“Tartuffe and All That Jazz,” a new adaptation of Molière’s “Tartuffe” re-imagined and set in 1920’s St. Louis by Gordon C. Bennett and Dana A. Priest, will be produced by ENC’s Theatre Department this spring. The production will be directed by Professor Ballard, the current Chair of the Language, Theatre, and Communication Arts Department.
Ballard has been building sets and working on the technological aspects of various plays and musicals for years. The play’s cast is heavily diverse and ranges from freshman theatre majors to outside performers.
Tartuffe is a comedy that focuses on a wealthy aristocrat, Orgon (Eli Malo), who takes in a religious con man, Tartuffe (Indigo Bishop), who begins to take over the estate. While it’s clear to Orgon’s family this visitor is a con man, Orgon has a hard time believing this; he even arranges Tartuffe to wed his daughter, Mariane (Tressa Burello). Tartuffe almost robs the family blind because Orgon puts an incredible amount of faith in the man despite clear distrust from his servant Dorine (Rajiene Murchison), his wife Elmire (Sheryl Shively). There are twists and turns, culminating in a shocking ending. This adaptation is set in the midst of the roaring 20s and ENC’s production is the first time this new adaptation has been staged.
The play will be running the week of April 14-April 16 in the Cove Auditorium. On Saturday, April 16, there will be a talkback question-and-answer session with one of the playwrights of this adaptation, with whom Professor Ballard worked on this production at a previous institution.