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By Pierre Carlet de Marivaux

Adapted and directed by Lillian Groag
Translated by Frederick Kluck
The Triumph of Love
A Study Guide
Presented by
For more information contact Karen Altree Piemme,
Director of Outreach (408) 367-7291

Table of Contents

About the director 2

About the Playwright 3-5

Translation and
Adaptation 6

Life and Times
Of Marivaux 7

French Theatre
vs. Italian 8

Commedia dellarte 9

18th Century Attire 10

Renditions of
The Triumph of Love 11

Questions 12

Questions 13

Research 14

The mischievous princess Leonide will stop at nothing to conquer love in
this bedazzling 18th century romantic comedy by Pierre Marivaux,
Frances most influential playwright. Full of delicious deception, gender
confusions and all the complexities of lamour, the great Marivaux re-
veals to us the beauty, absurdities and bittersweet nature of love. After
falling head over heals for the man who can rightfully usurp her king-
dom, and aided by her wily servant with Harlequin running interfer-
ence, Leonide embarks on a quest to win his heart by wooing everyone
else. Lillian Groag, director of the Reps 2001 production of Enter the
Guardsman, returns to mount a shimmering world premiere of her own
adaptation of this most elegantly composed classic.
Nobody speaks about the landscape of the heart more
eloquently than the great French playwright
DIRECTOR: Lillian Groag
Lillian Groag is an actress, writer, and direc-
tor who has worked on Broadway, Off-
Broadway, and at regional theaters across the
country. She is currently adapting Christo-
pher Logues War Music for A.C.T., Frederic
Mortons A Nervous Splendor, and the Ger-
man film Aime & Jaguar for the producers of
Grey Gardens. Other directing credits include
Molires Scapin, the Cheat, The Taming of the
Shrew, Shaws Arms and the Man, and The
The Triumph of Love
By Pierre Carlet de Marivaux
Adapted and directed by Lillian Groag
Translated by Frederick Kluck
Stacy Ross and Jud Williford star in The Triumph of Love.
Pierre Carlet de Marivaux
ierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux lived
in a pivotal time in French history that was
poised between major shifts in social behavior,
contemporary sensibility, philosophy, and art. The
movement from Classicism to Enlightenment and
the conflict between raison (reason) and sentiment
infused his work, allowing him to represent his
time and French culture better ant any playwright.
The thought of opulent French society usually con-
jures images of the Louis XV erathe shell-like
curves and swirls of rococo design, titillating and
luxurious clothing, powdered wigs, lavish balls and
succulent feasts. Louis XV ruled from 1715-1774
and, in that time, altered the dynamics of French
culture. A famous lover, Louis pen-
chant for mistresses led the monar-
chy and his court in Versailles to
numerous public scandals through-
out his 59-year reign. While mar-
ried to Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja
Leszczynska, a Polish princess who
bore him ten children, he carried
on a long affair with the bourgeoise
courtesan and arts champion Ma-
dame de Pompadour, installing her in her own pri-
vate apartments in the Palace at Versailles. This
love of love infused all of society with its frivolity.
Dubbed Louis the Well Loved, he elevated court
life, romance, and privilege to new heights and left
most of the actual ruling to his advisors.
The joie de vivre of Louis XVs reign was exceed-
ingly different from his great-
grandfathers who preceded him.
Louis XIV ruled for 74 years and
became known as the Sun King
or The Great Monarch because
of his unwavering commitment to
the greatness of France in not just
the eyes of its people, but in the
world. He was a huge proponent
of the arts, elevating Moliere to
the stature he holds today in the
canon as well as establishing the
Comedie-Francaise, the worlds first national thea-
ter. Classicism and Aristotelian ideas flourished
under his rule. Voltaire compared Louis to Augus-
tus and called his reign an eternally memorable
age, Le Grand Siecle. Marivaux was 27 when
Louid XIV died, and thus was entering his prime as
an artist when the timbre of the court changed,
from the principled and disciplined Louis XIV to
the bohemian anarchy of Louis XV. The salon life
of literature and philosophical gatherings was
prominent in the 18th century and played an es-
sential role in the writings of Marivaux. French sa-
lons were hotbeds of gossip, literary intrigue and
theoretical debate. A frequenter to the highly influ-
ential Marquise de Lamberts salon, which operated
from 1710 to her death in 1733, Marivaux was ex-
posed to the ideas of the new morality of sentiment
or the belief in the beauty and goodness of feel-
ing; early feminist theory; and philosophical
Louis XV painted by
Alexis Simon Belle.
Louis XIV, painted by Rigaud
Chateau de Versailles is not only a famous
building, but it is known as a symbol of the ab-
solute monarchy. The Chateau was the official
residence of the Kings of France 1682 until 1790. It was originally made a hunting
lodge by Louis XIII, but was expanded by Louis XIV beginning in 1669. The French
classical architecture was complemented by extensive gardens.
By Kirsten Brandt

...Pierre Carlet de Marivaux
of the Age of Raison. Lamberts salon typified the society Marivaux
would model in his work. Although for a majority of his career, finan-
cial woes kept Marivaux from devoting himself totally to the salon
culture, he remained engaged in the philosophical rhetoric. Marivaux
was thought to have been a friend of Madame de Pompadour and thus
frequented her salons at Versailles.
In these circles, Marivauxs personal views formed. He held a distinc-
tive preference for freedom over dogma in moral and religious mat-
ters and was an ardent supporter of free-thinking. He rebuffed the
materialists for their one-dimensional view of man and spurned the
ideas of an ethical system based on self-interest and the pursuit of
pleasure. An advocate for the divine authority of the monarchy, he
also was a chief critic of sexual license and indulging in extravagant
Many of the brain trust that would promote the doctrine of Enlight-
enment were present at these salons, among them Rousseau, Fonten-
elle, Montesquieu and Diderot. The dawning of the Age of Enlighten-
ment meant that reason, science and rationality dominated; emotion-
ality and sentiment were shunned. Perhaps as a direct revolt against
the frivolities of Louis XVs court, this thinking led by Voltaire,
helped cultivate the ideological foundation that would prompt the
French Revolution of 1789 in which the monarchy was overthrown
and tens of thousands of aristocrats were executed.
Although he wrote his first play, Pere Prudent et Equitable, at the age
of 18, it was the novel that brought Marivaux national attention and
admittance into the salons; he penned three between 1713 and 1715.
In 1717, Marivaux began writing for various publications and the
style attributed to him marivaudage (double entendre and flirta-
tious bantering) would begin to take shape. Lambert and other salon
patrons would encourage his writing style. (continued page 5)
The Age of Reason &
The Enlightenment

The Age of Reason can be linked to
the era of Enlightenment, some refer to
it as one long period. The Enlighten-
ment succeeded the Age of Reason by
the beginning of the 18th century, for
both movements emphasized reason,
science and rationality. Influenced by
the revolution of science and knowl-
edge, initiated by Galileo and Newton,
the thinkers of the Enlightenment es-
poused a systematic way of thought
that could be applied to all areas of
human life as well as the political
sphere: individual, society and the
state. Enlightened thinkers believed
that the world could be lifted from the
age of darkness and ignorance by
thinking through science, rationality
and equality. The essential change dur-
ing this period was that philosophers
applied rationality to every problem
versus emotionalism. The Age of
Enlightenment spread to nearly all
continents and sprouted several theo-
rists, some of the most familiar were
John Locke, Mary Wollstonecraft,
Jean Francois-Marie Arouet, Jean-
Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Franklin and John Hobbes.
The first reading of Voltaires
Lorphelin de Chine illustrates a
salon discussion in 1725, presided
over by a weathly woman
(pictured here in the blue dress
and black bonnet on the right of
the photo).
The main character of the Italian's com-
media dellarte was a frolicking, fun
clown-type character who took the name
Arlecchino. The English found this name
difficult to pronounce, so they changed it
to Harlequin. Eventually the Harlequin
character became King of Pantomime, by
many degrees, which truly defined dra-
matic art and its evolution in Britain.
Arlecchino, in the Italians version, wore
a distinctive attire and makeup. Clothed
in shabby, baggy pants patched in various
colors, Arlecchino resembled a clown
with oversized shoes and a staff. His face
appeared pale, smeared with dirty marks.
His appearance naturally indicated that he
was, indeed, the comic.
Harlequin, however, was never a
comic. He was a figure of mysticism
King of magical romance and magic. His
dress did take on the same characteristics
as Arlecchino, but the dirty marks on the
face became a mask, a black mask that
every Harlequin wears. The attire worn
by Harlequin developed and transformed
to an appearance of more organized
color, patches of silver, gold, black, blue
and red. Baggy clothes remained for a
long time, until 1800, when a perform-
ance at Drury Lane Theatre changed the
baggy attire to become skin tight, which
has remained the tradition of Harlequin.
In the 1720s Marivaux married, but his wife died leaving him with a
daughter. He then lost his inheritance and was forced to live by his pen.
Although his plays were done at the Comdie-Franaise, he found a
home with the Comdie-Italienne, which had transplanted itself to Paris
in 1716. Also supported by the King, this theater troupe attempted to
gain more audiences by embracing French playwrights and eventually
performing solely in French. For more than 20 years Marivaux collabo-
rated with them writing specifically for the talent. The group was
steeped in the traditions of commedia dellarte and Marivauxs work,
while remaining quintessentially French, took on an Italian air. Italian
drama was infused with the idea of love.

Marivaux embraced classical French structure, form and language but
rejected excessive systematization. He borrowed liberally from the Ital-
ian commedia but rejected its crude eroticism and distain for structure
and language. Marivaux did not want to have reason and sentiment ex-
isting side by side merely as fodder for debate. Instead, the two concepts
needed to be unified with each other at the core of the characters.
Marivaux excelled at observing the inner drama of human feelings. He
looked at the world as an artist and psychologist, not a philosopher,
thus his characters have an inner complexity unlike anything his con-
temporaries penned.

Marital Poirson of the Universit Paris X-Nanterre said, By giving equal
importance to both experience and feelings, Marivaux thus embodies the
experimental humanist whoas a man of the theater as well as a novel-
ist and journalistwas committed to attaining a full understanding of
the successive states of the human mind before
attempting to describe them.

In a career spanning more than 50 years,
Marivaux wrote over 30 plays including: The
Double Inconstancy (1723), The False Servant
(1724), Island of Slaves (1725), The Game of
Love and Chance (1730), The Triumph of Love
(1732), False Confessions (1737), and The Dis-
pute (1744). In 1731 the first two parts of his
novel Marianne (perhaps his greatest literary
feat and an important step in the development
of the French novel) were published but never
finished. Prevalent in all his work is a unique
awareness of the ideas of his time and a deep
understanding of the contradictions that exist
within us.

...Pierre Carlet de Marivaux
Pierre Carlet de Chamlain de Marivaux
(1688-1763, as painted by Joconde.)
Kirsten Brandt is Associate Artistic Director at San Jose Rep.
California Shakespeare Theater and San Jose Repertory Theatres rendition of The Triumph of Love was not only an
adapted piece of work, but it is also a translated work from 18th century France. Adaptation and translation of a play
are tricky and somewhat dangerous because a play is an exchange of words, each with specific implications and
within a specific culture. Translation means the changing of text from one language to another, and adaptation is
what makes a source translatable. It is a technique that can recreate new wordplay and situations that parallel
those in the original text. Managing the translation from one language to the next is enough in itself, but the lan-
guage of love and falling in love can make the process even more complicated.

Without changing too much of the original form, the translation and adaptation undergo a process that considers
language as well as culture and projected audience. Working with a piece by Marivaux brings up several language
components that set him apart from other playwrightsqualities such as time period, comedy and its arrangement
in the story and, of course, that little thing called love. Marivaux was a master of delicate irony. He shows that love
does triumph, but the price is high, which turns what could be a simple translation process into quite a challenge.

What works in another language does not always work in our language, states director Lillian
Groag. Our audiences have changed over the centuries, which is indeed true, especially with com-
edy. What may be hilarious in pop culture right now, may not stir even one sign of laughter from an
audience 50 years from now. For example, lets look at The Simpsons, a very popular American sit-
com that is actually the longest running sitcom still on television. The show uses
several catchphrases, and each character has some signature phrase (Homers sig-
nature, Doh!, or Barts Eat my shorts, Dont have a cow, man!, and Ay,
caramba!), all of which have been so famous that theyve been seen on
tee-shirts, lunchboxes and posters throughout the last decade and a
half. Even throughout the lifespan of a show, such phrases may change
as their popularity declines. After just a few years of these popular
phrases, they stop generating the reaction they had originally triggered.
Pop culture has so much to do with comedy in all realms of entertain-

The Triumph of Love was written centuries ago1732 to be exactand in
order to maintain the style in which it was presented, the play must be
adapted as close to 18th century form (love and comedy) as possible. From
clothing to culture, and stature to language pronunciation, the play must
believably take place in the proper time period for it to be effective. Lillian
Groag did not want to take the play out of its original time and context for
the audience, she wanted to take the audience to the play. Its a lovely ex-
perience when we see a play done in period costume and in a setting that
goes far back in time (in this case, a fairytale setting, Marivaux is not a real-
ist in his settings) and we realize that peoples feelings, in this case, love,
were ever the same, she states in her interview with Cal Shakes. It has been
said that love is the universal language, but the challenge is to think
about how people initiated, communicated and presented their love three
centuries ago. If love is indeed universal, it transcends space and time, and
how we feel in love now is not all that different from how people felt back
then. But is it all articulated in the same way? And in the case of Marivaux,
does love still embody a fairy-tale-like ideal for everyone in every culture
and at any given time? Revealing and communicating this notion is at the
Translating & Adapting The Triumph of Love
Marivaux, Life and Times
1673 Moliere dies

1688 Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux is born in Paris on February 4th

1694 Voltaire is born

1709 Marivauxs first play, the one-act comedy The Just and Prudent Father, is produced in Limoges

1712 Rousseau is born

1713 Diderot is born

1715 Louis XIV dies

1716 First performance by the Comedie-Italienne in Paris

1717 Marivaux marries Colombe Bologue

1719 Marivauxs only child, a daughter, is born

1720 Marivauxs first full-length comedy, Love and Truth, is performed at the Comdie-Italienne. His only
tragedy, Hannibal, closes after one performance at the Comdie-Franaise

1723 The Double Inconstancy. Marivauxs wife dies, he never remarries

1724 The False Servant

1725 Island of Slaves

1730 The Game of Love and Chance

1732 The Triumph of Love

1734 Voltaire publishes The Philosophical Letters

1737 False Confessions

1740 The Marquis de Sade is born

1741 Marivaux abandons his unfinished novel The Life of Marianne

1742 Marivaux is elected to the Acadmie Franaise

1744 The Dispute

1756 Rousseau begins writing La Nouvelle Heloise

1757 Marivaux writes his last play, The Actors of Good Faith

1763 Marivaux dies in Paris on February 12

1774 Louis XV dies

1778 Voltaire and Rousseau die

1784 Diderot dies. Beaumarchais writes The Marriage of Figaro

1789 The French Revolution begins


Is the term used to
refer to the
commedia comic
interlude or
practical joke akin
to horseplay. It
often develops
into an
improvised turn,
identical to the
acts of current
circus clowns.


Is usually a slight
piece of commedia
comic mime or
pantomime elabo-
ration by the
servants. It grows
throughout the
performance to
become a signa-
ture of the
actor or
servant character.
Comdie-Franaise is the longest standing theatre
troupe in the world. Founded by the order of King
Louis XIV in 1680, Comdie-Franaise was a union of
the only two Parisian acting troupes of the time. The
organizations repertoire resembles that of its medieval
parent, Confrrie de la Passion (Confraternity of the
Passion), which was a company of Parisian burghers
founded in 1402 who presented religious plays. By the
decree of the King, the company presented works that
were conservative. Comdie-Franaise conserved the
great works and styles of the past, but ultimately be-
come stale in its traditional ways until the upheaval of
the French Revolution.
The troupe is run like a business in that each permanent
member holds a share, while newer members hold ei-
ther a half or quarter of a share. The shareholders make
all the decisions for the troupe, from the plays to choos-
ing their own parts in the plays. Certainly, a playwright
who may have a particular actor in mind may have in-
put. There are full members called societaires who are
only selected to either replace a member who has died
or resigned. After 20 years of service an actor or actress
is entitled to a pension for life.
The modus operandi (mode of operation) remains the
same, even after several reorganizations, the most im-
portant occurred during Napoleons administration in
Italian theatre had already been making its way to
Paris by the 16
century, before the Age of Theatre
in France. Comdie-Italienne, was a troupe of actors
established in France in 1653 and was historically
supported by the monarchy and presented in roy-
ally-sanctioned theatres only. The company pre-
sented the Italian theatrical form, commedia
dellarte (comedy of humors, Italian Comedy), ver-
sus the more refined and conservative work of
Comdie-Franaise. Those who understood Italian
as well as improvisational antics, mime and panto-
mime, acrobatics and burla were pleased.
The company interspersed French language into
their presentations and eventually took on entire
productions in French. The Italian players used im-
provisation within a structured framework of situa-
tions, the plot usually came from a common literary
tradition and the characters were exaggerated or
parodies of stock types. Commedia dellarte came
from impulse and character wit with a capacity to
create the scenario as well as the atmosphere. The
characters, usually 10 to 12 actors, were portrayed
by props, costumes and specific masks, although the
innamorati (or lovers) did not wear masks. One
character in particular has remained a famous motif
by many cultures for hundreds of years, Arlecchino
(Harlequin). He was typically cast as a servant who
was depicted as stupid and insatiable, nevertheless
full of dexterity, and was generally a detriment to
his master. Commedia was well known for the traits
and energy exuded by this character.
Today, Commdie-Italienne remains in France and
is the only Italian theatre that resides there. The
troupe underwent several changes throughout the
last four centuries that may have rendered Com-
mdie-Italienne unrecognizable from its original
form. The constancy of change is perhaps an accu-
rate reflection of the evolution of the theatre in 18th
century France.
While Comdie-Franaise grew with the development of culture and society in France (mostly Aristocratic tastes), it also
stayed rooted in the French tradition of Molire, Racine, Corneille, Scarron and Rotrou. Comdie-Italienne also grew and
adapted to French standards as a place of cross-cultural exchange as it continued to remain steeped its tradition of com-
media dellarte. As a French playwright, Marivaux worked closely with Commdie-Italienne for over 20 years, combin-
ing the refinement of French theatre and the comedic flavor of Italian theatre. The Triumph of Love is a great depiction of
the fusion of the form of Comdie-Franaise and that of Commdie-Italienne.
French Theatre vs. Italian
A superb build-
ing of histori-
cal heritage,
hosted some of
the greatest
plays as well as
actors of
French theatre.

The Triumph of Love is neither a lighthearted love story nor is it explicitly comedic, how-
ever, the style of the performance is remnant of Italian commedia dellarte.
Since the 16th century, while commedia dellarte has certainly been the Italians form of
theatre, it has been most admired and known outside of Italy. The characteristics of It-
alys comedy of art are those of natural timing, relationships to the audience, and spe-
cific characters that make it comprehensible and well liked by all cultures.
Commedia dellarte functioned through the use of improvisation within a set framework
of the use of stock situations, familiar literary plots as well as masks. As an ensemble of
about 10-12, each player would specialize in a particular character recognizable by cos-
tume, masks and props, such as the slapstick. In Italy, male actors were dressed en trav-
estiin womens clothing and wigsfor the purpose of pure humor, rather than as a
result of social constraints like their English contemporaries. Above all, it was the actors
who gave commedia dellarte its impulse and character, from which blossomed its popu-
larity. Actors, relying on their witty exchanges, would have to commit to their character
while creating a particular atmosphere in which the scene would take place, usually with
nearly no set and little costume.
A typical performance involved a scenario of a young couples love being ruined by their
parents. The cast of characters was symmetrically set into pairs: two older men; two lov-
ers; two zanni (foolish servants); a maidservant; a solider; and extras. The only two un-
masked characters were the lovers and were the signature two of commedia dellarte;
however, it was the zanni who stole the stage. With names such as Panzanino, Buratino,
Pedrolino, Fritellino, and most notably, Arlecchino and Pulcinella, the zanni were often
tumblers and acrobats as well as witty tricksters. Tricks of their trade were practical
jokes (burle) and comic business (lazzi).
The style of the performance of commedia made it easily recognizable as traveling players
would set up an outdoor stage and provide amusement in the form of juggling, acrobat-
ics and semi-improvised comedic plays with set characters and a rough plot. On many
occasions, the traveling troupe would perform directly out of the back of the wagon in
which they were traveling.
The development of Italian commedia dellarte began as early as 1545. Francesco Andre-
ini and his wife, Isabella, headed the most famous early company, Gelosi, which per-
formed from 1568 to 1604. Of the same period was the company Desiosi, formed in
1595, in which the famous Arlecchino, Tristano Martinelli, performed. The Comici Con-
fidenti, 1574-1621, and the Uniti, originated in 1574 under Drusiano Martinelli and his
wife Angelica. The first company of France was developed around 1570 and was sup-
ported in Paris. The king supported the Italian troupe of actors as long as the characters
and language developed with French culture. Commdie-Italienne was established as the
Italian theatre company in France in 1653, specializing in commedia. The troupe re-
mained tremendously popular until Louis XIV expelled Italian troupes in 1697.
Although there was a major decline of commedia dellarte, it did continue to live through
silent traditions of mime, certain characters of Shakespeare, comedic drama in Germany,
burlesque, and eventually the comedy of the three stooges, Charlie Chaplin and even the
comedy of the television series The Simpsons. The players: (from top) Dan
Hiatt, Danny Scheie, Catherine
Castellanos, Domenique
Lozano, Stacy Ross, Jud
Williford, The Triumph of Love.
Commedia dellarte
18th Century Attire
Mens shoes in the 17th century were square and often
blocked and domed (pictured right). Womens shoes had a
point at the toe which was more feminine (pictured left).
Mens fashion included meticulous tailoring, as the fit of the clothes be-
came increasingly important. The coat and waistcoat worn by men were a
bit looser than the preceding fashion period.

Undergarments a long neck cloth (Steinkirk) is loosely knotted at the
throat, with ends pinned to the upper part of the coat or passed through
one of the buttonholes.
Coat with immensely large skirt flares set into pleats the coat hung
open. Pockets were placed low on either side on the fronts. The sleeves
ended at the wrist and were finished with large cuffs.
Waistcoat became considerably shorter in length than the coat. Two
pockets were placed on either side of the front.
Breeches cut to fit more loosely on the leg. Small horizontal pockets
were placed on the waistband on either side of the buttoned opening.
Hats occasionally trimmed with feathers, were good in size. Hats were
worn back on the head.
Head clean shaven face. Full bottomed wig is shorter and less formal.
Accessories large fur muffs were carried.
The general characteristics of womens attire in the beginning of the 18th
century was a very simple, loosely fitting closed robe or gown (sack) worn
over a hooped underskirt and corsets.

Under garment an underskirt extended to a bell shape (wide on the
sides, narrow in front and back) by graduated hoops of whalebone or
steel, known as a farthingale. It was the widest in the time of Louis XVI,
taking the space of 3-4 people. A corset was worn, French corsets lace in
front versus British corsets which laced in back.
Gown (sack) it formed a large flowing ball from shoulders to hem. The
back pleats were sewn down to shoulder level, the front pleats converged
to a point in front with an opening tied with ribbons. Loose sleeves were
pleated to the armholes and ended below the elbow in cuffs to reveal the
chemise sleeve worn beneath.
Hats a small cap was worn with a frilled border. Typically hats were
Accessories there was an absence of heavy jewelry. A ribbon was tied
around the neck in place of a necklace. Small folding fans were used along
with small muffs.
The drawings on this page are the originals used for this production of The Triumph of Love, by costume designer Rachel Barreta
By the end of the 17th century European clothing was at its
most extreme, after which the trend was toward more conserva-
tive styles. The dimensions became smaller. Wigs weren't so
high. Trimming on garments wasn't as liberal as it once was. Un-
der Louis XVI fashion struck out in many new directions, but the
changes were more in ornamentation than in the cut. Fashion,
just as much as politics, seemed headed for a revolution.
Renditions of Triumph of Love
Marivauxs classic play has been translated into several languages and has been pre-
sented as a Broadway musical, adapted play and film.
Show poster from Londons version.
The Triumph of

October 23, 1997
85 performances

Directed by
Michael Mayer

Choreographed by
Doug Varone

Composed by
Jeffery Stock

Susan Birkenhead

James Madgruder
USAREUR European Tournament of PlaysAwards:
Best Musical
Best Director (Musical): Brett Harwood
Best Actress in Musical: Jennifer King (Leonide)
Best Supporting Actress (Musical): Ingrid Harwood (Hesione)
Best Actress in a Minor Role (Musical): Kara Scaggs (Corine)
Best Design of a Poster: Daniel Ruf
The European production of The Triumph of Love won Best Musical in the USAREUR European Tournament
of Plays. It also received this prestigious award for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best
Actress in a Minor Role and Best Poster and has been nominated in 9 more categories.
Film Adaptation
The Triumph of Love

May 10, 2002

Directed by
Clare Peploe

Mira Sorvino The Princess
Rachael Sirling Corine
Ben Kingsley Hermocrates
Jay Rodan Agis
Ignazio Olivia Harlequin
Luis Molteni Dimas
Fiona Shaw Leontine

New York, NY; McCarter Theatre, 1992
Adapted and directed by Stephen Wadsworth
Berkley, CA; Berkley Repertory Theatre, 1994
Broadway Premiere of The Triumph of Love, the Adapted Musical, 1997
Suttengart, Germany; Kelley Theatre, European premiere of the Broadway
Musical The Triumph of Love
University of Oregon; Arena Theatre. The Triumph of Love,
Adaped Musical, 2001.
Seattle, WA; Seattle Repertory Theatre, 2003
Adapted and Directed by Stephen Wadsworth
The UCLA Music Workshop; Schoenberg Theatre. The Triumph of Love,
Adapted Musical, 2003
Manchester, UK; Royal Exchange Theatre, 2007
Translated by Braham Murray & Katherine Sand
Orinda, CA; California Shakespeare Theatre in conjunction with SJ Rep, 2007
Adapted and Directed by Lillian Groag





Pre-Show Study Questions
1. Commedia dellarte and 18
Century French Comedy contain a set of stock char-
acters who are recognizable in many different plays. Do you feel that tradition
holds true today? Are there character types who appear in movies or sitcoms?
What would you describe as the common/standard characters you see in modern

2. Clothing reached a peak of outrageous style toward the end of the 17
and then became progressively more conservative toward the start of the 18
tury. How would you describe the trend of modern clothing styles? Are they be-
coming more outlandish (or risqu), or are they trending toward the conservative?

3. The Comdie-Franaise consisted of a permanent troupe of actors who were
shareholders in the company. What do you think are the advantages and disad-
vantages of having the same group of artists working on every show (rather than
casting/staffing on a show-by-show basis)? If you were to imagine your ideal
troupe of actors from todays entertainers, who would the company consist of, and
why would you select those actors?

4. With the Comdie-Italienne, France adopted a traditional Italian theatre and made
it their own. They used the characters and frameworks of Italys commedia
dellarte, but incorporated French sensibilities. Can you think of some traditions
from other countries/cultures (music, entertainment, food, etc.) that have been
adopted in this country and are now considered an integral part of our own cul-
ture? What would those be? How do you feel they came to be a staple of Ameri-
can culture?

5. The shift, in France, from permissive to conservative culture came with the change
of the King. In that day and age the King had a great deal of influence over the
culture, conduct and mores of his citizens. Do you feel the same holds true today
(in our country or in others)? Do you feel the President has any influence over the
culture of our society? Why or why not? If not, who are the people that you feel
do wield that kind of influence?






Post-Show Study Questions
1. Lillian Groag, the Director (and Adapter) of this production, felt it was important
to present the play with the classic style and sensibilities that were appropriate to
the time in which it was written. How do you feel about this choice? Do you feel
you got more out of the production by having it presented in a style that stayed
true to the plays history? Can you imagine what it would be like if it was pre-
sented in modern setting and dress, and with modern language? Which version do
you feel would be more effective? Explain.

2. The Triumph of Love, as with many of Marivauxs plays, represents a struggle
between the mind (logic/reason), and the heart (love). Even when love triumphs,
it is not without a price to pay. How do you feel we should make important deci-
sions in our lives? Should everything be based on logic, or should we follow our
heart? Explain your reasoning.

3. The Triumph of Love is presented in collaboration with the California Shakespeare
Theater. The play was first performed there, in an outdoor theater, and has now
moved to San Jose Rep, in an indoor venue. What do you feel are the challenges
of each venue (outdoor and indoor) in presenting the play? What do you feel are
the opportunities?

4. Several of the actors in this production have appeared on San Jose Reps stage
before, in different roles in other productions. If you have seen them before, dis-
cuss what its like to see them again in a completely different role. If you havent
seen them before, can you imagine them playing a character who is very different
from the one you saw in the show? Do you feel this makes the case for having
troupes of actors who consistently work together on different productions? Why
or why not?

5. In commedia dellarte, the plot of a play was often just a framework within which
the actors could then improvise. After having seen this play, what sections can
you imagine would have been left open to improvisation in Marivauxs time?
What are the advantages of having the freedom to improvise during a play? What
do you think are the disadvantages?












Brady, Valentini Papadopoulou. Love in the Theatre of Marivaux (Librarie Droz, 1970).

Culpin, David. Marivaux and Reason: A Study in Early Enlightenment Thought. (Peter
Lang, 1993).

Hill, Margot Hamilton. The Evolution of Fashion, Pattern & Cut 1066-1930.

Jamieson, Ruth Kirby. Marivaux: A Study in Sensibility. (Octagon Books, 1967).

Meeker, Kimberly. Politics of the Stage: Theatre and Popular Opinion in Eighteenth
Century Paris. ><

Trott, David. Border Crossings, naturalization and change: the final years of the
Comdie-Italienne in France, 1752-1779. (Milwaukee, 1999)

About the life of Pierre Marivaux

Broadway Premiere of the Musical, The Triumph of Love

European Premiere of the Musical, The Triumph of Love

Information on the Palace of Versailles

Further Research