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News Release
(L to R) Guest Professional Ted deChatelet as Tartuffe, Phoebe Thompson as Dorine and Meghan Doerfler as Elmire
(L to R) Guest Professional Ted deChatelet as Tartuffe, Phoebe Thompson as Dorine and Meghan Doerfler as Elmire
Western Oregon University's Valley Shakespeare Co. to Stage Molière Comedy Tartuffe (Photo) - 07/11/18

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University’s summer theatre program, the Valley Shakespeare Company will expand its sights this month to present Molière’s classic comedy, Tartuffe.

Although the company, led by WOU Theatre Professor David Janowiak, generally presents productions by its namesake playwright, the group is happy to branch out for the summer 2018 run.

“Tartuffe is a lot of fun,” said Janoviak. “There’s a lot of physical comedy. And we’re doing it in-period, so there will be neo-classical wigs and snuff boxes.”

The play’s plot revolves around the devious title character, who charms his way into patriarch Orgon’s household and schemes to marry his daughter, seduce his wife and run off with the family’s fortune. Orgon refuses to see Tartuffe for who he is, despite appalling evidence of his behavior. The audience gets to enjoy the mounting tension and hilarity as it waits to see whether Orgon will recognize the scoundrel before it’s too late.

The production will feature three guest artists: actor and WOU faculty member Ted deChatelet as Tartuffe, actor Stephen Price in the role of Orgon and costumes designer Laurel Peterson. Having a guest costumer makes 17th century attire possible for a summer production, Janoviak said. WOU students make up the majority of the 18-member cast.

Valley Shakespeare Company will present Tartuffe at 8 p.m. July 26-29 and Aug. 2-4. Admission and parking are free, and both Friday performances will include ASL interpretation. Shows are at the Leinwand Outdoor Stage, just outside Rice Auditorium on the WOU campus. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or low lawn chairs to sit on. Picnics are welcome, and light snacks and drinks will be available in the Rice Auditorium lobby.

Janoviak said attendance at the performances has grown each year, largely because of the accessibility of the material. A pre-show seminar sets the scene for the audience.

“Don’t be afraid,” Janoviak advised with a chuckle. “We make it accessible. Our grove is pleasant and wonderful and magical. Bring your family. It’s free. Come out and see a show. Give it a chance.”

About Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 and located in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving approximately 5,500 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with nearly 80 percent of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

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