Monday, January 30, 2012

Coming Soon: Floyd Collins

BoHo Theatre invites you to Save-the-Date for our upcoming auditions for Floyd Collins.
Information will be listed on BoHo Theatre's Facebook Page and on our website this week. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

BINGO with BoHo!

Get out your favorite Bingo & SteamPunk sweater! It’s time for BINGO FOR BOHO!

1232 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657

Time:  4pm, January 29th

Come see TARTUFFE on Sunday, Jan 29th at 2pm and then join us afterwards across the street at COOPER’S for free food, fabulous prizes and fantastic fun! Did we mention there will be free food? Because there will be free food! Can’t get a ticket to TARTUFFE? Just come over to Cooper’s at 4pm to play!

Round 1: Bingo cards are 50 cents and the prizes are so amazing that we have to bag them and keep them a secret!

Round 2: Bingo cards are only $1, and the prizes are:
  • Two Tickets to any BoHo show this season 
  • Two Tickets to the Marriott Theatre 
  • Two Tickets to the Blue Man Group 
  • Four bottles of wine 
  • One mystery prize! 
Round 3: Bingo cards are $5 and the round is a 50/50! If you get the winning bingo card, you will win HALF the money earned in that round!

Even better- if you show up in your favorite SteamPunk outfit, we’ll give you a free bingo card! Be like Tartuffe and tell us your best lie at the front door & we’ll let you in to our private room with free food, great prizes and fun!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jeremy Trager: Tartuffe on "Tartuffe"

We don't really know what we've learned until we can look back on something that is finished.

My freshman year in college, I served on the running crew for Tartuffe. Moliere seemed much more sophisticated and rich (in both appearance and content) compared to my earlier perception of it being a brutish farce. As it turns out, Moliere (like any playwright) is subject to stylistic variations within his body of work. He's also subject to the vision of directors, actors, and designers. Like Shakespeare, Moliere's stories can be moved from century to century, setting to setting - a testament to his relevance and universality. 

Tartuffe is the antagonist, yes. He is a very tangible threat to every other character in the show. He is in some ways heartless. Certainly, he lacks morality. But he's coming from destitution; fighting to survive in an economically unfair society where the rich live like royalty and people like him eat scraps off the street. I can't really fault him for conning his way into luxury. That he uses religion as his means of manipulation speaks to his cleverness. One need only tune in to coverage of the Presidential caucuses to see that religion is still wielded as a way to gain favor. Tartuffe has too sordid a past to run for President of the United States, but his dog and pony show is quite similar to what we see in today's sociopolitical landscape. I suppose then, Tartuffe... or should I say, Moliere... was ahead of his time. . 

At this juncture I'm still uncertain of many of the design elements that will come into play during tech week when we get to Theatre Wit. But I can speak to something I've already learned in this process, which is the humanity of my character. I remember watching our college production and thinking Tartuffe was a monstrous creature. This was - and is - the type of character I am most interested in playing. At that age, I could not really put into words why I was so interested in exploring the "bad guys." Now, as a more mature student of acting, I can attest that the "bad guys" often turn out to be the most complex and surprisingly human in any given story. After all, what is more human than to be deeply flawed? 

-- Jeremy Trager, is a Jeff Award, After Dark Award, and Broadway World Chicago Award-winning actor and singer who studies vocal performance and Shakespeare in his spare time. Tartuffe will be his first collaboration with BoHo Theatre.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tartuffe: The Controversy

     There is very little written documentation as to why Moliere’s Tartuffe was suppressed for years by the French King Louis XIV. It is very likely that some readings of the unfinished Tartuffe had been heard around court and that Louis XIV had been present at these readings. Word of the content of the play had made its way to an only thirty-year-old Catholic organization, La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement (Company of the Blessed Sacrament), and they began to pressure Louis XIV to suppress the play. Moliere’s former patron, Prince de Conti, had become a fervent member of this group around the same time he refused to continue supporting Moliere’s troupe. There has been some suggestion that Conti inspired the play and the hypocritcal character of Tartuffe. Probably because of the influence of La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, just five days after the first performance of the unfinished play, Louis XIV officially forbade its performance.

     One historical source suggests that strong protest against the play came from the Kings mother, Anne of Austria. Queen Anne was a very religious woman who had ties with La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement. The Queen Mother hated that Louis had a very public, and very loving, relationship with his mistress. She found this offensive, inappropriate and incompatible with her religion. In her many attempts to reform her son, she most likely recruited the efforts of La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, and so joined in their condemnation of the still as-of-yet unfinished Tartuffe.

     The play was allowed to perform three private performances (only one of which was the completed text), but then was unseen until the Paris opening of the re-titled L’Imposteur in 1667. It ran only once to a packed house and was immediately shut down again. A week later, the Archbishop of Paris issued an order to prevent all the people of Paris from hearing, seeing or reading L’Imposteur. Soon after this, an anonymous letter began to appear in bookshops defending the play- though it had no effect. The king was out of Paris at the time, and Moliere’s letters to him went unanswered. Finally, upon the return of the King to Paris, on February 5th, 1669 Tartuffe was allowed to open and stay open.

-- compiled by Ariel Tocino, Director of New Works and Social Media for BoHo Theatre. Tartuffe opens this weekend at Theater Wit! Get your tickets today. Follow BoHoTheatre on Twitter: @BohoTheatre for updates on the show, the season and all things BoHo!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tartuffe: Meet the Playwright

The playwright we know today as Moliere was born in 1622 as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in Paris, the eldest of six children. His family was upper class, and had a thriving upholstery business. Jean-Baptiste’s father, Jean Poquelin, was able to purchase a royal post for his family, as "Tapissiers ordinaires de la chambre du Roi", (upholsters of the royal family). This brought the Poquelin family even closer to the royal court, which would help Jean-Baptiste in his adulthood as a playwright. In 1641, Jean-Baptiste attended a Jesuit school, College de Clermont, and received a Law Degree. He also began a famous romantic liaison with the much older actress Madeleine Bejart. Together in 1643, the two founded Illustre Theatre (“Illustrious Theatre”). Unfortunately, in 1644, Illustre Theatre failed, closed, and Jean-Baptiste was thrown into and bailed out of debtors prison.

In 1645, Jean-Baptiste began touring the countryside with as a performer with an acting troupe. It is at this time that he assumed the name Moliere, and joined a theatre company, Dufresne, which he would eventually control. After years of touring the countryside, in 1656 Moliere and his troupe return to Paris and performed many successful shows written by Moliere. In 1659, the troupe began to receive regular monetary support from the king and in 1660, the troupe moved to the theatre at Palais-Royal.

In 1662 Moliere married Armande, an actress in his troupe twenty years his junior. The next year Moliere and his troupe were invited to perform at Versailles for the first time. In 1664, the first three acts of Tartuffe are presented to the court at Versailles. It was not until 1667 when first complete version of Tartuffe offered, but immediately suppressed by the king. Finally two years later in 1669, a second version of Tartuffe was finally allowed to perform and was a huge success. Tartuffe made the troupe the most money they ever make in any one run of a show.

Moliere eventually wrote over 30 plays and lived his life as a famous actor. In 1673, Moliere became very ill during a performance of Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), and died on Feb 17, 1673.

-- compiled by Ariel Tocino, Director of New Works and Social Media for BoHo Theatre. Tartuffe opens this weekend at Theater Wit! Get your tickets today. Follow her on Twitter: @BohoTheatre for updates on the show, the season and all things BoHo!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tartuffe: from the Grande Dame, Lady Pernelle

My name is Daria Harper and I play the character of Lady Pernelle in BoHo Theatre's production of Tartuffe. Lady Pernelle is the "Grand Dame" grandmother of the household who sweeps in with a flurry getting the play off to a rousing start. As well as being an actor, I am an Alexander Technique Teacher and have been performing and teaching in Charlottesville, VA since 1987. A new addition to Chicago, I already love this city and feel very lucky to be working with such a warm and welcoming group as BoHo Theatre. This cast is lovely and I hear The Wit theater space is fantastic.

As rehearsals have progressed, I have found myself playing a cross between the regal staunch characters of Judi Dench and the lovely, well meaning character of Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show. Poor lady! She just wants things to work the "old school" way, where she is guaranteed her family's good placement in heaven and society, and where she is simply feels more comfortable.

I think this family, like many, love each other desperately and at the same time drive each other crazy! But eventually they come through to support and protect each other when a truly evil force gets in amongst them and threatens the very fabric of their lives.

I look forward to hearing audience response to our production and always love to partake in conversation about the play, so stop me anytime to chat.

-- Daria Harper is making her BoHo Theatre debut. She is newly arrived to Chicago and still very much finding her way. Any tips on fun things to do are absolutely welcome!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tartuffe: A Funny, Smart and Timeless Piece

Hi, I'm Christa Buck and I play Elmire in BoHo Theatre's production of Tartuffe.  Ever since I first saw this show at the Court Theatre when I was in high school, Tartuffe has been a favorite show of mine. I love that it's funny, smart, and timeless. There are always people like Tartuffe, a con man with charisma, who feed on the weakness and insecurities of others for their own benefit.  But, there are also people like those found in the family members who love each other fiercely; they will band together and protect each other from such a jerk!

Another reason I love this play is that Moliere's women are very strong characters. Even within the constraints of the time period, Elmire is smart and savvy. In a way she is not unlike Tartuffe in that she can manipulate others to get what she wants.  What sets her apart from the title character, though, is her intentions are for the good of her family, and not just herself.  I really like her!  I'm reminded of the mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when she tells her daughter "The man may be the head of the family, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants."

I hope you enjoy seeing the show!

-- Christa Buck, is a member of the cast of Tartuffe opening soon at Theater Wit! She is also very happy to be a Packer Fan!