Theatre Wesleyan will open their season with an adaption of Molière’s “Tartuffe” at the Thad Smotherman Theatre on Thursday.
The play is directed by Jeanne Everton, an associate professor of theatre, and the entire cast is composed of Wesleyan students.
Senior theatre major Alexandra Flurry will be playing Madame Pernelle.
She explained what “Tartuffe” is about.
“’Tartuffe’ is about a man named Orgon, who invites a man named Tartuffe into his home to be treated like a friend, and believes him to be a righteous holy man,” Flurry wrote in an email. “However, Tartuffe is a complete hypocrite, and his hideous underlying intentions eventually expose themselves throughout the piece.”
Flurry described her character as “an old shrew.”
“She is extremely judgmental, bitter, and thinks everyone in her family is doing something wrong,” Flurry wrote. “The only person who seems to do no wrong is Tartuffe. She interacts with all of her family in a huge nagging fit at the beginning, and it is one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played.”
Flurry wrote that she was able to connect to her character without a problem.
“Throughout high school, I often auditioned for the part of the bully, mean girl, or cranky old lady just because they were so fun to portray,” she wrote. “At the time, it would be something completely out of my comfort zone, because I wasn’t used to being the center of attention on stage and yelling most of my lines. Now the character almost feels like second nature and like an old, bitter friend.”
She hopes the audience is able see the play as a “clever, timely satire” because she believes it correlates with how society is today.
“Hypocrisy is all around us, even today, and it is entirely ridiculous when someone cannot see the obvious intentions of another,” Flurry wrote.
Torris Curry, a senior theatre major, is playing Tartuffe.
“[Tartuffe] is a con man. He’s a big hypocrite, and he tries to get everyone to believe that things are happening that aren’t happening, so I really like him,” he said.
Curry described the play as funny, witty, and interesting.
“Funny because it’s a comedy. Witty because it uses higher-end language, and interesting because the audience knows things the characters don’t know,” Curry said.
He said he is excited to be a part of “Tartuffe.”
“It’s a really nice show, and it’s a show you have to pay attention to to understand,” Curry said. “What sets it apart from other shows that I’ve been in is the language because it’s not quite Shakespearean, but it’s not modern either. It’s definitely something people will enjoy.”
William Bull, a senior theatre major, is also playing a part in the play.
“I play Orgon, the father of the household, and the man who brings Tartuffe to his house,” he wrote in an email. “Orgon is a man who loves his family, but also loves Tartuffe as a holy man whom Orgon believes has greatly helped the household. [Orgon] is not the brightest, but he intends the best for his household.”
Bull wrote that he has had some challenges with this production, but nonetheless the play is something he is excited to present to the audience.
“The biggest challenge in this show is learning and presenting the lines in a way that is easily understandable,” he wrote. “The least challenging [part] has been finding the meaning of the lines. Most of the time they’re easy to translate, in a sense, to modern language, but you can’t do that for the audience during the show.”
Bull wrote that he and the rest of the cast are working together well to produce the show.
“I’m very excited to be a part of this production!” Bull wrote. “This is a very funny show, but to me the energy that people have brought to this show makes it special.”
“Tartuffe” will be performed Sept. 20-22 and Sept. 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. at Thad Smotherman Theatre. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/2OGGWVR or by calling 817-531-4211.