Category Archives: Tartuffe

CREATIVE PINELLAS FEATURE

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4-part-series

Pinellas County is a destination for creativity. It can be seen on our stages, in our museums, in our art-galleries and studios, at our film festivals and arts shows. It can be heard in our conversations, at our poetry readings and literary events. Creative Pinellas supports all of this activity and energy.

Recently, Julie Garisto teamed up with American Stage to come out with a 4 part series on our theatre. She went behind the scenes of TARTUFFE, sat down with Producing Artistic Director Stephanie Gularte, and shared with readers what’s to come at American Stage and throughout the Tampa Bay area theatre scene.

Visit http://creativepinellas.org/our-journal/ to find out what else has been cooking in the Tampa Bay arts scene…

Click on to read all 4 articles now!… Read the rest

5 Questions with Jerid Fox

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What was your inspiration for the set?
I was inspired on two fronts: the first were famous TV homes like the Kardashians’ mansion, ‘The Bachelor mansion’ and the Property Brothers’ house in Las Vegas – I knew I wanted it to look expensive, but also have a little cookie cutter McMansion feel to it. The second was a desire to evoke the architecture of the White House so when the play takes a big turn towards politics, there it would be looming in the background.

Why a pool? Was that an idea you had for the design or did the idea come from the adapted script? 

TARTUFFE traditionally takes place in a foyer and a dining room; a place for comings and goings. We wanted grandeur, plenty of light (it is a comedy after all), and lots of entrances. Stephanie Gularte had a few inspiration images that she kept coming back to with water in them. It was my idea to take this show and set in an amazing backyard (and what McMansion doesn’t have a pool?). As soon at that was settled we instantly knew the famous table scene would need to take place underwater!

Also, WOW, how did you pull it off and keep it going through a four week run?

When it comes to the logistics of having over 700 gallons of water on stage we were fortunate enough to have an experienced team at American Stage. In our old building we had produced METAMORPHOSIS, so the team, lead by our Technical Director Timon Brown, had experience building a contained water feature on stage. There is a lot more than just plopping a kiddie pool on stage that goes into it for sure! Our water has to be heated to keep the actors comfortable as well as chemically treated and tested for safety. On top of all that, I wanted it to look as elegant and authentic as possible.

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What is your favorite feature and/or most difficult challenge in regard to the set?

My favorite feature would have to be the pool. In the first 60 … Read the rest

TARTUFFE is the play Tampa Bay has “been starving for!”

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Find out what audiences and critics are saying about American Stage’s world-premiere adaptation of Molière‘s TARTUFFE by Robert Caisley and directed by Brendan Ragan! (Now Playing through November 20)

Do not miss the show that The Washingtonian calls “wicked smart and painfully funny!”

CRITICS

” Not only does the Tampa Bay area need this adaptation of Tartuffe, we’ve been starving for it.”

“This community has not seen anything this original or ambitious in a long time.”

“It’s more Saturday Night Live than Fareed Zakaria, but like the comedy show it sneaks in cultural observations that skewer everyone. It’s funny and smart.”

-Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times
Review: Election Themed Adaptation ‘Tartuffe’ is Much Needed

AUDIENCE MEMBERS

“Seeing something new and exciting sends me home and keeps me up way beyond my bedtime thinking about it.  [TARTUFFE] did that for me tonight.  American Stage owes me 40 winks tomorrow.  Bravo.”

“Must see!!!”

“What a fantastic show! Hard to believe it was written so long ago and still rings true today.”

For more information and to book tickets click here.Read the rest

5 Questions with Robert Caisley

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Have you had any prior experience with this play?

You can’t be a playwright (at least not a comedy writer) without an acute awareness of Moliere’s contribution to the field of dramatic literature. There are so many standard comedic set-ups that first make their appearance in one of his plays.

My first experience with Moliere: I was probably 18 or 19 years old when I was cast in drama school in Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, playing one of the servant roles (they all seem to have the same name!) Two things remain vivid in my recollection: during one performance, I tried to exit the stage and the doorknob fell off in my hand, essentially trapping me onstage. That was when I first learned the art of ad-libbing. The second memory, is that the words and the comic situation was just so delicious. I’ve long had an interest in 17th and 18th century drama. I think Comedy of Manners is one of the most exquisite enjoyable forms of drama—and I see it traced in a direct line from Moliere to Oscar Wilde to Noel Coward and up to the present.

I directed a production of Tartuffe in 2008.  It also helps that I teach dramatic literature at the University of Idaho, and Tartuffe is a standard fixture of the curriculum, like Hamlet, A Doll’s House and The Cherry Orchard. So when Stephanie asked me to work on a new adaptation, my enthusiasm for the project was predicated upon the fact that I felt I was in fairly familiar territory. Having said all that, of course, the greatest limitation you can have as a translator or adapter of any play, are the many other translations and adaptations that you’re familiar with. So the actually writing phase, is one of erasing your own memory and trying to find a vocabulary that fits the given circumstances of the scene.

 

What specific challenges did you face adapting a play written in 1664 France to present day America?

The first question facing the translator or adapter of Moliere’s plays is one’s approach to Read the rest

TAKE A LOOK: TARTUFFE – Trailer (2016)

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Our Search for American continues with our modern American Stage adaptation of Moliere’s TARTUFFE beginning performances on October 26! Take a look at our newly released trailer and then grab your tickets today! Click here to book tickets

“…an astonishingly delightful romp…” (NY Post) Considered by many to be Moliere’s strongest and funniest work, TARTUFFE gets a modern up-date in this brand new American Stage adaptation. Orgon, a wealthy American businessman entrusts his reputation and his fortune to up-and-coming politician, Tartuffe. As the cunning and lusty imposter insinuates himself deeper into his household and his family, the status quo of Orgon’s world gets turned thoroughly and hilariously upside-down.

October 26 – November 20

ALSO!
Take your theatre going experience to the next level THIS SUNDAY (October 16) and join us for an informative and entertaining presentation by Professor Emerita, Dedee Aleccia. Learn about the history, context, and characters of Moliere’s TARTUFFE.

After the presentation join Scenic Designer, Jerid Fox, joins the conversation to provide exclusive insight into our modern adaptation. Click Here to Book TicketsRead the rest