With opening night approaching quickly, the cast and crew of Tartuffe have been hard at work preparing Moliere's comedy for the Quad Cities.
This seventeenth-century play centers around a hypocrite who has falsely taken on the role of a revered religious man. His goal is to trick Orgon, the head of the household, and swindle him for everything he and his family have.
This cast consists of a combination of veteran St. Ambrose actors and a few new faces. One of those new faces to the SAU stage is accomplished Quad Cities actor, Mike Schulz. Schulz has kindly devoted his time to partake in the play as a very important cameo role of the Officier. Schulz has acted professionally at QC Theatre Workshop and at Mississippi Bend Players.
He has stated that performing on the Allaert stage has been on his bucket list for years. Our Department feels very fortunate to have him in our show and help him cross an item off of his list through the Tartuffian process!
This production has encouraged the collaboration of many student designers and guests who have graciously aided in the process. Sophomore Anthony Duckett is pursuing an independent study with staff member Aaron Hook to help design the lights for this production. Duckett has worked on plays in the smaller Studio Theatre in the past, such as Rabbit Hole, but this will be the first time one of his designs will be showcased on the main stage.
First year Becky Meissen is the props designer and has been researching and working closely with Dr. Corinne Johnson to assure that every element of the production alludes to the play's specific time period. Junior Jeremy Smock choreographed the final dance number along with other movement aspects of the play.
Recently, the cast discussed with St. Ambrose alum and University Chaplain, Father Thom Hennen '00. He opened up a discussion about how elements up the production play into modern society and how to use this piece to fight against negative publicity that has come from the church in the past. He noted that the Department should have no fear in putting on this production based on content because the content is not sacrilegious in any way, but instead, warns people to watch out for those who use religion as a catalyst for their own benefit.
Cast members had many things to share when they were asked about their favorite part of the process so far.
"I have never done a Moliere play before so that has been interesting because, in some ways, it is like Shakespeare," Junior T.J. Green, who plays Orgon, said. "Getting to work with [non-traditional student] Jeremy Mahr on verse work has been a fun experience because the way the verse is set up really says a lot about each of the characters."
Junior Abbie Carpenter, who plays Cleante, commented on the challenges she has faced while playing a character of the opposite sex.
"My favorite part has honestly been learning how to be a man, act like a man, walk like a man," Carpenter said. "I'm surprised that this is the first time I have been cast as a man, but this is the first man I have ever played. So, getting to experience that and figure out all of the different nuances of that has been super fun."
The cast and crew have been putting in so much work to ensure this production would make Moliere proud. Please stop by for a dark comedy full of love, lust, jealousy and deceit.
The play will show 7:30 p.m. April 12 and 13 and 3 p.m. April 14. Tickets are available now online, so don't miss out!