Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

1788 Farce “Animal Magnetism” Live Streaming, Bull Session Jan 26

Anton Mesmer “mesmerizes” a patient with magnets and eye contact. Live online at the Red Bull, NYC.

The Doctor – a quack – keeps his beautiful young ward, Constance, under lock and key, and is determined to force her into marrying him. But Constance is determined to get free and the Marquis, who loves her, offers an escape route. When Le Fleur, the Marquis’s servant, arrives at the house under the guise of an expert in mesmerism, the scene is set for the Doctor to get his comeuppance.

This production of Elizabeth Inchbald’s hilarious 1788 farce makes fun of pseudoscience, controlling guardians, and the power of false beliefs. It is a window into an earlier time that lets us see the origins of problems we still face today. The comedy was very popular–George Washington and Charles Dickens both loved it–and it was played by some of the greatest comedians of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This staged reading, performed live in New York at the Players with Broadway luminaries like Amir Arison, Carson Elrod, Yonatan Gebeyehu, Brad Oscar, Cara Ricketts, and Alexandra Silber, will be broadcast live to your desktop on January 23, 2023, BUT ONLY if you register for a FREE ticket. You can also join in on the Bull Session discussion Thursday, January 26, 2023, from their YouTube channel or their website. It is sponsored by the UT Center for Global Engagement, UT English, and the R/18 Collective. Tickets are free at