Friday, April 24, 2015

DHS drama department presents ‘Tartuffe’

Davis High School drama teacher and director Gwyn Bruch has set Molière’s classic "Tartuffe" in 1969 San Francisco. The play, which opens Friday, features, from left, Austin Day as Valere, Madi Starr as a hippie follower of Tartuffe, Travis Selph as Orgon and Margaret Starbuck as Orgon's wife Elmire. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | March 06, 2012 |

Just the ticket

What: DHS drama department production of ‘Tartuffe,’ a fundraiser for the thespians’ summer trip to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and March 15-17; 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Brunelle Performance Hall at DHS, 315 W. 14th St.

Tickets: $15 general, $10 students; at the door or at

The Davis High School drama department presents Molière’s “Tartuffe,” debuting at 7 p.m. Friday at the Brunelle Performance Hall at DHS, 315 W. 14th St.

“Audiences can expect a really funny show with a lot of physical comedy and slapstick humor,” student stage manager Laura Lavernia said.

The classic French comedy, which director Gwyneth Bruch has set in San Francisco during 1969, will have audience members laughing. The show follows the story of one family: Orgon (Travis Selph), his second wife Elmire (Margaret Starbuck), his daughter Mariane (Emily Bamforth), his son Damis (Matthew Fyhrie) and his brother-in-law Cléante (Will Kingscott).

Orgon invites the hypocrite Tartuffe (Jack Davis) to live with his family because Orgon believes Tartuffe is the key to being hip in the 1960s, according to Lavernia. Tartuffe preaches that he is a religious man when, in fact, he is in love with Orgon’s wife Elmire and is followed by a gang of hippies (Madi Starr, Sibel Alpdemir, Karene Liu, Shannon Turner and Bryce Vaewsorn).

Orgon is unable to see Tartuffe’s character defects and insists that his daughter Mariane marry Tartuffe. However, Mariane is already in love with her suitor Valère (Austin Day), a college student who studies philosophy and writes poetry.

“A lot of the times (Valère’s) very serious and doesn’t like to laugh a lot, but when I’m with my fiancée she actually brings out a smile in me and brings out the emotions in my character,” Day said.

Soon the household comes together, including Mariane’s maid Dorine (Melissa Ferris), to prove to Orgon that Tartuffe is not the holy man he claims to be so Mariane can marry Valère. As the plot unfolds, characters begin to unravel.

“Cléante, Orgon’s brother-in-law, very rarely loses his cool, but as the wheels start flying off from the events, he starts to get angry at the situation,” Kingscott said.

Orgon’s wife Elmire also tries to seduce Tartuffe to show her husband that Tartuffe is in love with her, according to Starbuck.

At the end of the show, “Orgon gets what Tartuffe promised him of enlightenment, and it’s nothing in the old ways of him asking and bossing people around,” Selph said. “It’s him realizing what other people want, realizing that if that’s what makes them happy then ultimately that’s going to make him happy.”

The DHS drama department last produced “Tartuffe” in 2003 and decided to bring the show back this year for the Davis community in preparation for the students’ trip to Scotland in August.

DHS was chosen to compete with international student performance groups at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, where the cast of “Tartuffe” will perform the show again.

All the proceeds from the spring performance of “Tartuffe” will help fund the students’ expenses for their trip to Scotland.

Bruch said she believes “Tartuffe” is the right show for the Fringe Festival.

“It’s a good piece of literature and because this is an international theater festival — and we will be seeing other schools from all over — I wanted to do a relatively important piece of theatrical literature,” she said.

For both the Davis spring performance and the show in Scotland, Selph believes the show is successful because of the effective collaboration between Bruch and the actors.

“I think it’s great that Gwyn lets us put in our two cents into our scenes, because we put so much research into our characters,” Selph said. “I feel like a lot more ideas can get across if everyone gets input.”

Bruch adds that she always enjoys having her actors contribute their own ideas.

“As an actor myself, I actually prefer rehearsals to performances, because it’s the creativity that’s fun and figuring things out,” she said. “When I can’t solve a problem, then I bring in somebody who can help, because there are times when I can see the vision but I’m not making it happen.

“That’s what I love about this process — how much these actors bring to the piece and the creation.”

Bruch directs the show along with support from DHS alumni Livvy Bonner and Cammi Beaumont. Kathy Peter is the technical director, DHS senior Sasha Hill designed the costumes and DHS alumnus Ian Wallace designed the 1960s set.

Wallace also created a short video clip being shown before the show to explain the historical events of the 1960s and why the drama department decided to set Moliere’s 17th century production in 1969, according to Bruch.

Tickets are $15 general and $10 for students. They may be purchased at the door or in advance at the DHS drama department’s online site,

Curtain times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Thursday through Saturday, March 15-17. A 2 p.m. matinee also is planned for Sunday. The show is appropriate for all ages.



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Water and power have a troubling interdependency

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    New design submitted for conference center

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Hostage deaths a reminder of risk of ‘deadly mistakes’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Fairness is an afterthought for them

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Los Angeles march to commemorate Armenian killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Beginning tai chi classes start May 5

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    College Night set April 30 at DHS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Tour of co-ops precedes Sacramento conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    School board hears report on health services

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

    Learn basics of composting in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Mamajowali will perform at benefit house concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Explorit: Celebrate International Astronomy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Winkler Dinner raises funds for enology, viticulture activities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Raptor Center welcomes visitors at May 2 open house

    By Trina Wood | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Take a peek at region’s past at Tremont Mite Society’s social

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Mapping where human action is causing earthquakes

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A9

    Hummingbird health: Appreciating the little things

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A12 | Gallery



    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    The fight for gender pay equity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Thanks for supporting the arts

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Bike Swap another success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Drink is a tasteless insult

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    It’s a depressing beat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    Aggie Spring Game environment will up the gridiron fun factor

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Rare DHS track loss still full of highlights

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Lehner talks about the UCD student-athlete experience

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Reeling Blue Devils stop skid against Sheldon

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DYSA roundup: Lester, Osborne lead Storm over Dixon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Lady Demons’ fundraiser a smash hit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: River Cats lose their fourth straight

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B12





    ‘Ex Machina': The perils of playing God

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Ceramicist works will be featured at The Artery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Chamber expands Korean sister-city opportunities

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Car Care: Tips for buying your first ATV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Subaru goes rear-wheel drive with sporty BRZ coupe

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B7 | Gallery





    Comics: Friday, April 24, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5