Lovers of the Enlightenment: Emily and Voltaire

Written by:

Talia Pura

Cast Size:
7

Roles For:

  • Men: 4
  • Women: 3

Genre:

Biography
Drama

Themes:

Coming of Age
Sexuality

Length:

60 min.

Year Written:

2016

Synopsis:

“Emilie du Châtelet, an accomplished scientist, was the lover of Voltaire for the last fifteen years of her life. Complications of a court dalliance led to a pregnancy in her 42nd year. Fear that it would end her life encouraged her to double her efforts to finish her life’s work.”

Characters:

Emilie du Châtelet – 42 – mathematician and scientist in the first half of the 18th century. Wrote what is still the only French translation and commentary on Newton’s work. Best known as the mistress of Voltaire.

Voltaire – 54 – Writer, poet, and playwright during the Enlightenment period in France.

Marquis du Châtelet – 50 – Emilie’s husband. Solid, but rather dull. A nobleman and foremost a soldier.

Jean-Francois Saint-Lambert – 32 – Emilie’s lover, Catherine’s ex-lover, aspiring poet. Handsome, somewhat aloof.

Catherine de Boufflers – 38 – King Stanislas’ official mistress, Saint-Lambert’s former mistress. Emilie’s friend.

King Stanislas – 71 – The former king of Poland, now in Lunéville, as Duke of Lorraine; father of the Queen of France.

Marie-Louise Mignot, Mme Denis –  28  – Voltaire’s niece and recently his mistress. A little frivolous.

The roles of the Marquis and King Stanislas can be doubled, as can Catherine and Marie-Louise.

Resources:

Available through the Canadian Play Outlet.

For more information about the playwright and her work, visit the CWPO collection.

Contact the playwright here.

Notes:

One Act. The play is also available in other casting/character configurations: 9 , 5 , or 3 characters.

Visit the playwright’s website here.