Tartuffe by Marietta College Theatre Department
Tartuffe is one of the most famous plays by Moliere. Just like the rest of his plays, Tartuffe is very funny and, at the same time, didactic. I enjoyed reading it, and I was glad to see it live. The Marietta College Theatre Department produced the play and brought Moliere’s characters to our modernity. The overall impression of the play is very positive. However, I cannot say the company met my expectations to the fullest as to the way the play could be staged.
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First, I would like to note that the cast managed to convey the message correctly. The main idea of the play is the importance of trust in the family and the value of critical thinking as well as common sense. Modern Orgon was very convincing. I loved him and his wife as they were just what I had imagined when reading the play. I must admit that I was quite surprised to see such a young Tartuffe as I thought this deceiver should be in his late thirties. I believed that Tartuffe had to look much younger than Oregon but not as young as his daughter. The performing actor seemed quite young to me at first. Nevertheless, soon I understood that age had little to do with people’s ability to deceive and be that hypocritical. At the end of the play, I loved the young Tartuffe as I called him.
I was also rather startled to see a girl in the girl of the officer. I expected to see a man wearing the police uniform. At that, I was prepared to accept this choice. Modern society is very different from people who lived in the 17th century. At present, women occupy various roles and can be employed in the sphere of law enforcement. I loved the young actress as she was very natural and appealing.
It is possible to state that the play I saw deepened my understanding of the characters and the author’s message. I managed to notice different types of people who can still be found in society. There are still fanatics who try to seem better than they are. There are still credulous people who can be even ridiculous in their faith. Of course, there are many smart and brave people like Orgon’s family members. I think the cast added various dimensions to the characters. When reading a play, I still saw Oregon, his family, and Tartuffe as characters from the book. Now, I believe those are complex personalities who live and develop.
Another element of the production that made me a bit confused was the choice of costumes. The setting was perfect as I think the furniture conveyed the charm of the 17th century, but the costumes were modern. When I was reading the book, I pictured all those huge wigs, fancy dresses, exquisite men’s clothes, beauty spots, heavy makeup, and odor. All those attributes contributed to the creation of the atmosphere of deceit and hypocrisy. However, the actors were wearing quite simple modern clothes, which made everything quite straightforward. Again, I had quite a specific first impression. I was rather dissatisfied, but I changed my mind a bit later.
I started thinking about the way the message was articulated. The play can be regarded as a warning to all people as the world is full of hypocrisy. The modern world is twice as dangerous as the society of the 17th century. Hypocrisy was quite common, and people were accustomed to it. These days the vast majority of people seem so open and sincere. Nevertheless, the rate of hypocrites in society is the same or even larger. I believe that Tartuffes are among us.
Finally, I would also add that the setting was remarkable. As has been mentioned above, it could be regarded as an illustration of the 17th-century style. The stage was quite small, which contributed to the specific atmosphere of the play. It was all about one family and its issues. The stage could be seen as a metaphor for the family circle described in the play. Viewers could also feel that they are family members who witness the crisis in Oregon’s family. This feeling is really valuable and creates a positive impression of the entire play.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that the play produced by the Marietta College Theatre Department was marvelous. I was surprised at the choice of the cast first, but I understood the director’s ideas and messages. The cast managed to bring more life to the characters that had been created centuries ago. Classical characters became real people who could be found in contemporary society. The play I saw made me think about Moliere’s message in a bit different way. Hypocrisy became something real to me. I realized that everybody including me could become victims of Tartuffe or, even worse, everybody could become that kind of hypocrite. Therefore, I believe the play was very good as it achieved its primary goal and made me think, feel, and dream.