Modernizing Molière:
A Talk with Adam Gopnik and Erica Schmidt

In Person + Livestreamed:
Thursday, March 24, 2022
FIAF Skyroom

In English

Acclaimed writer Adam Gopnik joins Broadway director Erica Schmidt in a conversation commemorating the 400th anniversary of French playwright Molière.

Adam Gopnik has written an introduction for a special edition of Richard Wilbur’s translation of Molière’s works, brought together for the first time by the Library of America in a two-volume collector’s set. His writing highlights the ways in which Molière’s shrewd characterization of society endures to this day.

In her staging of Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid and, more recently, an adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway, Erica Schmidt brilliantly modernized these French classics for today’s audiences.

Through Gopnik’s insightful analysis and Schmidt’s imaginative staging, Molière’s work emerges in a new light with fresh relevance while retaining its biting wit and astute social commentary.

Presented in partnership with the Library of America, the talk will uncover Molière’s extraordinary literary and theatrical body of work that is celebrated throughout the world today.

Duration: 60 minutes

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik is an author and essayist. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1986, writing non-fiction, fiction, memoir, and criticism.

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    • Gopnik is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism and of the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.

      In March 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic. He is also the recipient of the Légion d’honneur.

      Gopnik’s newest book, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism, was released in Spring 2019.

Erica Schmidt

Erica Schmidt is an award-winning writer, theater director, and actress.

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    • Erica Schmidt’s numerous credits include Cyrano (Off-Broadway, wrote and directed); Richard II with Robert Sean Leonard; All the Fine Boys (The New Group, wrote and directed); Turgenev’s A Month in the Country with Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling (CSC); Taking Care of Baby (MTC); Trust (The Play Company, Callaway Award nomination); As You Like It (Public Theater/NYSF); Debbie Does Dallas (wrote and directed Off-Broadway). Schmidt wrote the screenplay for Cyrano, an American-British musical drama film, based on Schmidt’s 2018 stage musical of the same name.

The Library of America

Now in its fourth decade, Library of America (LOA) is a nonprofit organization that champions the nation’s cultural heritage by publishing America’s greatest writing in authoritative new editions and providing resources and public programs to explore this rich, living legacy.

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    • The Library of America series has been called “the most important book-publishing project in the nation’s history” (Newsweek) and “the de facto canon of American literature” (New York Times).

      In addition to its publishing mission, LOA engages readers with live and digital programs, places volumes in public libraries and schools, serves a national membership passionate about American history and literature, and partners with other nonprofit organizations to transform the lives of readers worldwide with the words that embody America’s experience and aspirations.

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