Date ArticleType
9/29/2016 Member News
American Stage presents TARTUFFE

American Stage presents TARTUFFE
The 2016/17 Season - "In Search of...America" continues with Moliere's TARTUFFE. This new American Stage adaptation puts a fresh political spin on Moliere's timely farce considered to be his strongest and funniest work.

St. Petersburg, FL
– American Stage continues its 2016-17 Season - “In Search of...America” with the comedic and relevant, TARTUFFE by Moliere. This production features a new adaptation by Robert Caisley and is directed by Brendan Ragan. TARTUFFE lampoons society, politics, and its search for “AN AMERICAN IDOL” asking the question, How do you recognize an impassioned visionary from a cunning conman?

"I have been so often astonished during the writing phase, how so many lines lifted quite literally word-for-word from the original 1664 text, wink so directly at contemporary events. The parallels to what’s happening in the national political discourse are so immediately clear when you begin reading Moliere’s play—but it took an especially keen observer to see the play’s central theme ‘a search for truth in the face of so much deceit’ as being perfectly well-suited to American Stage’s season 'In Search of…America,'" says Robert Caisley, who wrote this modern adaption.

"More than making fun of politicians and demagogues, TARTUFFE satirizes the human inclination to create idols out of supremely flawed individuals. This feels particularly relevant in our current climate where intensified political polarization is the ideal breeding ground for this phenomenon," adds Stephanie Gularte, Producing Artistic Director.

Brendan Ragan, the director states, "Moliere actually grew to fame by satirizing societal mannerisms and politics with this new modern adaptation, we hope to maintain the same kind of self-awareness that struck a chord 400 years ago, and have a heck of a lot of fun along the way."

TARTUFFE runs from October 26 – November 20, 2016. Opening night is Friday, October 28, 2016 with the reception at 7PM and the performance at 8PM.


Spotlight Series: FOREWORD
Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 1PM

Take your theatre-going experience to the next level through an informative and entertaining lecture. Professor Emerita, Dedee Aleccia, will speak on the history, context, and characters of GOOD PEOPLE. Senic Designer, Jerid Fox will share the excitement and challenges in creating one of the most ambitious sets to date.

Spotlight Series: PROLOGUE
Arrive early and enjoy our new interactive prologue series. This discussion will explore fascinating details about the play and the artists prior to each performance. The prologue will take place 30 minutes prior to each TARTUFFE performance.

Wednesday, November 02 | Mixer at 6PM | Show at 7PM

Spend a night OUT at American Stage! Before the performance, mix and mingle with friends old and new, enjoy a BOGO special on our signature cocktail crafted by Station House.

Includes an exclusive post-show conversation with an American Stage artist/staff member and a local LGBTQ community leader.

About Guest Speaker: Nadine Smith
Nadine Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida the state's largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A former award-winning journalist turned organizer, Nadine was one of four national co-chairs of the 1993 March on Washington. She was part of the historic oval office meeting between then-President Clinton -the first such meeting between a sitting President and gay community leaders. She served on the founding board of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization.

She is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Florida Advisory Committee, a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee and served on President Obama's National Finance Committee. In 2013, she was named one of the state's "Most Powerful and Influential Women" by the Florida Diversity Council. She was also given the League of Women Voter's Woman of Distinction Award 2016 earlier this year.

She lives in St. Petersburg with her wife Andrea and son Logan.

Young American Night
Thursday, November 03 | Happy Hour at 7PM | Show at 8PM | After Party immediately following show

Young Americans between the ages of 21-29 are invited to enjoy TARTUFFE with BOGO Specialty Drinks. After the performance, join us at Station House St. Pete where you will be given a free drink voucher good for a beer, wine, or our TARTUFFE specialty drink!

YOUNG AMERICANS between the ages of 21-29 are invited to use promo code UNDER30 to access $15 tickets. Code can be only be used for one ticket per order when purchased online. Otherwise you can call the Box Office at 727-823-7529 or email

Spotlight Series: CHATBACKS
Thursday, November 03
Sunday, November 06
Sunday, November 13

Talk-back with the cast of TARTUFFE (Post-Performance)

Considered by many to be Moliere’s strongest and funniest work, TARTUFFE gets a modern up-date in this brand new American Stage adaptation. Orgon, a wealthy American businessman entrusts his reputation and his fortune to up-and-coming politician, Tartuffe. As the cunning and lusty imposter insinuates himself deeper into his household and his family, the status quo of Orgon’s world gets turned thoroughly and hilariously upside-down.

Is it strength of character or just a few lucky breaks that determines our fate?

“…an astonishingly delightful romp…” – NY Post

French playwright Jean-Baptise Poquelin, better known by his stage name Moliere (1622-1673), was considered a master of social comedy in western literature. He acted, directed performances, managed theaters and wrote plays in Paris and the provinces. His biting satirical comedies exposing vices and foibles of the day earned his recognition from the king and a public following, but it also resulted in enemies and vicious personal attacks. His seemingly simple portrayal of life, exposed universally recognized themes of weakness and vice,TARTUFFE or THE HYPOCRITE is probably his best-regarded work of satire. Other works include THE MISANTHROPE, THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, THE MISER, THE IMAGINARY INVALID, and THE BOURGEOIS GENTLEMAN. Moliere died in 1673 of illness, literally within hours of performing his last masterwork, THE IMAGINARY INVALID.

Robert was born in Rotherham, England. His plays have been performed across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and translated into Italian and French. He is Head of Dramatic Writing at the University of Idaho where he teaches courses in playwriting, play analysis and special topics in contemporary dramatic literature. He is a recipient of a 2015-’16 Fellowship in the Performing Arts from the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the UI 2015 Excellence in Research and Creativity Award. His latest plays The Open Hand (commissioned by the Clarence Brown Theatre) and A Masterpiece of Comic Timing (World Premiere, B Street Theatre) will be forthcoming from Samuel French. His play Lucky Me has been produced at such theatres as New Jersey Repertory Theatre, Curious Theatre in Denver, Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, The Modern Theatre in Spokane and Star Hall in Northamptonshire in the U.K. It will receive it Florida Premiere at Theatre Tallahassee this spring. His last play Happy, first presented at the National New Play Network Annual Showcase of New Plays at InterACT Theatre in Philadelphia, was a 2012 Finalist for both the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s New Play Conference and the Woodward/Newman Award for Drama at Bloomington Playwrights Project, and was selected for a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere in the 2012/2013 season at New Theatre (Miami, FL), Montana Repertory Theatre (Missoula, MT), 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA) New Jersey Repertory and Redtwist Theatre (Chicago, IL) where it was named by Chicago Magazine as one of the “Nine Best Comedies” of the season. Happy was later nominated for a 2014 Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Original Script and won the 2014 SOTA Award for Best Play in Northern California, and the 2014 BroadwayWorld New Jersey Theatre Award for Best New Work. His published work is available at:

CAST (in order of appearance)
Ned Averill-Snell (Orgon)
Kelly Pekar* (Mira)
Ben Williamson* (Damon)
Abigail Cline (Maryann)
Jan Neuberger* (Pernelle)
J. Elijah Cho (Val)
Roland Rusinek* (Clayton)
Ricky Wayne* (Tartuffe)
Georgia Mallory Guy* (Dorine)
Whitaker Gardner (Felipe/Loyal)
Matt Acquard (Laurence/Agent Sharp)
Tori Baird (Agent Goodwin)

Brendan Ragan (Director/Sound Design)
Robert Caisley (Adapter)
Jerid Fox (Scenic and Property Design/Production Manager)
Chris Baldwin (Lighting Design)
Frank Chavez (Costume Design)
Rachel Harrison* (Production Stage Manager)
Shelby Smotherman (Scenic Artist)

*Member of Actors' Equity Association
+Member of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers

For Cast Bios please visit
DIRECT LINK to publicity photos:
*Please note that publicity photos are not typically available until 2 weeks prior to opening. Please contact Roman Black for immediate needs.

WHAT: American Stage presents Moliere’s TARTUFFE. A new adaptation by Robert Caisley.

WHERE: Raymond James Theatre, 163 3rd Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

WHEN: October 26 – November 20, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 26 | 7pm | “Pay What You Can” – NEW TIME
Preview Thursday, October 27 | 8pm | $29 tickets
Opening Night: Friday, October 28 | 8pm | $59 tickets (includes opening night reception at 7pm)
Continues: Wednesdays-Sundays through November 20, 2016 | $39-$49

Wednesdays 7pm $39 tickets - NEW TIME
Thursdays 8pm $39 tickets
Fridays & Saturdays 8pm $49 tickets
Saturdays & Sundays 3pm $39 tickets

Spotlight Series: FOREWORD: Sun., October 16 at 1PM
Spotlight Series: PROLOGUE: 30 minutes prior to each TARTUFFE performance
PRIDE Night: Wed., November 02| Mixer at 6PM | Performance at 7PM
Young American Night: Thurs., November 03 | Happy Hour at 7PM | Performance at 8PM
Spotlight Series: CHATBACK: Thurs., Nov. 03, Sun., Nov. 06, & Sun., Nov. 13 (Post-Performance)

Box Office: (727) 823-PLAY (7529)
Walk-up: 163 3rd Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Physical Accessibility: The theatre features accessible parking, entrances, restrooms, and seating.
Benefits of a Valid Disabled Parking Permit: Displaying your valid disabled parking permit will allow you to park at City metered spaces for FREE, for as long as your event requires, including those posted with time limit signs (green signs). This does not apply to loading zones or otherwise restricted parking signage (red signs).

Listening System: Theatregoers may enjoy the free infrared listening system from any seat.

Since 1978 American Stage has been dedicated to telling meaningful, compelling stories with integrity and professionalism. As the Tampa Bay area’s longest-running, most critically-acclaimed professional theatre company, we seek to bring the power of quality live theatre to each generation in our community. American Stage invites you to lean forward and experience the most captivating stories of the moment and the most relevant stories of the past. All told with passion and a commitment to excellence.