January 9, 2012
Tartuffe coming to Studio Theater
January 27 - 29, February 2 - 5
Communication Building - Studio Theatre
Adult - $16.00 Regent Student - $8.00 Senior - $13.25
For tickets call the Box Office at 757.352.4245
Tartuffe premiered for King Louis XIV in 1664. Although favorably received by the King, the play was banned from public performance after influential church leaders considered the play an attack on the very foundations of religion. After many revisions, the ban was lifted in 1669 and Molière enjoyed the most successful public run of any of his plays. Tartuffe is considered to be Molière’s masterwork and one of the great dramas of western literature.
We are presenting the play with period costumes, properties, hairstyles, etc., yet we do not posit the play is merely an object lesson from an important event in history with no contemporary relevance. Cleante, the “voice of reason,” encourages Orgon (and us) to cultivate true devotion, sincere commitment and humble faith. According to the following snippet by George A. Scranton, Moliere’s personal theology is revealed in his works:
“Molière’s comedy reveals us in our distorted incompleteness, our ‘brokenness,’ our sinful and limited finiteness. Laughter is often the mirror, whip and gift that reveals, castigates and allows for transformation of the characters, and us as we see ourselves revealed in the characters of his dramatic comedy. Molière is always jarring us with the evidence that we are no better than other people, and always comforting us with the knowledge that most other people are no better than we are. It makes us more critical but it leaves us more tolerant.
Molière’s version of dramatic comedy is not just a light humorous play that happens to have a happy ending. It is ‘a way of surveying life so that happy endings must prevail.’ This fortunate happy ending, most often brought about by plot twists ‘beyond human knowledge and control’ may be understood theologically as the miraculous intervention of God on humanity's behalf. The spirit and structure of Molière’s dramatic comedy seem to demand a hope-filled inclusive eschatology in which everyone is invited to the final happy ending. Only those who actively refuse that rebalanced or resurrected community are not present, and hope is often held out for even them.
This final community is seen as a rebalanced society, and for a moment frozen in time we can experience community in microcosm as it ought to be, based on love and mutuality of persons. In that respect such a community may represent (and in any given production even may be) an adumbration of that community of God that is among us, and not yet among us in its fullness. - Love and Lovers: Mutuality, Sin, Grace and The Future In Molière’s Vision Of Comedy