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Tartuffe  Curtain Calls

Gabriel BrownName: Gabriel Brown

Role: Valere

What is your hometown? Durham, North Carolina

How do you think this play will resonate with audiences in 2017? This play will resonate given the rise of so many political outsiders in world politics and how much religion gets intertwined with those in power at home and abroad.

What advice would you give Orgon? I would tell Orgon, “OPEN YOUR EYES!” Listen to all the FACTS his friends and family have been giving him about the LIES Tartuffe has told!

Describe your personality in a Moliere style verse. "I like to have a fun time / so much fun that people say it should be a crime!" 

How do you relate to your character? I feel like any young man including myself can relate to Valere, especially in his scene with Mariane. I'm not perfect and can say that I have certainly tried to make my ex jealous in the past, but with the sole purpose of trying to get them back. Valere is willing to say anything to make her feel that HE is the one for her; I've definitely been there.

How do you think would you interact with Tartuffe in real life? I don’t think I would have any patience for Tartuffe if I came into contact with him in real life. I would call him out for the charlatan he is!

What scene or moment are you most looking forward to playing? I am most looking forward to playing that scene with Mariane, because I feel like it is a scene to which everyone can relate to. I think that’s one reason this play has been done for almost 400 years.

 

Steven BarkhimerName: Steven Barkhimer

Role: Monsieur Loyal

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

How do you think this play will resonate with audiences in 2017? Hmm, a story of a poseur and a hypocrite who swindles people by affecting an air of righteousness. Yeah, that should resonate with anyone who is not a zombie.

What advice would you give Orgon? A paraphrase of a verse in Proverbs:  it is better to hear the reprimand of the wise than the flattery of fools.

Describe your personality in a Moliere style verse.
My personality – that's complicated
And, like Moliere, is often mistranslated.

How do you relate to your character? An evangelist once stopped me on the street to solicit money from me, while telling me the Last Days were at hand.  "All the more reason," I explained, "that I can't spend any more time listening to you."

What scene or moment are you most looking forward to playing? A spoiler alert would be necessary were I to mention the moment I can't wait to play!

 

Paula PlumName: Paula Plum

Role: Mme. Pernelle

Hometown: Lynn, Massachusetts

How do you think this play will resonate with audiences in 2017? This play is hugely relevant — I saw it last year in Paris and burst into tears at the end of the show. I was a mess of emotion, enthralled by the acting, the costumes, the perfection of the production. I was also aroused that the play mirrored our alarming political dilemma: the apotheosis of a criminal by those blind to his sins! I was simultaneously tickled by the deft comedy, envious of the actors working in this wonderful play and in such a glorious company. It was too much! I had to weep!

What advice would you give Orgon? Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Describe your personality in a Moliere style verse.
Humble quiet and invisible
For an actress is derisible.
Walking softly where I tread
Would crush my reputation dead.
And so I try to strike a balance
Touting my enormous talents---            
Oops!  I did it, showed my hand!
My narcissistic ego fanned!
I meant to say "my slight abilities”—
(Truth often proves a liability.) 

How do you relate to your character? Conventional wisdom is that, even if you’re playing a serial killer, you must find some reason to love that character. I can’t play Mme Pernelle if I hate her or don’t have deep compassion for her. She is a seemingly intolerant battle-axe, who will not suffer gladly the faults of her son’s family. She rants, she raves, she is not listened to. There’s my hook: she feels no one is listening to her!  She is old and feeling dismissed. I can relate to this and have empathy for a “woman of a certain age” feeling ignored. So, I can work from an inner sense of her moral outrage as well as her broken heart.

How do you think you would interact with Tartuffe in real life? I find preachers, religious zealots, and fanatics in general pretty nauseating. I was raised a Catholic and have known a fair number of unctuous, self-impressed Tartuffes in my day.

What scene or moment are you most looking forward to playing? I love Mme. Pernelle’s ranting at the opening of the play. She is on FIRE! She almost implodes! That should be fun to explore in rehearsal exactly how this rage is shaped.  

 

Frank WoodName: Frank Wood

Role: Orgon

Hometown: Lincoln, Massachusetts

How do you think this play will resonate with audiences in 2017? Well, self-righteousness plagues us all. Who can resist it when there is so much to be indignant about? But we are duped every time we put our faith in someone else to do our smiting. I think the audiences for Tartuffe will have a hard time not seeing themselves in Orgon. I hope so, because he's the one who learns the most.

What advice would you give Orgon? There is no point in giving Orgon advice.

Describe your personality in a Moliere style verse. Taking people at their word I often shrink from what I've heard/ I think that if you look too close you'll find I'm simple as a post.

How do you relate to your character? I am credulous.

How do you think you would interact with Tartuffe in real life? Oh, I would give him all my money but I don't think I would let him live in my house. 

What scene or moment are you most looking forward to playing? Telling my daughter that she must marry Tartuffe.


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