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Tartuffe Off Broadway

Rehearsals for Tartuffe.

Seattle Central College Drama Department’s latest production Tartuffe is a timeless comedy full of twists. The twists, however, are not limited to the plot, but also come in the form of cross-dressing and excellent character development. Tartuffe makes each of us question our own judgment of what someone’s real intentions might be. To feel the intrigue for yourself come see Tartuffe on Saturday, June 2 at 7:30, Thursday, June 7 at 7:30, Friday, June 8 at 7:30, and Saturday, June 9 at 2.

Tartuffe is about an impostor who has conned his way into a position of influence in the Orgon family home through false piety. What seems at first like harmless harassment from a man with a virtuous facade becomes a serious threat to Orgon and his family when some aren’t as quick to figure out how they have been fooled and played.

In the Director’s note, Shelley Douma addresses the relevance of Tartuffe saying, “The Orgon household parallels what I see in the world today: passion, anger, and rash decision-making. I hear voices of reason, but most of the time, see them ignored. I’m not sure who our magical leaders are now, but certainly, hope they show up soon. Until then, I hope we learn from Orgon’s mistakes.”

Tartuffe is by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, most well known by his stage name Molière. The play was first performed in France in 1664 where it created much controversy over the character Tartuffe.

Some of the people representing the church at that time did not enjoy the portrayal of a man of faith as a hypocrite and thought the play was criticizing the entire church for being deceitful. The Archbishop of Paris so disliked the play that he threatened excommunication for anyone who so much as saw the play, nonetheless those who performed in it. Even though King Louis XIV received the play well, he was influenced by the Archbishop and quickly censored it.

“The play has serious themes, but sometimes you need to laugh because you’ve been serious about the world too long,” said Douma.  I saw and experienced for myself that feeling of letting go along with the entire audience who laughed their way through the play.

Ticket prices are as follows, students pay $5, SCC employees pay $9 and general admission is $10. Tickets are available at the door. Cash only.


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