Modern-Day Tartuffe Adaptation Premieres at Triad in NC June 11

News   Modern-Day Tartuffe Adaptation Premieres at Triad in NC June 11 A new 90-minute adaptation of Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite, Molière's 1664 classic of a family fooled by a falsely pious schemer, opens June 11 in a world-premiere engagement at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC.
Tartuffe star Gordon Joseph Weiss
Tartuffe star Gordon Joseph Weiss Photo by VanderVeen Photographers

Previews began June 7 at the resident Equity theatre in the heart of downtown Greensboro. Triad co-founder and artistic director Preston Lane adapted and directs the production, set in 2009, featuring the husband and wife acting team of Gordon Joseph Weiss as Tartuffe and Rosie McGuire as Dorine (both of Triad's Tobacco Road in 2007).

The troupe includes John Robert Tillotson as Orgon, Krista Hoeppner as Elmire, Christine Morris as Madame Pernelle, Jason Scott Quinn as Mr. Loyal, plus University of North Carolina-Greensboro Theatre students TJ Austin as Damis, Katy Sink as Mariane, Stephen Spencer as Valere, Joshua Yoder as Cleante, Meghan Hoffman as the Queen, and Caitlin Davis and Emma Reaves as police officers.

Tartuffe runs to June 28.

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According to Triad notes, "Orgon is a very happy man. He has a lovely family, a beautiful new wife, an incredible fortune and a spiritual advisor who promises him eternal bliss. Unfortunately, he is about to lose it all. He's fallen into the trap of a pious imposter, the hilarious hypocrite Tartuffe. Preaching piety, two-faced Tartuffe is plotting to steal Orgon's fortune, marry his daughter, seduce his wife and take over his home. Can anything stop him? Triad Stage presents one of the world's funniest comedies and dares to shake up a theatrical classic to find its contemporary spirit." Lane stated in production notes, "Our new adaptation of Tartuffe is bold and contemporary. While keeping absolutely true to Moliere's comic spirit, we've updated the play to a very modern-day high-fashion Paris. The original is written in French rhymed verse, and English language adaptations have struggled with how best to render Moliere's verse in another language. Ours goes back to the author's roots in less formal and artificial theatrical styles. We want to cut through the heightened language to bring the characters up to date and to find the reality behind the artifice of its neo-classical style."

He told Playbill.com on June 10, "This Tartuffe was inspired by a couple of productions I saw in Paris earlier this year. They were both boldly contemporary productions that made a classic feel as modern as if it was written today. As much as I love the great [Richard] Wilbur translations, I was inspired to put the play in everyday language filled with pop culture slang and very 21st century rhythms. The show is infused with pop music from hip hop to Bardot. Our Tartuffe takes place in a high-fashion 2009 Paris. Orgon is a real estate tycoon with two children obsessed with their iPods and slang. His wife is a trophy bride. And Tartuffe spends his new found riches on the latest run way fashion."

French actor/playwright Molière was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in 1622. His comedies — borrowing stock characters and making them fresh, relating to modern society — include The Miser, The Misanthrope, The School for Wives and The Imaginary Invalid.

Tartuffe was first performed in three acts for King Louis XIV at a festival in Versailles in 1664. In 1669, after years of being banned due to pressure from clergy, a five-act version opened at the Palais-Royal.

The Triad creative team includes scenic designer Fred Kinney, costume designer Kelsey Hunt, lighting designer John Wolf and sound designer David E. Smith. The dramaturg is Drew Barker, the casting director is Cindi Rush and the stage manager is Eric Tysinger.

Tartuffe, or the Hypocrite replaces the previously announced production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Performances play Triad Stage at The Pyrle Theater, 232 South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, NC.

To purchase tickets or for information, Call (336) 272-0160 or (866)579-TIXX or visit www.triadstage.org.

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Triad Stage is a professional Equity not-for-profit regional theatre company based in Greensboro's downtown historic district. All Triad Stage productions are created in Greensboro using local and national talent.

Preston Lane's original shows, including Brother Wolf, have been popualr with local audiences.

<i>Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite</i> stars John Robert Tillotson, Gordon Joseph Weiss and Krista Hoeppner
Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite stars John Robert Tillotson, Gordon Joseph Weiss and Krista Hoeppner Photo by VanderVeen Photographers