Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tartuffe by University Theater

UGA's production of Tartuffe was a modernized adaptation by Ranjit Bolt, and was set in Washington D.C. While the play did stay true to the original by keeping in verse and otherwise mostly identical. There are some noticeable differences however, particularly the maid's colorful language and references to computers and other modern inventions.

Tartuffe starred Oregon (Brandon Wentz) as a misguide wealthy fighter pilot and Tarrtuffe (a religious hypocrite) who fools Oregon into giving him his daughter Mariane (Ali Shinall), his home, and some incriminating documents. Brandon Wentz , a first year graduate student, and Ray Paolino, a university professor and member of the actors equity union, both played there parts excellently, but the real star of the show was Jamie Gray Hyder (Dorine, the maid), a undergrad and graduating senior as well as member of I Commediante Georgiani. Her comedic timing and flirtatious nature stole the show and saved the day. The cast was rounded out by Frances Isabel Humphreys (Elmire), Nathaniel Collum (Damis), Morgan Duke (Mme. Pernelle), Bradly Golub (Valere), Ian Carlson (a bailiff) and Jonny Taylor, an officer.

Of course it is because of Moliere's writing, that this play has stood the test of time. While the use of verse is foreign to most of today's audience's it was historically how plays were written (until very recently). But it is his comedic genius and social satire that keeps audiences coming back, year after year. Not only is his ability to expose religious hypocrisy without ridiculing true religious fervor amazing, it is also a theme relevant to today's current social and political climate.

If you haven't seen this production of Tartuffe I highly recommend you see it if for nothing else but to enjoy the experience of seeing a play and being in the Senely-Stovall Chapel. There are 5 more performances, Wednesday- Saturday at 8pm, and a Sunday matinee.


Mauve said...

Good post.

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