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'Tartuffe' Opens 30th Anniversary Season of TIC

Moliere comedy to feature Chicago actors David Catlin and Ann Whitney

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October 15, 2010 | by Judy Moore
Sean Graney’s adaptation of Moliere’s “Tartuffe” will launch the Theatre and Interpretation Center’s 2010-11 Mainstage Season. Performances will be held from Oct. 22 through Nov. 6 at the Ethel M. Barber Theater.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Renowned Chicago director Sean Graney -- artistic director of The Hypocrites theater company in Chicago and 2010 Joseph Jefferson nominee for the University of Chicago’s fall 2009 Court Theatre play “The Mystery of Irma Vep” -- will open the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University 2010-11 Mainstage Season with his irreverent adaptation of “Tartuffe.”

Moliere’s comedic masterpiece will star Lookingglass Theatre Company ensemble member and Northwestern alumnus David Catlin and well-known Chicago actress and Northwestern alumna Ann Whitney. It also will feature an eight-member cast of Northwestern undergraduate student actors.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22; 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24; 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28; 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29; 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Post-show discussions with cast members and the creative team will follow the Oct. 24 and Oct. 28 performances.

“It is fitting that we open our 30th anniversary season of the Theatre and Interpretation Center with a classic comedy like ’Tartuffe’ in the hands of a young, hip and gifted director like Sean Graney,” said TIC Artistic Director Henry Godinez. “His fresh and immediate take of this great play is exciting, energized and eternally youthful. Working with an accomplished professional director like Sean will be a great opportunity for our students.”

“Tartuffe” is a titillating tale of a family patriarch named Orgon, his seemingly devout houseguest Tartuffe and unquenchable lecherous desire. Obsessed with Tartuffe’s apparent piety, Orgon tries to arrange a marriage between Tartuffe and his daughter Mariane. Orgon’s son, wife and maid devise a plan to expose Tartuffe as the imposter they know him to be.

Moliere’s tale of patriarchy, deception and longing was first performed in Versailles in 1664.

“Tartuffe is struggling between his strong religious belief and his carnal desire,” said Graney. “I believe the play’s real hypocrites are the family, who only call him out as a religious hypocrite when he threatens their financial interests.”

Single tickets for “Tartuffe” are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

TIC also is offering two new discounts to mainstage productions: $10 single-ticket prices to Thursday night season performances to U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families (with a valid military ID), as well as $10 tickets for Northwestern alumni who have graduated within the past two years (with a valid WildCARD). 

The Theater and Interpretation Center 2010-11 subscription package is $127 for adults; $110 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators; and $40 for full-time students and children. Subscriptions represent more than a 25 percent discount over single-ticket prices. Subscriptions are available through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu.