Tartuffe To Showcase Political Change

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MCLA’s FPA is putting on its next show, “Tartuffe,” with its own spin off of the original, focusing on our current political climate.

When asked what the show was about, Joslyn Eaddy, the public relations head for the show, said in an email, “When the kind, yet dim, Orgon invites the religious zealot known as Tartuffe into his home, he has no idea that he has accepted a snake into his den. While Tartuffe acts like a kind minister, he is — in fact — a con man plotting to rob Orgon of everything he holds dear. While Orgon becomes hopelessly entranced by Tartuffe, his family rallies to expose Tartuffe for the scoundrel he is.”

Director Laura Standley was stunned by the outcome of the election, and when asked by her students what they should do, she simply told them to make art, which is what inspired her with the idea for doing “Tartuffe” by Molière.

“Tartuffe” was chosen by Standley because it’s a funny satire that is very timely to our current political situation. There are so many things within the play that mirror our current political situation and reality, which just made it a more perfect match for FPA’s next show to Standley.

“Tartuffe” was originally performed in 1664, and is one of the most famous theatrical comedies by Molière. The play was written in both contemporary French and English, which both use the word “tartuffe,” meaning a hypocrite who purportedly and exaggeratedly feigns virtue, especially religious virtue. The title of the play was inspired by the fact that Molière’s first play was censored by King Louis XIV, because of pressure from the archbishop of Paris, Paul Philippe Hardouin de Beaumont de Péréfixe.

The show has a lot of elements to it that make it a really funny show to watch, from the rhyming dialogue, to the crazy characters. This rhyming dialogue mentioned comes mostly from the fact the play was written entirely in 1,962 twelve-syllable lines of rhyming couplets.

The cast is: Braxton Vittori as Orgon, Alex Sasso as Elmire, Morrison Robblee as Tartuffe, Elijah Keane as Damis, Lydia Jung as Mariane, Joe Pazzanese as Valere, Tim Downs as Cleante, Joe Sabin as Madame Pernelle, Meri Mauro as Dorine, Declan McDermott as  Laurent/Monsieur Loyal, Mitchell McCauley as Laurent/Officer, Amanda Gilmore as Flipote, Charlotte Donnelly as Servant, and Robin Williams as Servant.

The crew is: Professor Laura Standley as director, Danielle DeLamater as assistant director, Mitchell McCauley as assistant director, Kevin McGrath as stage manager, Professor Jeremy Winchester as set/lighting designer, and Professor Andrea Williams as costume designer.

The show is taking place on Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and on Dec. 2 and 10 at 2 p.m. in Venable Theater. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for faculty/staff, and $15 for general admission. In addition, tickets can be bought ahead of time at mcla.ticketleap.com.