Moliere’s Tartuffe, ‘a hidden treasure’

Karla Robator

The actors of the Quinnipiac University Theatre Program captivated the audience with their performance of Moliere’s Tartuffe last Thursday in the Clarice L. Buckman Theatre.
“I think it’s a really difficult play to do, even in a place that has more resources than we do,” said Crystal Brian, director of the theater group. “It makes for an even greater performance. I am really proud of them.”
Moliere was a writer in seventeenth century France when King Louis XIV was the reigning monarch. The Company of the Holy Sacrament, who were religious figures, persuaded King Louis XIV to ban the play for five years. Imprisonment and excommunication were the punishments for those who participated in the production and performance of the play.
Orgon, a nobleman, played by Kevin Daly, was under the spell of the “pious” Tartuffe, a swindler, played by David Brand. His family tried to open his eyes to Tartuffe’s hypocritical ways.
Through her colorful, sarcastic remarks, Dorine, the maid, played by Allison Clark, tried to get Orgon’s attention.
Claudia Ostojic played Mariane, Orgon’s daughter who was to wed Valere, a nobleman, played by Macauley Rankin. Orgon gave her hand in marriage to Tartuffe instead.
Others too, tried to remove the veil that hindered Orgon’s judgment concerning Tartuffe. His son, Damis, played by Shawn Grindle tried vehemently to unmask the fake to no success, as did Wesley Frank’s character Cleante, Orgon’s brother-in-law. Orgon’s wife Elmire, played by Alexandra Chuba, devised a way to have him see and hear Tartuffe’s sinful nature. This shed light on the real Tartuffe.
At that point, Tartuffe was in control of the estates and held the upper hand. Tartuffes’ deviousness was brought to justice at the very end of the play. Sent by the prince to apprehend Tartuffe, was a police officer, played by Rick Williams.
The introduction of the characters to the audience was original and colorful. Each character approached one another in how they were to take to them in the coming scenes.
The costumes enhanced the characters’ individual personalities. Dorine, the lively maid, wore a festive dress with bright blue and hot pink. Orgon, who acted as a fool, was in an elaborate garment that brought the image of a clown to mind.
The scenery never changed no matter how much the characters did. The bright, bold colors of the scenery reflected the witty sarcasm and humor of the characters’ dialogue.
“The set reflects the mood of the play due to the colorfulness and the cheerfulness,” said student Katie Doyle.
The audience got into the humor as well.
“I am having a delightful time,” said theater professor Andrew Scott. “It is imaginative.”
Student Jon Kroll said he thought the play was fantastic and that he was impressed by the abilities of the students at Quinnipiac.
“It’s a hidden treasure,” he said.