Tartuffe:   Humanities Forum

12/3/2017 Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre

Explore the context and significance of Tartuffe with Wellesley College professor Hélène Bilis following the 2pm performance on December 3. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to any performance of Tartuffe.

Hélène Bilis received her PhD in French literature from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, the same year she joined the French department at Wellesley College. Professor Bilis specializes in the literature and culture of early modern France, in particular how theatre became a space in which to dramatize, promote, and reflect upon the theories of sovereignty advanced by the French monarchy. The same period which saw the rise of absolutism, the coup d’état, and divine-right monarchy witnessed the development of neoclassical tragedy, a heavily theorized genre whose poetics often coincided with, but also challenged, ancient régime political aims. Recent publications have focused on feeble kings and the crises of dynastic succession they provoke on the tragic stage. Her current book-project looks at the ways playwrights from the 17th and 18th centuries portrayed the judicial process and royal judges on stage, in a time when a notion of legality separate from the king was beginning to emerge. The study addresses scenes of royal judgment in the works of Jean Rotrou, Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, and Voltaire. Professor Bilis coordinated an Albright Institute summer seminar devoted to the study of the coup d’état from the 16th to the 21st century. Along with Sarah Wall-Randall, a colleague from the English department, she organizes a faculty interdisciplinary working group on Medieval-Renaissance studies sponsored by the Newhouse Center for the Humanities. She teaches courses ranging from French conversation and composition, to seminars on early modern theatre, on representations of queens and princesses in literature, and on literary portrayals of France as a nation.


About Tartuffe

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? Molière spins religious piety and hypocrisy into high comedy in this hilarious and biting satire, one of the world’s great plays.

Approximate run time: 2 hours and 10 minutes, including one 10-minute intermission. Please note: This production includes strobe light effects and the smoking of herbal cigarettes.

The Huntington Theatre Company strives to be accessible to everyone, and therefore, we try to offer pricing that works for each individual. A limited number of great orchestra seats are available in every performance for just $25, no strings attached. All other pricing is based upon demand and is subject to change, so book early for the best locations and value.

See Tartuffe & enjoy dinner at MIDA for only $99!
This package includes a three course meal and a glass of wine at MIDA, and a ticket to Tartuffe. Use code MIDA at check out to redeem this offer.

Peter DuBois“This production of Tartuffe is going to be everything you expect from Molière, 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.” — Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois

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