OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre presents Tartuffe
MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: TARTUFFE
By Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere; translated by Curtis Hidden Page
Directed by Rob Otrembiak
Adapted for the digital stage by Rachel Kohler
To be performed Saturday, May 30th at 7:30pm on Facebook Live
Dress rehearsal Friday, May 29th at 7:00pm
Readthrough on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00pm
From the director:
I am so "chuffed" to bring to life one of the greatest and silliest of satires, Moliere's masterpiece, Tartuffe! In a time when we are all suffering from cabin fever, what better cure than a farce that takes aim at a hypocritical man of privilege, selling a bill of goods in order to enrich himself and increase his social standing? Art imitating life! If we didn't laugh, we'd cry! I'm looking forward to a rollicking good time with some stage talent who have comedy in their veins and an impish glint their eye! The genius of Moliere, adapted by our resident versifier Rachel, in iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets! Together we will share some smiles with a world desperately in need of a good laugh!
There once was a shyster, Tartuffe
Greedy, hypocritical, uncouth.
A family in strife,
He’ll take the daughter and wife!
We’ll laugh our way right through this spoof!
Please choose one or two stanzas of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5PM on MONDAY, May 25. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Some guidelines:
● Perform while seated, trying to frame yourself from the shoulders up. This is what you’ll
look like in the video chat during the performance, so we’ll want to see how well you can
emote in this limited space.
● Props and costume pieces are encouraged! Whatever you have lying around. Just keep
in mind that we can only see your torso and head!
● Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for any role. We will be
casting 12 performers and one Emergency Backup Actor, an understudy for all roles
who can hop into the digital performance at any time to cover for another actor who
might be experiencing technical difficulties.
● In order to participate in the performance, you’ll need a stable internet connection; a
smartphone, computer, or tablet that can run Zoom; and a pair of headphones.
● If you have any questions, feel free to email and ask!
TARTUFFE, a hypocritical “holy” man
ORGON, husband of Elmire, gullible master of the house
ELMIRE, wife of Orgon
MARIANE, daughter of Orgon, in love with Valere
DORINE, Mariane's maid
VALERE, betrothed to Mariane
DAMIS, son of Orgon
CLEANTE, brother of Elmire
MADAME PERNELLE, mother of Orgon
M. LOYAL, a bailiff
Be welcome, gentles all, to this our play,
Which shall, we hope, help while your time away.
Imagine, friends, a manor built in France,
One richly hung and furnished at first glance,
But look again, and you shall see the cracks:
The sober judgment he who lives here lacks.
The master of this house, Orgon he’s named,
Has by a monstrous hypocrite been tamed.
Orgon’s whole family tries to show him truth;
The stubborn man clings closer to Tartuffe.
Orgon’s good mother, too, has been so charmed,
And will not ope her eyes to Tartuffe’s harms.
And so Orgon’s poor wife, the kind Elmire,
Tries vainly to persuade her to stay here.
Let’s join them now as mom-in-law upbraids
Her family in her Tartuffe-based crusade.
Be still, I say. You hate him far too much.
You have recourse to every shameful trick
To drive this man away; it makes me sick.
I'll have him straightway marry Mariane,
Just to confound you all because I can!
Yes, and this very evening, to enrage you!
Tartuffe, will you allow me to engage you?
I am the master and must be obeyed.
(To Damis:) Off with you, boy! You think I’ll let you stay
Within my house now that you’ve been so rude?
I’ve never liked your smarmy attitude.
You’re disinherited! Reviled! Disowned!
Elmire! See this young fool out of our home!
I’ll bet they thought that I was trying to scare
Damis, but ha! I’ll surely make them rue
All that they’ve done. I’ll make a gift to you,
Drawn in due form, of all my property.
A good true friend, my son-in-law to be, Tartuffe!
(Seductively) The heart within my bosom is not stone.
And man was not designed to pray alone!
Love for the beauty of eternal things
Cannot destroy the joy that nature brings.
Our mortal senses may be deep in rapture
By perfect works in which God’s bliss is captured.
His charms reflected shine in such as you,
And every paean of worship offered to
Your temporal self is my true holy work!
A faithful duty that I may not shirk.
And by your doom of judgment, I shall be
Blest, if you will; or damned, by your decree.
(Melodramatic) I am the greatest criminal that’s lived!
I’ve squandered every grace that God can give!
My soul is but a mass of filth and muck;
Whatever they accuse me with, I’m stuck
With every charge they give! I'll not deny;
For self-defense itself’s a kind of pride.
And pride’s another sin, of which I’ve many.
Believe their stories, arm your wrath against me,
And drive me like a villain from your house
For what they say I’ve done unto your spouse!
DAMIS, VALERE, CLEANTE, ETC.
I will not stand this hypocrite to gloat
At trying to seduce my virtuous mother!
This scandal must be told to all the others.
Each member of this household ought to know
The viper in our midst has finally shown
The scaly hide behind his pious face!
It’s providence that I hid in this place
And overheard each of his sinful words.
But if we spare him now, he’ll never stop!
His pompous pride has triumphed all too long
Over my righteous anger; caused such wrong
To every member of our family.
Let’s take him down! I’d thought that you’d agree.
The rascal all too long has ruled my father,
And crossed my love and also your step-daughter’s.
The time has come! The traitor is unmasked!
Sir, as for you,
This lady's brother, I esteem you, true;
But sir, if I were here in my son's place,
I would entreat you not to show your face.
I know I’m frank with you; that’s how I am.
I don't mince words; politeness is a sham.
There! That's the kind of sass you tolerate,
A clear example of your second-rate
Ability to be a second wife.
You let your chatty servants run your life!
I tell you what: my son’s done nothing wiser
Than take this righteous man as his advisor!
It’s clear to me that heaven sent him here
To fill your souls with pure and holy fear.
DORINE, ELMIRE, MARIANE, ETC.
Well, her obsession’s mild beside her son's.
His talk of Tartuffe seems it’s never done!
He calls him brother, dotes on him completely,
Won’t leave his side, and speaks of him so sweetly
That one would think they’re married! Beg your pardon,
But, ma’am, he picks him flowers from the garden!
At table, Tartuffe has the honored seat,
While with delight our master sees him eat
As much as six men could; we must give up
The choicest bits to him; on scraps we sup!
That Tartuffe knows his dupe and keeps him fooled,
So all complaints of him are overruled.
He scams him with a hundred masks of merit.
Orgon throws him his money! I can’t bear it!
His prayers are honest as a politician’s.
How can you force a man of his position,
His age, his greed, his lies, his general grossness
On Mariane? To fill her with moroseness?
If she is married to a man she hates,
Especially one so full of odious traits,
She’ll never have a chance at happiness.
Don’t curse the child your duty ought to bless!
For he who weds his child against her will
Owes heaven account for it, if she do ill.
All right. We’re going to try all sorts of ways.
First off, we’ll block the marriage by delay.
We must gain time. (To Mariane) Feign illness if you can.
There is no wedding without Mariane.
Orgon is going to rant, rail, and protest,
But there’s no marriage unless you say “yes.”
(To Valere) You, grab your friends, and go out on the town
And spread this gossip everywhere around
Orgon is going to break his sacred word,
And once he’s to this scandal quite inured,
We’ll bring Cleante’s influence to bear,
And Elmire, too, to champion Valere.
For now, however, you two need to part.