DWU’s theatre program to present comedy, ‘Tartuffe’

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A 350-year-old satire is coming to the stage this month – wigs and all.

The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Theatre at Dakota Wesleyan University will present the French comedy “Tartuffe,” by Moliere, later this month in the new DWU Theatre, attached to Dakota Discovery Museum. Times are 7:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday, March 16-17 and 23-24; and 2 p.m., Sundays, March 18 and 25.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and can be purchased at the door or online here. DWU staff and faculty can purchase tickets for $5 at the Dakota Discovery Museum. DWU students get in free with a DWU student I.D. -- tickets also available in advance at the Dakota Discovery Museum.

“Controversial and popular from the time of its release, “Tartuffe” remains a biting satire aimed at religious hypocrisy,” said Dan Miller, theatre director. “It’s a hilarious adaptation of one of the great comedies of the French theater. I am extremely proud to be presenting this very funny play to our audiences. Yes, it may have been written in 1664, but its humor still stands up today, as does the important message of the play.”

The play begins when the kind, yet dim, Orgon invites the religious zealot known as Tartuffe into his home, he has no idea that he has accepted a snake into his den. While Tartuffe acts like a kind minister, he is, in fact, a con man plotting to rob Orgon. While Orgon becomes hopelessly entranced by Tartuffe, his family rallies to expose the freud for the rascal that he is. Will they be able to save the hapless Orgon from Tartuffe’s clutches? It may take an act of fake seduction – and a miracle from above – to help defeat this hypocrite.

“Audiences will also love the fact that the actors have been trained in the 17th-century style of acting and will be performing this play in authentic period costumes,” Miller said. “Lots of beautiful fabrics, lace, wigs, hats, and that’s just the men.”

The cast:

James Van Oort ’99, Mitchell, Tartuffe (the hypocrite)

Daniel L. Miller, theatre director, Mitchell, Orgon (the father)

Megann Davis, Mitchell, Elmire, (the wife)

Chris Gollnick, senior, Bradley, Damis, (the son)

Maria Schwader, senior, Howard, Mariane (the daughter)

Erik Wehlander, junior, Iroquois, Valère (the daughter’s suitor)

Devin Carey, Mitchell, Cléante (brother-in-law)

Melissa Miller, Mitchell, Madame Pernelle (Orgon’s mother)

Jordon Pond, freshman, Kennebec, Flipote (maid to Madam Pernelle)

Brittney Kaufman ’15, Mitchell, Dorine (a maid)

Kody Kaufman, Mitchell, M. Loyal (a bailff)

Connor Lee, freshman, Albert Lea, Minn., Officer Jacques Orliac (officer to the king)