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Prospect brings new twist to comedy classic ‘Tartuffe’

POSTED July 24, 2012 10:32 p.m.

The partnership between the Prospect Theater Project and the Gallo Center for the Arts is bringing another classic play to the stage with their production of “Tartuffe.”

“Tartuffe,” is a French comedy originally written by Moliere in 1664. In this version, the theater group is performing Miles Malleson’s free adaptation of the comedy classic. The play follows the story of Orgon, a misguided husband and head of the household, who takes in a pious stranger, Tartuffe, who isn’t as righteous as he seems. Prospect Theater’s Artistic Director Jack Souza brings a new twist to the story by setting it in 1950s New Orleans.

“Malleson’s adaption is not inverse, like the original, so the play becomes much more about the topics than the form,” Souza said. “It helps fuel the play’s relevance.”

Souza also found the change from mid-seventeenth century Paris to 1950s New Orleans was a natural shift.

“The idiom so easily shifts into this deep southern drawl,” Souza said.

“By changing the setting it also removes the objectives distancing for the audience,” Souza continued. “If we kept it in seventeenth century Paris, no one would be able to get past the costumes and wigs.”

Leading the ensemble cast is Christopher Volkerts as Tartuffe; David Barbaree as Orgon; Colton Dennis as Clèante; and Bonnie DeChant as Elmire.

This is the third production between Prospect and the Gallo Center. Previously the partnership staged “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Grapes of Wrath.”

Shows of “Tartuffe” are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. All shows will be in the Foster Family Theater at the Gallo Center. Tickets are on sale now and range from $8 to $15. For tickets visit www.galloarts.org or call 338-2100.

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