CSUN’s theater department puts on ‘Tartuffe’


Photo courtesy of the CSUN Theatre Department.

Brianna Arias, Reporter

“Tartuffe” is the upcoming production the CSUN theater department will perform in April. The show will take place from April 7-15 in the Little Theatre, located inside Nordhoff Hall.

The production is directed by Garry Lennon, a professor and the executive director of the Teenage Drama Workshop at CSUN. The play was written by Molière and first performed in France in 1664.

“Tartuffe” is a theatrical comedy made up of five acts. The play was written in French, but was soon translated into English, under the title “The Imposter.”

The story of “Tartuffe” revolves around a man named Orgon and his family, who have been tricked and schemed by Tartuffe, a hypocrite, according to Britannica. Orgon, a wealthy man, took Tartuffe, a beggar, under his roof and provided him food.

Although Orgon’s family sees right through Tartuffe’s lies and schemes, Orgon does not listen to their advice. According to a summary of the play by Western University, he instead develops an obsession with Tartuffe, to the point that he does not care about his sick wife, Elmire, and also loses interest in his other relationships. In an attempt to become closer to Tartuffe, Orgon gives him the rights to his properties.

Elmire becomes sick and tired of her dwindling marriage, according to Western University’s summary, so in an attempt to convince Orgon that Tartuffe is not a good man, she seduces him and has Orgon watch hidden away. When Orgon confronts Tartuffe, he is reminded that he has the rights to his property and can’t do anything about it. Tartuffe also has incriminating documents belonging to Orgon that could potentially put him in jail.

Orgon’s last resort is to flee, but he is stopped by Tartuffe and a police officer. Tartuffe demands that the police arrest Orgon, but instead the police arrest Tartuffe because they have been aware of his tricks all this time.

Despite the success of “Tartuffe,” it has been surrounded by a lot of controversy. The leaders of the Catholic Church considered the play an attack on religion as they interpreted it as religious satire, as reported by Florida State University’s department of theater. The script of the first version of the play was both banned and burned.

The premiere of CSUN’s “Tartuffe” is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday.