For Roncalli's one-act play this year, director Steph Litzen wanted to challenge her students.
So she chose “Tartuffe,” a satire written by 17th-century French playwright Moliere.
The original “Tartuffe” runs five acts. The Roncalli students are presenting a condensed version of the play, written by Noyce Burleson.
They will present a free public performance Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Roncalli Cafetorium. The next day, the students will take the show to the one-act regional competition at the Capitol Theatre in Aberdeen.
Audiences will have a good time, Litzen says. “Tartuffe” is a “comedy that teaches a lesson.” But it is hilarious, she says.
The show pokes fun at religious hypocrisy.
Everyone in the show “gets to be overdramatic, which makes it 10 times more fun,” says sophomore Leslie Cope, who plays Elmire.
The title character is a vagrant and a thief who pretends to be quite spiritual. He is taken into the home of Orgon and his wife, Elmire. While Orgon befriends him, Tartuffe tries to romance Elmire.
Is Tartuffe kind of a con man?
“I would say more than kind of,” says junior Joe Kienow, who plays him.
Tartuffe is one of the most fun roles Kienow has played, he said. In addition to being a con artist, Tartuffe is also ridiculous and rude, Kienow says.
For audiences, seeing the show will be a chance to “let loose, laugh and enjoy a good story,” Kienow says.
Senior Annika Mattern plays Madame Pernelle, Orgon's mother. Early on, Mattern didn't really like the play.
But now that it's coming together, it's more fast-paced and she understands it more.
She likes the fact that there's a variety of characters. “No two characters are the same,” Mattern says.
She also enjoys the mannerisms the actors are using to make each character their own. Like Cope, she likes that the characters are exaggerated.
Cope likes the fact that her character has two sides - the everyday part of her and the part she uses to help her husband understand Tartuffe.
“Tartuffe” has a cast of 12. The performers include Brian Monson as Orgon, Jenna Croymans as Dorine, Mitch Musel as Damis, Abby Ostrander as Mariane, Chris Hilzendeger as Cleante, Favian Aguirre as Valere, Kyle Martin as Loyale and a stage hand, Sabrina Mount as Madame Moliere and Alyssa Wherry as the stage manager,
The crew consists of Michael Hartze on lights and Joe Mehlhaff on sound.
The schools taking part in the Region 5A competition, in addition to Roncalli, are Webster, Britton-Hecla, Sisseton, Milbank and Clark.
The Capitol will also play host to the Region 5B contest the following day.