David Ball adaptation brings satiric edge to classic tale of religious zeal and hypocrisy

Who:​ PlayMakers Repertory CompanyWhat​: Mainstage production of Molière’s “Tartuffe,” adaptation by David Ball, directed by Saheem Ali
When: ​February 3 to March 11; Opening Night & Press Opening Saturday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.
Where: ​Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: ​Start at $15; Students tickets start at $10

(Chapel Hill, NC, January 23, 2018) ​PlayMakers Repertory Company​ proudly presents Molière’s “Tartuffe,” adapted by David Ball. The production is directed by Saheem Ali, in his PlayMakers directorial debut, and runs from February 3 to March 10, 2018 in rotating repertory with Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians”. This classic French comedy, in an exciting and accessible new adaptation, is as relevant and incisive as the day it was written. Tartuffe, a con man masquerading as a holy man, is welcomed into the household of the wealthy Orgon. Once he has the old manunder his spell, Tartuffe plots to steal Orgon’s wife, his estate, and probably even the kitchen sink. Orgon’s blind faith provescatastrophic, as he loses almost everything when Tartuffe’s hypocrisy takes a darker turn.

“Sometimes you choose plays, and sometimes plays choose you. ‘Tartuffe’ chose me, and I cannot tell you how delightful it wasto read David Ball’s brilliant adaptation when PlayMakers asked me to direct,” says director Ali. “As I thought about why thispiece still speaks to us, I was struck by the characters’ search for truth and veracity—when it’s hidden and when it’s right in frontof them—and how that is eternally relevant. As with really great works, it’s also a delight to sit back and let the abandon andsheer theatricality of it all take us away.”

“In the hands of Saheem and his amazing creative team, this production of ‘Tartuffe’ brings a fresh, sometimes outrageous andalways entertaining turn to this classic comedy,” says Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director. “I chose this play to run side by side with Lucas Hnath’s ‘The Christians’ because I really wanted to explore along with our audiences thenotion of how ​who​ we believe shapes ​what​ we believe—for good or bad. Doing two plays in repertory challenges every part ofour phenomenal company, and the result is a wonderfully rich, nuanced and compassionate dialogue with our audience on a topic that so important today.”

“Tartuffe” features ​Joey Collins​ as Tartuffe (Broadway’s “The Glass Menagerie” and “Suddenly Last Summer” at Berkeley Rep) and ​Nemuna Cessay​ as Elmire (“Great Expectations” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and “The Unfortunates” at Joe’s Pub at The Public) in their PlayMakers debuts. Both will double in central roles in Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians”. Also featured in “Tartuffe” are PlayMakers company members ​Ray Dooley ​as Orgon (“A Christmas Carol,” “Twelfth Night,” “Three Sisters”),​ Kathryn Hunter-Williams as Madame Pernelle (“Dot,” “Trouble in Mind”), ​Shanelle Nicole Leonard​ as Dorine (“Sense and Sensibility,” “Intimate Apparel”), ​Rishan Dhamija​ as Cleante (“Dot,” “The May Queen”), ​April Mae Davis​ as Mariane (“Sense and Sensibility,” “Fences” at Studio 321), ​Adam Poole​ as Valere (“Dot,” “Sweeney Todd” at Theatre Raleigh), and ​Brandon Haynes​ as Damis (“As You LikeIt” and “A Raisin in the Sun” at VSU Theatre and Dance).

The Creative Team of “Tartuffe” includes: ​Saheem Ali​ (Director), ​Alexis Distler ​(Scenic Designer), ​Anne Kennedy​ (CostumeDesigner),​ Oliver Wason ​(Lighting Designer), ​Palmer Hefferan​ (Sound Designer), ​Adam Versenyi​ (Dramaturg), ​Liz Ray​ (Stage Manager) and​ Jennifer Caster ​(Assistant Stage Manager).

“Tartuffe” is recommended for audiences 14 and older.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit ​www.playmakersrep.org​. Individual ticket prices for “Tartuffe” start at $15.

About PlayMakers Repertory Company​:
PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina’s premier resident theater company for more than 40 years. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

PlayMakers Contacts​:​
For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, at dmpineda@email.unc.edu or 919.962.7114. For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, atrosalie@unc.edu or 919.962.6997