Meadows Theatre updates timeless satire for season finale

SMU students Matt Tallman, Clay Bunker and Emily Ernst in 'Tartuffe'Meadows Theatre ends its 2007-08 season with a timely update of a timeless classic. The Meadows production of Molière’s satire Tartuffe opens April 23 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Originally subtitled The Hypocrite and debuting in 1669 – 5 years after Molière completed his first version – Tartuffe tells the story of a con artist who wins the trust of a wealthy man by pretending to be a paragon of religious virtue. The Meadows version has been updated by 300 years, with the title character taking on the persona of a hippie guru.

Tartuffe would become the most popular and profitable of all Molière’s plays, but its tweaking of religious hypocrisy and the French upper class led to its suppression by both church and secular authorities. It has since become the most frequently performed play in the French language.

The production is directed by Michael Connolly, associate professor and head of acting in the Meadows Theatre Division. Tickets are $7 each for faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 8-2787 (8-ARTS). (Right, M.F.A. candidates Matt Tallman and Clay Bunker as Orgon and Tartuffe, with senior Emily Ernst as Elmire.)