Shuck and Jive

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tartuffe: Born Again

My lovely and I are going to see Tartuffe: Born Again tonight. It looks like an interesting show. The person who adapted the 17th century original to a modern setting has helped the students with the production.

It runs through Sunday. Check the
ETSU theater website for details and to order tickets!

Check out the story in the East Tennessean.

My friends, are you prepared to meet the Lord?" asks Tartuffe, to begin the second act of ETSU's production of "Tartuffe: Born Again."

"Tartuffe: Born Again" is being performed by the ETSU Division of Theatre & Dance and opens Thursday, Feb. 18 at ETSU's Bud Frank Theatre.

"The performances should leave audiences looking at their own character flaws and the disconnect between what we say and what we do," says Patrick Cronin, director and head of the Theatre and Dance Division.

Originally written in France by Molière in 1664, "Tartuffe" is about religious hypocrisy and how people worship false prophets. Singer, actor, playwright and friend of Cronin, Freyda Thomas, has adapted the play in "Tartuffe: Born Again," to have meaning in today's society.

"I thought it would be a terrific update with all the televangelists," says Thomas, from her Pennsylvania home.

"Born Again" takes place in Baton Rouge, La., in the 1980s. Tartuffe, a popular televangelist, takes advantage of a family that thinks he can do no wrong.

"I think it is also about how our obsession with celebrity and cult heroes such as 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' and other false idols," says Cronin. "It is about a very serious subject, but it is also drop-dead funny … Even though the show is not one the audience will be familiar with, audiences should attend for the same reasons they went to 'Avatar' - to have fun and expand their world."

Thomas altered the ending of the play to modernize it, as well as changing the characters slightly from Molière. Otherwise, the play is very similar to the original "Tartuffe," even in the writing style of rhymed verse.

"The most challenging part of directing this play is helping the actors find a way to be comfortable with the rhymed verse," Cronin says. "The hardest part for the actors is learning a lot of lines and learning to be true to the character."


  1. So how was it? Mr. Dewey and I are thinking about going Saturday night.