Erasmus Montanus • The Holberg Acting Edition

Erasmus Montanus • The Holberg Acting Edition

by Ludvig Holberg

Adapted and Translated by Jerry Argetsinger & Sven Rossel

 (For production by Professional, Educational and Community theatre groups.)

Holberg’s literary masterpiece satirizing current university academic courses and outlining his own theory of university education. Rasmus Berg, who has taken as his name the Latin equivalent, Erasmus Montanus, is the epitome of the sophmore, or wise fool.  He has learned his academic requirements but he has no idea of their use in real life.  The play opens with his parents, Jeppe and Nille, anticipating with Deacon Per the recent graduate’s coming home to his peasant farm near an outlying Danish village.  Per convinces the couple that as a deacon he fully understands Latin, although his demonstrations reveal that he knows almost nothing and much of what he thinks he knows is incorrect. But his congregation respects him and believes him to be educated. When Erasmus arrives he grandly displays his academic mannerisms and education and fails in his attempt to demonstrate that Per is really just an uneducated fool. This conflict escalates into an academic duel wherein Erasmus fails in his attempt to promote his own knowledge and belittle the popular deacon.  Erasmus’ brother Jesper then attempts to reason with Erasmus, that a farmer who understands how to successfully raise crops is more important than an academic with no usable skills.  Erasmus next insults and drives off his hometown sweetheart, who leaves heartbroken that he cannot give in to save their relationship.  Ultimately a Lieutenant who understands Latin and disputation enters into a contest with Erasmus and soundly trounces the arrogant young scholar and conscripts him into the military.  When the angry family and friends of Erasmus see his misery at being a soldier, they agree to buy out his enlistment if he agrees that his sophistry is wrong and that he promises to engage in beneficial employment. Against everything he swears is true, he finally agrees. ORDER #3111.


  • 8m, 3f
  • 1 Exterior / 1 Interior
  • Order #3111

Available for production soon! Book now for future productions.


  • The PERUSAL PAGES file for Erasmus Montanus  will be available by clicking SOON The PDF file is the first act of the play and all other pertinent information about the play.
  • EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.


(Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account?), email us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address)

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3111a : $20.00 (from which you will be authorized to copy for your production)
  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3111d : $75
  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3111e : $60
  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application


  • Brigham Young University — American premier  May 1998, directed by Eric Samuelsen
  • from the original BYU production in 1998


The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:
Erasmus Montanus
by Ludvig Holberg
Adapted and Translated by Jerry Argetsinger

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play.


Erasmus Montanus is presented through special arrangement with Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT,”

Other plays in the Ludvig Holberg Acting Edition Collection

includes: The Political Tinker, Erasmus Montanus, Jeppe of the Hill,

Ulysses of Ithaca, Jean de France, The Christmas Party

From the Catalog of