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BoHo Theatre Presents TARTUFFE


BoHo Theatre brings laughs and style to the stage this January with Ranjit Bolt's contemporary translation of Molière's Tartuffe, the classic tale of sex, money, and the power of persuasion. Tartuffe runs January 13th through February 12th, 2012, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Avenue, and is directed by BoHo's Associate Artistic Director Peter Robel. By using the anachronistic mashup genre called steampunk, director Robel seeks to highlight the machinations of the wicked Tartuffe as he uses one man's fear of change to his advantage, a fear all too familiar today.

In the midst of societal upheaval, when the lines between church and state are being drawn between those for whom religion is the bedrock of society and a younger generation eager to accept change, comes the charlatan Tartuffe. Masquerading as a man of God, Tartuffe worms his way into the life of pious family patriarch Orgon and is soon trying to make off with the man’s wealth, his daughter, and even his wife! Though the rest of the family goes to hilarious lengths to show Orgon the error of his ways and expel Tartuffe from their home, the con man always seems to be one step ahead of them.

By using steampunk (a sci-fi subgenre that mixes Victorian history and aesthetic with futuristic steam-powered technology) as a backdrop, BoHo's production mirrors the tumultuous societal landscape of 17th century France as a world that at once seems both familiar and alien, when old and new exist side by side. Without losing any of Molière's wit, BoHo's Tartuffe makes it obvious why a man would desperately believe the lies of a swindler over the word of his own family. Continuing our season-long exploration of the Bohemian pillars of truth, beauty, freedom, and love, Tartuffe explores the pillar of truth through the eyes of a liar.


By Molière, Translated by Ranjit Bolt
Directed by Peter Robel
Scenic Design by Chad Bianchi
Costume Design by Kate Setzer Kamphausen
Lighting Designer by Nick Belley
Prop Design by Cassy Schillo
Dramaturgy by Ariel Trocino
Cast: Christa Buck, Chris Ballou, Luke Daigle, Daria Harper, Andrew Marikis, Michael Mercier, Saren Nofs-Snyder, Devan O’Mailia, Sean Thomas, and Jeremy Trager.

January 13 – February 12, 2012
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
Opening Night is Saturday, January 14, at 8:00pm.

Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago
For tickets, call the Theater Wit Box Office at 773-975-8150 or visit
Tickets on sale now
Opening weekend (January 13-15) ticket price: $18, Regular run ticket price: $20-25

Moliere (Playwright)
A French playwright, actor, and director, Moliere was the son of a prosperous upholsterer. He left home to become an actor in 1643, joining forces with the Béjart family. He cofounded the troupe known as the Illustre Théâtre and toured the French provinces (1645 – 58), writing plays and acting in them. After his troupe was established in a permanent theatre in Paris under the patronage of Louis XIV, he won acclaim in the court and among bourgeois audiences for his comedy The Affected Young Ladies (1659). His other major plays include The School for Wives (1662), Tartuffe (1664; initially banned by religious authorities), The Misanthrope (1666), The Miser (1669), The Bourgeois Gentleman (1670), and The Imaginary Invalid (1673). His plays compose a portrait of all levels of 17th-century French society and are marked by their good-humored and intelligent mockery of human vices, vanities, and follies. Despite his success, he never ceased to act and direct. Taken ill during a performance in 1673, he died of a hemorrhage within a day and was denied holy burial. He is considered the greatest French dramatist and the father of modern French comedy.

Ranjit Bolt (Translater)
Ranjit Bolt is a British playwright and translator. Born in Manchester, raised in Cambridge, and educated at Perse School and at Balliol College, Oxford, he worked as a stockbroker for eight years before entering the world of play translation in 1990. His modern-language translations include The Real Don Juan from Don Juan Tenorio by José Zorrilla y Moral; Lysistrata from the play by Aristophanes; Cyrano de Bergerac from the play by Edmond Rostand; Hercules from the work by Senece; The Art of Seduction from La Double Inconstance by Marivaux; The Marriage of Figaro from the play by Pierre Beaumarchais; and Mirandolina from the play by Carlo Goldoni; as well as many translations of Molière's works including The Idiot from L'Étourdi, Scapin from Les Fourberies de Scapin, The School for Wives, The Sisterhood, The Grouch from Le Misanthrope, and Tartuffe. As well as his plays, he has published a novel in verse, Losing It, and a verse translation for children of the fables of La Fontaine, The Hare and the Tortoise. He was awarded the OBE in 2003 for services to literature.

Peter Robel (Director)
The holder of a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of California - Santa Barbara, Peter has worked professionally with theaters such as Court Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Chicago Opera Theater, Illinois Theatre Center, Theatre At The Center, New American Theater, Circle Theatre, Wagon Wheel Theatre, American Girl Theatre, and Borealis Theatre. He was also featured on the Original Cast Album for Circle of Friends: An American Girl Musical. As a director, he was awarded a 2008 After Dark Award for Outstanding Direction for BoHo's The Merchant of Venice. Most recently, he appeared with BoHo as Charlotte von Mahlsdorf in the critically acclaimed production of I Am My Own Wife. Peter is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, and is honored to have served as BoHo's Associate Artistic Director since the company’s inception in 2003.

BoHo Theatre structures each of its season around the four pillars of Bohemian philosophy: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love. BoHo’s 2010/11 mainstage season features Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Roger Miller and William Hauptman, The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance, Dirty Blonde by Claudia Shear, and Icarus by Edwin Sanchez.

BoHo Theatre seeks to challenge convention through literary originality and eclectic expression while fostering an ever-evolving artistic environment in which people are inspired to learn, think, dream, and feel; to teach others and ourselves how to expand, create, and present art through theatre while reveling not only in the process, but also in the journey.

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