Theatre at TWU kicks off its season with Tartuffe, by Molière; a lavish and boisterous comedy which runs Oct 22nd - Nov 1st. This timeless satiric masterpiece of hypocrisy and high culture has entertained audiences for over 300 years with its intrigue, romance, ostentatious characters, and the finest wit France has to offer.
Tartuffe is a man with a mission - a devious religious fanatic who weasels his way into a wealthy family's trust, finagling and philandering his way to the top. Along the way he breaks up an engagement, hoodwinks the family fortune, and attempts to seduce the mistress of the manor, all in the name of piety.
"This season, we're doing two internationally famous playwrights we've never tackled before," says TWU theatre professor and Tartuffe director Lloyd Arnett. The first up is Molière, followed by Brecht in the spring. "Tartuffe is probably Molière's most popular, most famous play and gives students the opportunity to embody characters from the 17th century. There's a lot more interaction between the actors and the audience than with 19th century realism."
Arnett was drawn to the play because it's fun. "Some plays go in and out of fashion," says Arnett, "but the main topic in Tartuffe [hypocrisy] is something that is always with us. It balances timeless themes with a combo of comedy in which "good is victorious over evil and lovers are united at the end of the play." Arnett anticipates that the audience will have a good time and says, "Hopefully they'll enjoy getting a look at performance in late 17th century France. It's a direct, hard hitting comedy...which is not to say it's not also true and profound."
Tartuffe was first presented, in a three act form, on May 12 in 1664, as part of a sumptuous festival at Versailles. Though originally well received by the King, pressure from the Church forbade Molière to produce Tartuffe in public. Since then, the play continues to resonate with audiences as a hilarious take on the hypocrisy of placing moral values on outward demonstrations of inward religious realities.
A comedy of manners, Tartuffe is the original spiritual spin-artist and remains a timeless demonstration of the power of laughter to provoke exploration into the deeper truths of life.
Also featured in the production are Shaylyn McFaul, Carrie Waterton, Jared Bargen, Cameron Hart, Kaylee Harwood, Dan Cloake, Jennifer Muth, Anne-Sylvie Youm, Robert Steinkamp, Lyndon Johnson, Julia Church and Chris Wyatt. Set and lighting design are by Lauchlin Johnston, costume design by Tracy Wright and Yulia Shtern, and stage management by Alex Voicu.
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 41undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 17 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2008-10-22