The Auroville Theatre Group presented:
an adaptation of Moliére's Tartuffe
translated by Richard Wilbur
Monday -Thursday April 17, 18, 19, 20, 2006
at La Piscine
New Creation's Swimming Pool
Jean L. as Terry Tuff, the religious hypocrite
Srimoyi as the maid, Dorine
Charu as the father, Morgan
Sonja as the wife, Elmira
Swar as the brother of Elmira , Clement
Jill as the grandmother, Madam Pernelle
Saraswati as the daughter, Mariane
Sumit as Mariane's lover, Val and the bailiff, Mr. Loyal
Partha as the son, Danny
Suresh as the Sheriff
Mita as Madam Pernelle's servant, Rosita
directed by Jill
lighting by Jean L.
light board operator Janaka
Charu for Tartuffe/Texas poster design
our sincere thanks to
Pavilion de France
Auroville Artist's Gathering
and Savitri (New Creation) and La Piscine staff for their generous support
Coco for accessories
Jason for dialect coaching
Joy, Surabhi for help with costumes, hair, makeup
Axel and Janaka for photos
Moliére remains without rival as the French national playwright. He ranks too as one of the greatest comic dramatists of any nation.
He single-handedly made comedy a respectable genre in France , for in his hands laughter and satire became the equals of the deepest tragedy. Indeed, many of his most profound comic creations have a tragic spirit buried within them, the result of the author's close observations of our human foibles and failings. Famed French actor Jean-Louis Barrault, one of this century's premiere performers of Moliére, observed that he always found in the plays 'a triple injunction of need, of desire, and of liberty. Moliére, finally, is human life itself.'
Never a stranger to adversity or controversy, Moliére earned both when he composed Tartuffe. For in the play's deftly rhyming couplets and intricately twisted maze of affections and allegiances, he offered a sharp lampoon of most of what society held dear--particularly its own self-righteous sense of worth. In a play the author hoped could gently correct abuses while inducing pleasant mirth, the critics of his day found a work dangerous to the very
foundations of the state. Warnings about hypocrisy were taken as ungodly attacks on piety itself.
Triumphing at last over these objections, the play gained for Moliére a devoted following among the theater-going public and the nobility, as well as an equally passionate coterie of enemies among the clergy--enemies who would hound him even after his death. In recent times, the play has often been a favorite of those seeking to turn its satire upon specific subjects, recognizing in this classic text prescient parallels to contemporary psychology or modern frauds.
Since 1963, the play's richness, wit, and scathing satire have found fitting theatrical vitality in the impeccable translation by poet
Richard Wilbur, a shining instance of the award-winning artistic collaboration between
the seventeenth-century French playwright and the twentieth-century American poet. Together they bring to life the complex and hilarious world of Tartuffe.
Play Notes from the "Court Theatre" Chicago , USA
Why Tartuffe in Texas? The story of the religious hypocrite and the family who is duped by his sweet talking ways until divine intervention saves the day seemed a natural for adaptation. With headlines screaming about the collusion between Church and State in America these days, a chance to play this story in that setting was just too good to pass up! So Tartuffe became the evangelical preacher Terry Tuff, Orgon, the gullible father, was Morgan, etc. We sure don't have a Prince to come down and set things right, but we do have financial princes, and in America , money talks and President's listen.
The swimming pool was to me a symbol of American excess and greed - everyone who's anyone has one, and especially in Texas, it must be bigger and better than the neighbour's, so that's why we chose to stage the play around our very own "la piscine" (swimming pool in French). Bon!