By Alexa Ovington & Alonna Gibbs
Georgia Southern will be showcasing a neoclassical French comedy play called Tartuffe starting November 10-14 directed by Professor Nicholas Newell.
Tartuffe is about a man who uses false pretenses to take advantage of other characters. The play is set in The Home of Monsieur Orgon and runs for 100 minutes without intermission.
Professor Newelll has had an impressive career in theater. He was a professional actor and director for 20 years. Newell received his training at Moscow Art Theatre School/Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.
Running plays are decided upon from a collective effort by the theater faculty and staff.
Newell stated when asked about his decision to direct this particular play, “We are living in a time of dangerous, mass delusion”, said Newell.
Newell believes that it is his job to take the work of many different artists to coordinate their talents into one cohesive piece. “If it's working right, everything is working equally”, said Director Nicholas Newell. This production was a combined effort from students, faculty, and members of the National Theater Honor Society.
This play takes a humorous approach to storytelling. When asked about the role comedy played in Tartuffe Newell said, “The playwright, Moliere put it best: “It is a great blow to vice to expose it to everyone’s laughter. We can easily stand being mocked but we cannot stand being mocked. We are willing to be wicked but cannot stand being ridiculous.”
“My favorite part of the play was the anticipation of how the plot was going to reveal itself. I never knew what was going to happen next”, said Lindsey Strickland, an attendee of Tartuffe. Although Tartuffe is a fictional play, audience members can find similarities in human behavior.
That is why Newell considers this play to be “funny” and “relevant”. “As the director, my job is to take the work of many talented artists (designers, actors, technicians) and coordinate it into one cohesive piece. If it’s working right, everything is working equally,” said Director Nicholas Newell.
There's something different each viewer takes away from the production. Anna Grace Smathers, a Georgia Southern Student said, “ I have always loved going to see plays since I was little. I love seeing the wardrobe, the accents, and the incredible acting. Tartuffe was able to bring all of these elements together seamlessly.”
Director Newell directs two plays a year on Georgia Southern’s campus. “This Spring will be the World Premiere of Steve Harper’s Urban Rabbit Chronicles,” said Newell. “The playwright is a Television producer who is currently producing Star Girl, but has also worked on American Crime, God Friended Me, and Covert Affairs. He will be here for the premiere.”
Tickets can be purchased through the Georgia Southern website or directly from the box office.