“Tartuffe” comes to Omaha

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November 10th, 2011

Omaha, NE – Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company is opening up its 19th season with a play about a religious hypocrite.

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Actors Eric Salonis (left) and Scott Working (right) rehearse a scene from “Tartuffe" (Photo by Angel Martin)

On a recent fall evening, I stopped by a rehearsal for Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company’s production of Tartuffe. Actor Eric Salonis plays the character of Orgon and Actor Scott Working plays Clèante. I listened in as they worked through this scene.

“Enough, by God, I’m through with pious men. Hence forth I hate the whole false brotherhood and persecute them worse than Satan could,” Orgon said.

“There you go again, extravagant as ever…why can you not be rational?” Clèante replied.

Written by French playwright Molière, Tartuffe is the story of a man who pretends to be a “Holy Man.” Cathy Kurz is the director of the show, and also the founder of Brigit Saint Brigit. She said this fast-paced show is filled with satirical humor.

“In your casting, you want to be sure that your actors have that sense of humor.” she said, “and have a sensibility that they can see that it’s funny.”

“It’s not farce, or big and broad, but it’s more wit. So, you want to cast people who can handle that, and have that sense of humor also,” she continued.

Cathy Kurz directs actors in "Tartuffe." (Photo by Angel Martin)

Kurz said eight of the ten actors in the show have worked together in the past, making it easy for creative teamwork to happen.

“Theatre is a collaborative art,” Kruz said. She said experienced actors can feel the movement of the play, and will let her know what they think works for the scene. “So you figure out the movement as you go,” she said, “and contrasting movement to keep it going.”

Tartuffe was written in the 1700’s, and this production will be performed in the intimate and historic Joslyn Castle. Kurz said the space helps provide the right setting.

“You have this lovely castle setting that’s formal in period,” she said. “And the actors will all be in their formal period costumes.” The intimacy of the Joslyn Castle will also help create an interactive feel to the play. “There’s a lot of movement,” she said. (The actors) “play in front of the audience, on a raised platform, at the back of the house, on the stairs. It’s a very fast-moving show.”

Tartuffe opens November 17th and runs through December 9th at the Joslyn Castle in Omaha.

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