Tartuffe Offers A Laugh in the Face of Hypocrisy

Moliere's classic comedy of manners, "Tartuffe," will provide an evening of comedy and reflection for audiences of the Oklahoma Baptist University theatre department production, Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 30-Dec.2.

Translated into the English verse by Richard Wilbur, the play offers a comedic look at religious hypocrisy through mistaken identities, star-crossed love, and plot complications.

Performances are Nov. 16-18, Nov. 30, and Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the university's Sarkeys Theatre.

"Tartuffe" is directed by Dr. Marion Castleberry, OBU's director of theatre.

A French farce staged as "theatre in the round" with seating on all sides of the stage, "Tartuffe," has been deemed the single most produced play in the world. Written in 1664, it caused such a stir with its message of hypocrisy that the church would not allow production of it until the1690s.

"There is a lot of value in what we can analyze in it and the world around us," Castleberry said. "But it is also beautifully written in terms of comedy."

In the play, Tartuffe, a wily opportunist and swindler, gains complete ascendancy over Orgon, who not only signs over his fortune but also offers his daughter in marriage to the supposed spiritual master. The resolution, in which Tartuffe is discovered to be a notorious criminal, is one of the most admired and skillfully written comic scenes of all times.

Sophomore Lucas Roeschley will star as Tartuffe with junior Josh Peterson playing Orgon.

The rest of the cast includes senior Jamie Henninger as Mme. Pernelle; Cheryl Sartain, sophomore, as Elmire; Terrel Spears, freshman, as Damis; Kelli Kiser, junior, as Marianne; Michael Clack, junior, as Valere; Brandon Roye, junior, as Cleante; Brandy Trout-Gibson, senior, as Dorine; Will Burgin, junior, as Monsieur Loyal; Joshua Cain, sophomore, as Police Officer; and Christy Hall, freshman, as Flipote.

Senior Heather Carman is the assistant director and the set designer and junior Cynthia Nichols is the stage manager.

Adjunct instructor of costume design Dottie DeLeon served as costume designer. Other crewmembers include Kara DeAnn, senior, make-up design; Brooke Collins, senior, sound design; Tana Fleming, junior, light design; Andra Dunn, freshman, props manager; and Margaret St. John, senior, house manager.