Moliere’s Tartuffe Opens on the Barton Stage April 21

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Tartuffe will be performed on Thursday and Saturday, April 21 and 23, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. (Tickets at the Door)

WILSON, N.C. — April 20, 2016 — “For millennia, theatre has been a principle means of showcasing man’s heroic nature, while exposing his tragic flaws,” shares Adam Twiss, director of Theatre at Barton. “Since antiquity, theatre and dramatic literature have been rife with satire, providing a generally comedic platform for discourse on our ironic tendency toward self-serving extremes. As we tumble headlong into a season of political punditry, positioning, and platitudes, what better diversion than one of theatre’s most deliciously scandalous and salacious plays, by arguably the greatest satirist to ever put quill to paper?”

Moliere’s “Tartuffe,” presented by Theatre at Barton, will open on Thursday, April 21, in the Kennedy Family Theatre at Barton College. The production will run Thursday and Saturday evenings, April 21 and April 23, at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. There will not be a Friday performance. Tickets are available at the door: Adult: $10; Senior and Military: $8; non-barton student: $6; and Barton student/faculty/staff: free.

Moliere, born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, premiered “Tartuffe” in 1664. The resulting outcry from the Archbishop of France closed down the theatre instantly. Only the intercession of King Louis XIV kept Moliere from imprisonment and excommunication.

“This bold “sit-com” depicts a well-heeled family, split over the nature of their guest, a priggish, pious, pretender, whose sanctimony is suspect,” adds Twiss. “Exposing this hypocrite for what he is takes cunning and risk, but can it be done before all is lost?

“This outstanding play provides a wonderful opportunity for both actor and audience to gain exposure to classical, renaissance literature; to recognize that, in our media-rich world, many of the most entertaining and satisfying stories remain simple reflections of the human condition, constant through the centuries.”

For those expecting Theatre at Barton to present “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” don’t despair. Director Adam Twiss sheds light on that story as well.

“Excellent!” he said with a wicked smile. “We were planning to produce the marvelous and engaging “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” this spring, when publisher Samuel French contacted Theatre at Barton to let us know that the rights were being withheld across the country, with no explanation, nor a release date stated.

“We quickly considered the cast of characters we have on this campus and in this community, and determined that we had the right group to cast one of the greatest satirical comedies ever written, “Tartuffe,” by renowned French playwright, Moliere,” he continues. “Once we landed on this play and assembled our group, it felt as though destiny had smiled upon us. This will challenge our young students and mature actors alike, the rhyming couplets are wicked to work with, but the result is fantastic, quick wit, unlike anything we see today.  We are excited to share this ride with you…and by the way, on the eve of our first rehearsal, the rights to “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” were re-released…there’s always next year!”

The cast of “Tartuffe” includes Barton faculty: Jane Kolunie, Alan Lane, and Sherry Lee Allen (artist-in-residence for musical theatre, appearing courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association); Barton students: senior Zach Rayburn (theatre), sophomore Courtney Perez (theatre), freshman Stephen Foy (theatre and mass communications); sophomore Jamie Allen (psychology); junior Samantha Larkin (mass communications), and sophomore Mickey Miller (business administration); Barton staff: Gary Hall and Todd Wilkinson; ARAMARK Higher Education staff: Tony Tilley; guest artists from the Wilson community: Fletcher Duke and David Winstead; and guest artist from the greater Raleigh area: Tim Caudle.

Understudies include guest artist from the Wilson community: Sydney Mitchel; and Barton students: sophomore Tiffany Cooper (business administration); and freshman Daria Avram (psychology and mass communications, and theatre minor).

The production team includes director: Adam Twiss (director of Theatre at Barton program); stage manager: Barton senior Allison Dellinger (theatre); assistant stage manager: Barton sophomore Sarah Kirk (criminology and criminal justice sciences); scenic and lighting design manager: Chris Bernier (technical director for Theatre at Barton program); assistant for scenic and lighting design: Barton sophomore Kelsie Barnes (theatre); costumes: Denise Schumaker (guest artist from the greater Raleigh area); hair and make-up: Michael Johnson guest artist from the Wilson community); sound: Hampton Short Barton Class of 2013 (mass communications: audio recording technology); sound assistant: Barton senior Amber Wilson (mass communications: audio recording technology, and theatre minor).

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