ASIDES: Coup de Théâtre

FACES & VOICES French Drama Takes Over at STC by Laura Henry Buda The French theatrical tradition has given us so many great plays, one might expect the Shakespeare Theatre Company had been producing French classics from the first. Surprisingly, STC’s first foray into French theatre wasn’t until 2004—but since then, eight of the last twelve seasons have included at least one work by a French author. These plays span from the time of Louis XIV to the turn of …

Continue reading

ASIDES: Passion Play

TARTUFFE_046

By Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Manager As James Magruder writes in his article, “One suspects American audiences admire Molière more than they enjoy him.” And it’s true. For one of the greatest geniuses of the theatre, it’s surprising how underappreciated Molière (née Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) is in comparison to his dramaturgical peers, especially in America. Unlike, say, Chekhov, who depicts the ambiguities of human psychology, Molière gives us something else entirely: a heightened, claustrophobic realm of artifice all his own. Molière finds the …

Continue reading

ASIDES: Looking for the Magic of Things

Serrand_Dominique

A Conversation with Tartuffe Director Dominique Serrand By Lexi Diamond, Excerpted from the Berkeley Repertory playbill Tartuffe director Dominique Serrand took some time with us to shed light on his unique approach, his visionary production of Tartuffe, and his view on making theatre today. LEXI DIAMOND: I’ve heard your approach described as devised and physical…. DOMINIQUE SERRAND: Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to find a space and create a piece that’s relevant to the world we live in today. …

Continue reading

ASIDES: Just Enough to be Funny

TARTUFFE_233

Or: The Funny Medium By James Magruder “Medan agan” reads one of the legends carved on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. One of the touchstones of Greek civilization, it means “nothing in excess.” Its implicit corollary is “everything in moderation” or “the happy medium.” Literary illustrations of this Hellenic watch-cry are the main business of Greek and Roman drama. Motivated by this god or that, hamstrung by twisted family back stories, Medea and Phaedra, to take but two famous …

Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: Tartuffe

TARTUFFE_311

Join us for behind-the-scenes glimpses into the inspirations for Tartuffe’s design. This week, Director and Co-Scenic Designer Dominique Serrand shares a few thoughts on the insprations behind the show’s monumental set.  The set is inspired by 17th-century architecture, the Hotel des Invalides–known for its lean and clean limestone–and by the stunning frontal doorway of the Eglise Saint Gervais. It is monumental architecture, remindful of churches, vertically rhythmic, with high windows allowing light to enter the space at regular intervals  through the room. The …

Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: Tartuffe

Join us for behind-the-scenes glimpses into the inspirations for Tartuffe‘s design. This week, Costume Designer Sonya Berlovitz shares her design inspirations and the challenges in bringing the show to life. Our version of the play sprang from a very contemporary adaptation that laid the groundwork for a historically eclectic design vision. This is reflected in the costumes as a layering of 17th century details in some of the silhouettes, lines, and textures combined with modern elements and in some cases contemporary clothing. We …

Continue reading

UP NEXT: Tartuffe

An interview with Tartuffe director Dominique Serrand What was your inspiration for this production? The very first time we approached this piece was when the religious right began comparing artists to pornographers. We thought, “Now is the time to do Tartuffe.” Once you pursue a piece, you realize what you could do better. For the design, we wanted a 17th-century interior that could get very bright—we didn’t want a dark setting, hypocrisy should be in a bright environment. It slowly becomes reminiscent of a cathedral or a church within the home. The lights remain …

Continue reading

Prosecast: Tartuffe

Podcast

The latest Prosecast takes you inside the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Tartuffe.  The discussion explores Moliere’s scandalous life, the play’s cross-country experience and turning a religious hypocrite into a Don Juan.  Featuring actor Steven Epp.  Recorded at the Shakespeare Theatre Company by: Hannah Hessel Ratner, Audience Enrichment Manager Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Associate Steven Epp, Tartuffe Sound engineering and editing by Roc Lee. Read a transcript of this episode.  

Inside the Shops: Making a Sword Bend

TrickSword1

How the Trick Sword was Made Special contribution from Eric Hammesfahr, Props Painter/Sculptor One of the swords in Man of La Mancha had to bend  unnaturally as part of an effect. It needed to bend in a “U” shape then snap back into shape. Although the creative team had a particular style of sword in mind (a broadsword) it wouldn’t have to be a real sword, but would have to look like one to make this concept believable. We did not …

Continue reading

Teen Critics: Man of La Mancha

The Teen Critic Program at Shakespeare Theatre Company allows high school students interested in theatre, journalism and/or critical writing the opportunity to learn how to view productions with a critical eye and write a savvy, persuasive theatre review. The Teen Critics attend each production, receive a press packet, preferred press seating and have the opportunity to meet with professional theatre critics from local newspapers before writing their own reviews.  Here are some excerpts from their reviews of Man of La Mancha. Nana Gongadze, 11th …

Continue reading