was closed.

A closed theatre

My (Our) theatre closed back in 1990. It was the Ark Improvisational Theatre (pictured right) that gave rise to the careers of Chris Farley and Joan Cusack. It closed as we were in the midst of producing Moliere’s “The Miser”. The emotional and financial upheaval did not result from the opposition of the church, but I know the feeling of loss in a deep and personal way, and have revisited those feelings of doubt that led to the end of the ARK as I wrote the scene for “House of Monkeys” when Moliere’s own theatre was locked and closed.

Moliere had already reworked the play “Tartuffe” several times to address the concerns of the masonic and secret organization “Saint Sacrament”. He changed the title of the play from “Tartuffe” to “Imposture”. He changed the final act of the play to make it clear that this play, like previous works that proceeded it, was not an attack on religiosity but a satire of human hypocrisy, and no different in it’s comedic intent than any other of his previous plays – all to no avail. The King, who leaned in support of the play against the strong and powerful arm of the Catholic Church, was distracted and out of Paris dealing with a campaign in Flanders and unable to focus attention on the plight of the struggling company of actors.

For Moliere, “Tartuffe” had become the symbol of the freedom and dignity of his profession. For the first time in his twenty-eight years his theatre had been closed. To all appearances, Moliere had been driven from the stage, and Paris laughed no longer.

Once the King returned to Paris, and after many visits of Moliere and company to Versailles, and after the play had been rewritten a third time – “Tartuffe” was finally, once again, licensed for public performance, seven years after it was written, and opened on February 9, 1669.

“Tartuffe” and “House of Monkeys”

The second act of “House of Monkeys” opens with Moliere seated alone on a prop throne, dressed as Tartuffe, and captures the dark mood of the time in a “dream play”. The three monkeys, who have been playful narrators of the action in Act I, have changed their persona to become shadows of temptation of doubt – the scourge that Moliere defines in one of his most popular quotes: “Doubts are more cruel than the worst of truths” – have come in the presence of ghostly monkeys to threaten his career.

Moliere – House of Monkeys
now available on KINDLE

Copyright 2012 by Dennis Kern – House of Monkeys

ACT 2

Scene 1

(The stage is dark. All is quiet. Finally, a white spotlight slowly fades in to illuminate
Moliere who is seated on a prop throne in his theatre. Next to him, sitting in his exact
position, is Monkey #1 who sits to his right as a mirror image. Moliere crosses his legs
with his hand beneath his chin in a pensive pose. The monkey mimicks him in unison.
Moliere coughs harshly – the monkey mimicks him. Moliere rises and moves to the right
of the throne looking up. The monkey mirrors the move in unison. A door and foot steps
are heard as someone approaches in the dark.)

Moliere & Monkey 1

(As he speaks Monkey 1 mouths the words silently)

Who is it? Who’s there?

(Madeleine enters from stage left. She is followed by Monkey #2 who follows just behind
in a mirror image of her movement, and mouths her words as she speaks)

Madeleine & Monkey 2

It is damp and cold in here.
Why are you sitting here in the dark?
Dressed as an actor to play a part?

Moliere & Monkey 1

Do you see how I am dressed as Tartuffe?
The man I created to play a spoof
Seems now how his joke is on me
And brings disgrace to my work and family.
Victory is in the hands of all those
Working our ruin, the theatre is closed.
(He coughs)

Madeleine & Monkey 2

Here you are alone, I can see your breath
Please leave this play or you’ll catch your death.

Moliere & Monkey 1

My death? Do you not see how it plays its part
Sucking laughter and joy and leaving the dark?
In all of our lives, this is the saddest of days
With lines rehearsed and with no stage to play.

Madeleine & Monkey 2

Come, come, we have been here before
Hiding in skirts with the wolves at the door.
Here we’re reflected in the very same mirror.
(A door closes again followed by foot steps)
Now what’s the occasion? Who’s coming here?

Armande & Monkey 3
(Armande enters. She is followed and mimicked by Monkey #3 in each action)

La Grange, said this is where you might be.
The lack of light makes it hard to see.

Madeleine & Monkey 2

Yes.

Moliere & Monkey 1

Tis, so.

Armande & Monkey 3

Brrr, it is cold…

Moliere & Monkey 1

…dark and hollow

Madeleine & Monkey 2

Almost spooky.

Armande & Monkey 3

As though we are watched….

Moliere & Monkey 1

…or followed….

Madeleine & Monkey 2

Lost on a stage…

Moliere & Monkey 1

…doors locked

Armande & Monkey 3

… that is a fact.

Madelene & Monkey 1

Do you feel it, or…

Armande & Monkey 3

…Shhh. Now I feel it too

(Now Monkey #1 speaks aloud and Moliere mirrors the mouths the words as the monkey
speaks.)

Monkey 1

(Alone. Stepping forward)

…like a monkey on our back.

(Moliere and company are left in the dark as the spot follows the three monkeys)

Monkey 1

(continuing alone)

Dispell the dreary
Mocking mirrory

Monkey 2

Let there be light
So that we might

Monkey 3

Shed a bit of it
As beams of wit

Monkey 1, 2, & 3

On this quandary.
Let us leave this foundry

Monkey 3

Of fear and fuss,
Making such muss.

Monkey 2

Seems here is a poet
Who does not know it

Monkey 1

As the answer lies
Before his eyes

Monkey 1, 2, & 3

Mortals often hide
The answer inside
Monkeys often show
What they already know
By making a dream
Of foretelling hints and signs
Hidden between the lines

Survey MONKEY – Moliere

Have you seen or heard about the surveys you can construct online?

The site is called Survey MONKEY,moliere young and when I saw it I just had to go there to create a quiz for “House of Monkeys”. Just for fun see if you can answer the ten questions about Moliere. Some of the questions have more than one correct answer.

I will post the “correct” answers in the next few days. Have fun!

You can comment about your experience in the “comment” box below.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Rimons twitter widget by Rimon Habib