The creative roots of the Picnic Theatre Company can be found within the personal histories of Oli Robinson and Bruce MacPhail. Robinson was an active member of touring theatre groups in the U.K. and knew the format would work well in D.C. MacPhail, originally from France, is part of Clowns Without Borders, an organization that brings humor into crisis zones to entertain children around the world. He initially worked as a clown in the Balkans and now serves as a project manager for Sudan, Columbia and Haiti. Acting as host for the performance is the Dumbarton House in Georgetown.
Combining their love of acting with philanthropy, the two gathered their friends – some of whom had acted before, some of whom had not – and put together an outdoor evening production of Moliere’s The Hypochondriac.
Karim Chrobog directed the play, breaking free from his familiar medium of documentary films to help bring this stage production to life. Robinson played Argan, Moliere’s irascible hypochondriac, and McPhail played his brother, Beralde, with a huge personality!
Christina Sevilla played the maid Toinette, constantly meddling in the family business. Jessica Tribbe, played Angelique, Argan’s daughter who is in love with one man and being forced by her father to marry another. Nishi Rawat played Argan’s beautiful and gold-digging wife, Beline.
Emad Dawood played Angelique’s true love Cleante. Omar Popal played Dr. Purgon, Argan’s doctor of dubious education, and he was accompanied by Washington Life’s own Executive Editor Michael Clements, who played Purgon’s awkward son. The entire cast moved energetically through this one-act adaptation, charming everyone all with their physical comedy and wit.
The audience, spread out on blankets with picnic baskets or wine and crepes catered by Cafe Bonaparte, was appreciative and thoroughly entertained. We eagerly anticipate future projects by the Picnic Theatre Company.
VIDEO FROM K STREET KATE