The audience at the Barnes & Noble in Vernon Hills was about as big as the cast on a Monday night last month when Stage Two Theatre Company performed a reading of “Noxious Humors,” Tim Mooney’s new screenplay on the life of Moliere. But the 11 actors (eight men, three women) had a fine time anyway, bringing the talky, mostly rhyming script to life from their semicircle of chairs. Mooney himself read the part of Moliere’s nemesis, King Louis XIV, who defecates while he pontificates on a throne that doubles as a toilet seat. The screenplay is just one manifestation of Mooney’s continuing obsession with the 17th-century French playwright–the actor/director turned writer is working his way through Moliere’s entire body of work, turning out new versions of the plays based on existing translations. His Misanthrope, the main event in Stage Two’s summer Moliere Theatre Festival, opens August 10 and runs through September 2 at the Cuneo Museum and Gardens, 1350 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills. Mooney will play the title role; performances will be held under a tent in the mansion’s courtyard. Curtain time is at 7:30 Thursdays and Fridays and at 3 Sundays. There will be Saturday shows September 2 only, at 3 and 7:30. Tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors. Call 847-680-2940.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Barry P. Dowe.