Announcing "Tartuffe"

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ANNOUNCING "TARTUFFE"

BRILLIANT CLASSIC COMEDY TARTUFFE  BY MOLIÈRE, DIRECTED BY PETER DuBOIS BEGINS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 FEATURING BRETT GELMAN AND FRANK WOOD

(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company presents the brilliant classic comedy Tartuffe by Molière, directed by Huntington Theatre Company Artistic Director Peter DuBois (Sunday in the Park with George), translated by Ranjit Bolt, and featuring actor and comedian Brett Gelman (Murray Bauman on the upcoming season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “Dinner with Brett Gelman” specials on Adult Swim) as Tartuffe and Tony Award winner Frank Wood (Side Man and August Osage County on Broadway and HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords”) as Orgon. Performances run from November 10 through December 10, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre.

Devious Tartuffe charms his way into Orgon’s household and schemes to marry his daughter, seduce his wife, and run off with the family’s fortune. Orgon remains entranced despite the appalling evidence of Tartuffe’s behavior – will he see through this con man before it’s too late? Orgon’s wife Elmire, his son Damis, and his daughter Marianne must reveal Tartuffe as a charlatan before it’s too late. Molière spins religious piety and hypocrisy into high comedy in this hilarious and biting satire, one of the world’s great plays.

“This production of Tartuffe is going to be everything you expect from Molière,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, “complete with a spin on period fashion and the brilliantly comic possibilities of staging this classic play for a modern audience. Boston is going to see 2017 alive onstage within the framework of a 17th century farce, and the result will be satirical, smart, and a gut-buster.”

Ranjit Bolt’s translation of Tartuffe premiered at the National Theatre in London in 2002. Many English translations of Tartuffe discard the rhyming couplets, but Bolt’s translation remains faithful to the way Molière wrote the French verse. For Bolt, verse provides a vehicle for examining the ridiculous; his imaginative use of language contrasts with the formal structure of the verse to create an explosively witty text. Audiences can use verse to “escape through anarchy into a surreal world,” Bolt says. “The joy of the verse is the contrast between the discipline of the form and the ludicrous nature of what’s being described.”

DuBois chose the Bolt translation because he thought it captured the energy necessary for his direction: free and loose while still clever and sophisticated. “I knew I wanted a translation that sang in the mouths of actors — that had rhythm and speed,” DuBois says. “Bolt’s translation reads well, but it sounds even better. He captures everything that is joyful and fun about rhyming verse across languages, never becoming rigid or stuffy.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The cast includes Tony Award winner Frank Wood (Side Man and August Osage County on Broadway) as Orgon, a bourgeois gentleman and leader of his house. Actor and comedian Brett Gelman (Murray Bauman on Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “Dinner with Brett Gelman” specials on Adult Swim) plays the intrusive Tartuffe. Orgon’s mother Madame Pernelle is played by Boston favorite  Paula Plum (Jumpers at the Huntington and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Lyric Stage Company) and his wife Elmire is played by  Melissa Miller (Tartuffe on Broadway). Matthew J. Harris (Elliot Norton Award winner for Topdog/Underdog at the Huntington) plays Elmire’s brother, Cleante. Orgon’s tenacious son Damis is played by Matthew Bretschneider (Dead End at the Huntington and The Erlkings Off Broadway). His daughter Mariane is played by Sarah Oakes Muirhead (Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington), and her impassioned suitor Valère is played by Gabriel Brown (Love & Money Off Broadway). The cunning and omniscient family maid Dorine is played by Jane Pfitsch (Educating Rita at the Huntington and Cabaret on Broadway), and Steven Barkhimer (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Lyric Stage Company) appears as the commanding Monsieur Loyal. Omar Robinson (Hamlet at Actors’ Shakespeare Project) is the Officer of the Court and Madame Pernelle’s maid Flipote is played by Katie Elinoff (The Bridges of Madison County at SpeakEasy Stage Company). 

Molière (Playwright, 1622 - 1673) was the stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. At the age of 21, he left the family business and abandoned his legal studies and birth name to take up a career in the theatre. His first appearances on stage were with the Illustre Théâtre, a young ensemble whose fortunes soon faltered. After a brief stint in debtors’ prison, Molière rededicated himself to a life in the theatre, spending most of the next 15 years touring the provinces with Madeleine Béjart, the Illustre’s leading lady and his mistress, and other itinerant performers, honing his skills as a comic actor and playwright (though he longed for success as a tragedian), and turning out a number of farces inspired by the Italian commedia troupes he encountered in his travels. The company returned to Paris in 1658 with Molière as their manager. Invited to perform before Louis XIV, they quickly won his favor, and Molière was granted the use of the Petit Bourbon (a court theatre adjacent to the Louvre) and later the Palais-Royal for the troupe’s farces, character comedies, and lavish court entertainments — with music by Jean Baptiste Lully. In 1662, Molière married Armande Béjart (the younger sister – or the daughter, some insinuated – of his mistress), who became a leading actress in his company, beginning with his next play, The School for Wives, which demonstrated the playwright’s maturing talent and propelled him into the ranks of France’s greatest dramatists. Not all of Molière’s plays were unqualified successes, however, and not even the patronage of Louis XIV could protect him from the censure provoked by Tartuffe (1664). Its story of a pious hypocrite and his willing dupe was interpreted by many as a condemnation of religion, and five years elapsed before the play, in modified form, passed official muster. Molière fared little better with Don Juan (1665); its free-thinking title character incurred the wrath of the censors immediately after opening night and the play soon disappeared from the repertoire. Still, by 1665, Molière’s company was awarded regular pensions from the crown, and took the title of La Troupe du Roi. The Misanthrope and The Doctor in Spite of Himself premiered a year later, followed by The Miser (1668) and The Learned Ladies (1672). Molière’s next play, The Imaginary Invalid (1673), which featured the playwright as a grousing hypochondriac, was to be his last; Molière, who suffered from tuberculosis, took ill during a performance and died shortly thereafter. A Christian burial had initially been denied to him because he had not received last rites nor had he made a deathbed recantation of his profession (as tradition required), but the archbishop of Paris, responding to petitions from Molière’s widow, grudgingly allowed a private burial in the parish cemetery, on condition that it be carried out at night, without ceremony.

Peter DuBois (Director) is in his ninth season as Artistic Director at the Huntington where his directing credits include Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, the world premieres of Gina Gionfriddo’s Can You Forgive Her?, Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People, Evan M. Wiener’s Captors, Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (2012 Pulitzer finalist), Bob Glaudini’s Vengeance is the Lord’s, and David Grimm’s The Miracle at Naples; the regional premieres of A. Rey Pamatmat’s after all the terrible things I do, Stephen Belber’s The Power of Duff, Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn; and Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss. His West/End London credits include Sex with Strangers and Rapture, Blister, Burn (Hampstead Theatre), All New People with Zach Braff (Duke of York's Theatre), and Becky Shaw (Almeida Theatre). His New York credits include The Power of Duff with Greg Kinnear (New York Stage and Film); the premiere of Rapture, Blister, Burn (Playwrights Horizons, 2013 Pulitzer finalist); Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theatre Company); Modern TerrorismBecky Shaw (2009 Pulitzer finalist), Trust with Sutton Foster and Zach Braff, and All New People (Second Stage Theatre); Measure for PleasureRichard III with Peter Dinklage, Biro, and Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles? (The Public Theater/ NYSF); Jack Goes Boating with Philip Seymour Hoffman and The View From 151st Street (LAByrinth Theater Company/The Public Theater); and the upcoming Can You Forgive Her? at the Vineyard Theatre. Regional US, UK, and West End credits include productions at Hampstead Theatre, Duke of York’s Theatre, Almeida Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, Humana Festival of New Plays, Manchester Opera House, and Kings Theater Glasgow. He served for five years as associate producer and resident director at The Public Theater, preceded by five years as artistic director of the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. Mr. DuBois lived and worked in the Czech Republic where he co-founded Asylum, a multi-national squat theatre in Prague. His productions have been on the annual top ten lists of The New York Times, Time Out, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsday, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Evening Standard, The Boston Globe, and The Improper Bostonian.

Ranjit Bolt (Adapter) was born in Manchester in 1959 and educated at Perse School and at Balliol College, Oxford. He worked as an investment analyst and advisor for eight years, before concentrating on theatre translation from the end of 1990. Mr. Bolt's acclaimed translations for the theatre include works by Molière, Seneca, Sophocles, Corneille, Beaumarchais, Brecht, Goldoni, and Zorilla. He was deemed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to literature in 2003. 

Tartuffe features set design by Alexander Dodge (Bedroom Farce at the Huntington and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway); costume design by Anita Yavich (The Colored Museum at the Huntington); lighting design by Christopher Akerlind (Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington and Waitress on Broadway); sound design by Ben Emerson (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at the Huntington); choreography by Daniel Pelzig (Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music at the Huntington and 33 Variations on Broadway); musical compositions by Peter Golub (Hedda Gabler at the Huntington and Come Back, Little Sheba on Broadway). Flying by Flying by Fly. Casting by Alaine Alldaffer. Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen; stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington brings together superb local and national talent and produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions. The Huntington runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts, and will remain so on a permanent basis with plans to convert the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a first-rate, modern venue with expanded services to audiences, artists, and the community. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

PHOTO DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS
To download high-resolution (or smaller) photos of Tartuffe:

  1. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo-library/2017-2018/tartuffe/
  2. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
  3. Click the " . . . " button in the lower right-hand corner of the window and select View All Sizes.
  4. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
  5. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR
WHEN
November 10 – December 10, 2017
Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Mon. at 7:30pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm
Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.
Press Opening: Wednesday, November 15, 6:30pm. RSVP online.

WHERE
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston


TICKETS

Single tickets starting at $25 and FlexPasses are on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the Huntington Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

 Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH TARTUFFE  

POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS
After select Fri. – Sun. evening, Wed. matinee, Sat. matinee, and Sun. matinee performances throughout the season. This is an opportunity for audience members to discuss what they have seen in a conversation led by members of the Huntington staff.

“REJUVENATING A CLASSIC, A CONTEMPORARY TARTUFFE PRODUCTION” HOSTED BY THE FRENCH CULTURAL CENTER
Friday, October 20 from 6pm – 9pm

Tickets: frenchculturalcenter.org/events/rejuvenating-a-classic-a-contemporary-tartuffe-production/

The French Cultural Center hosts an in-depth discussion about the Huntington’s production of Tartuffe followed by a cocktail reception. Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, Director of New Work Charles Haugland, and members of the cast and creative team will discuss how they are rejuvenating a pillar of the theatre cannon while respecting its integrity and the direction taken by Molière in 1664. The discussion will include the use of modern translation, and what it means to be doing a French comedy today.

STAGE & SCREEN: TROUBLE IN PARADISE IN CONJUNCTION WITH TARTUFFE
Monday, November 13 at 7pm at the Coolidge Corner Theatre,
290 Harvard St., Brookline
Tickets: $9 for Huntington subscribers and $12 for other patrons; coolidge.org/films/trouble-paradise
Stage & Screen – a collaboration between Coolidge Corner Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company exploring the depictions of shared themes in Huntington productions and acclaimed films – presents Trouble in Paradise in conjunction with Tartuffe.

Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall), a thief, meets his true love in Lily (Miriam Hopkins), a pickpocket. The couple embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). But when Gaston becomes romantically entangled with Mme. Colet, their larcenous ruse is jeopardized, and Gaston is forced to choose between the two beautiful women. Legendary director Ernst Lubitsch’s masterful touch is in full flower in Trouble in Paradise, a pinnacle of sophisticated romantic comedy, loaded with sparkling dialogue, witty innuendo, and elegant comic invention. Trouble in Paradise and Tartuffe both explore the practice and technique of being a con-artist.

STUDENT MATINEE
Friday, November 17 at 10am

For students in grades 9–12. Tickets: $15.
Student matinees include a pre-show in-school visit, a curriculum guide, a post-show Actors Forum, and a Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCES
Friday, November 17 at 10am (student matinee)
Saturday, November 18 at 2pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL interpretation for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing at designated performances.

Seating for each ASL-interpreted performance is located in the orchestra, house left. Tickets are $20 for each Deaf patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.

ACTORS FORUMS
Friday, November 17 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Thursday, November 30 after the 7:30pm performance
Wednesday, December 6 after the 2pm performance

Meet participating members of the cast of Tartuffe and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum following the performance.

HUMANITIES FORUM
Sunday, December 3 after the 2pm performance

Explore the context and significance of Tartuffe with a guest expert following the 2pm performance on December 3.

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Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 | BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800

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