“There’s a vast difference, so it seems to me, Between true piety and hypocrisy”
Tartuffe, a profoundly religious figure, is gaining influence in the wealthy home of the Orgons, and is about to cheat Orgon out of his fortune and get his daughter's hand in the process. Soon everyone sees through Tartuffe's tricks – except Orgon. The family come up with a plan to catch the fraudster out.
A simple comedy plot, implemented ingenuously by none other than the brilliant genius of the history of drama: Molière.
In the original title, Molière thought it important to attach the qualifier "l'imposteur" to the name: Tartuffe or the Hypocrite, a.k.a. sanctimonious, eye-rolling, two-faced, pretender, phoney, lip-server, Pharisee. The fact that a language offers so many words for a concept suggests that it keeps people preoccupied. The best indicator of the popularity of this play is that by now, "a real tartuffe" can be added to the list of synonyms.
The character became synonymous with the trait that Molière pilloried in his piece, so much so that, although the play was presented in Versailles in 1664, influential courtiers convinced Louis XIV to ban it. It would not be re-authorised until 1669. A ban, however, was a great way to advertise even back then, and the audience flocked to the premiere on 5th February. The fact that the enthusiasm would not subsequently fade shows the timeliness and validity of the play. With countless stage interpretations today, every director will find their own Tartuffe, depending on the message they want to convey to the world, and on the social anomaly they focus on. In any case, those who assumed that the play was an attack on faith and banned / embraced it depending on their worldview, may have overlooked these lines by Cléante, wherein Molière expounds his philosophy:
“There’s just one insight I would dare to claim:/ I know that true and false are not the same; / And just as there is nothing I more revere / Than a soul whose faith is steadfast and sincere, / Nothing that I more cherish and admire / Than honest zeal and true religious fire, / So there is nothing that I find more base / Than specious piety’s dishonest face” (Translated by Richard Wilbur).
Georgian director David Doiashvili's two productions in our theatre so far, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Cyrano, as well as his Macbeth, invited to MITEM I, suggest that he will not stop at the level of contemporary allusions, but will dissect the deeper layers of the archetypal phenomenon of pretence that has been with us throughout the ages and is more or less present in all of us.
News About Tartuffe at National Theater
CSC Adds Performances To The Run Of William Wharton's BIRDY
February 14, 2019
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) has added three performances to its highly anticipated upcoming production of Birdy, adapted by Naomi Wallace from the novel by William Wharton, and directed by Steven Maler. The production now runs February 27 through March 17 at the Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College in Wellesley.
Dixon Place Presents Workshop Production of POLYLOGUES
February 04, 2019
Dixon Place presents a workshop production of Polylogues, created & performed by Xandra Clark and directed by Molly Clifford, at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002) After a sold-out run at The Tank in 2018, Polylogues returns with performances on Valentines Day Thursday, February 14, Thursday, February 21,and Friday, February 22 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available for advance purchase at www.dixonplace.org, show runs approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. Celebrate Valentine's Day with a specialty cocktail (Polypunch) included with ticket purchase on February 14.
Roundabout Announces 2019 Underground Reading Series Lineup
December 20, 2018
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) is thrilled to announce the eighth annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series, a five-night event that includes nightly readings of new works written and directed by emerging artists, as well as post-show receptions. The Reading Series will feature new works by Aaron Carter, Emily Feldman, Dave Harris, Jonathan Spector and Sanaz Toossi.
CSC Presents BIRDY Adapted By Naomi Wallace From The Novel By William Wharton
December 13, 2018
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler announced the cast of the second production of its 2018-19 Season: Birdy, adapted by Naomi Wallace from the novel by William Wharton, and directed by Steven Maler. The production runs February 27 through March 10 at the Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College in Wellesley.