Students of the performing arts and social justice department (PASJ) are getting ready to perform their own version of the centuries old play, “Tartuffe.” What the audience might not expect, however, is a drag twist on the classic performance, written by Moliere and originally performed in Paris in 1665. With its bizarre comedy and twisted sense of religious morality, the audience will laugh as well as question their own senses of right and wrong. If you’ve been bored stiff by the mundane tasks of everyday student life, consider dusting off old Halloween wigs and going down to watch PASJ’s drag twist of “Tartuffe.”
“Tartuffe” is about a self-righteous con artist named Tartuffe who, while proclaiming to be a holy man, attempts to swindle a struggling family. As the audience follows Tartuffe and the family throughout the play, they will witness his acts of “holiness,” seduction and underlying social commentary. Ken Sonkin, the director of the production and a theater instructor, said that it’s “not about religion, but religious hypocrisy.”
Sonkin chose this play because it is “one of the greatest comedies of all time.” He has directed this play several times before and loves “the terrific characters and wonderful language.” This production is much like his previous ones – except this time, the performance is done in drag. He says, “with all the crap going on in the world, sometimes we need a little laugh.”
Ten of the eleven cast members are part of the PASJ major. “With about 20 hours of rehearsal a week, we cover everything from stage combat to the tango (seriously!), and it’s all under the direction of the team,” said Sarah Troup, a freshman PASJ student who plays the role of Orgon. “I guarantee anyone who comes will have a blast!”
This year’s performance of “Tartuffe” runs from May 2 to May 5 at the Studio Theater in Lone Mountain. If you are looking for a good time, then come out to PASJ’s spring production of “Tartuffe.”
The online version of this story has been corrected from the print copy. ‘Production’ has been changed to ‘Play’ and the lede has been modified.