Empty beer cans strewn everywhere, Christmas lights in a West Coast mansion, angsty teens spewing their troubles in verse – that was the premise of Andover’s hilarious rendition of Tartuffe. Fall term’s performances ended on a light and entertaining note with Tartuffe, a quirky play filled with personality and charm directed by Instructor in Theatre Kevin Heelan. The curtain opened as the characters were introduced, and the scene was set for an hour and a half of Andover Theatre and entertainment at its best. Abby Colella ’08 played the distraught Mariane, forced by her father to marry the undesirable Tartuffe instead of her love Valere, played by David Holliday ’08. Colella enjoyed her role, pouting and whining at her unsympathetic father in despair. In one of the most memorable scenes, Colella and Holliday argued via cell-phone while the audience relished the sudden modern touch. Andrew Yankes ’08 portrayed the morally wayward Tartuffe who captures the admiration of Colella’s father. Yankes said, “I’ve portrayed a couple of morally ambiguous characters before, but never an outright villain like Tartuffe. It’s true what they say about villains having all the fun.” Kate Iannarone ’08, gave an equally impressive performance as Elmire, the cold but clever mother struggling to free her husband Orgon from Tartuffe’s grip and ensure her daughter’s marriage to Valere. Iannarone managed to give her character feeling, while conveying Elmire’s icy personality during both comical and solemn scenes. Eli Grober ’09 played Orgon, a character who is frustrating, blind, and difficult. Grober perfectly captured a man who, entirely misguidedly, doubts his wife’s advice and forces his daughter to marry an immoral man. Other outstanding performances included Ellie Shepley ’08, as the maid Dorine, who adopted a heavy accent and yelled out lines such as “you deserve to be tartuffe-ified!” James Flynn ’07 played another grounded character, Cleante, the voice of reason, delivering his lines with feeling. James Siddall ’07 also added to the performance as Damis, roaring with rage at his nearsighted father and portraying a typically angst-ridden teenager. Kaitlin Freedman ’08 had a brief part as Monsieur Loyal, ordering the family out of their house, and Scott Dzialo ’09 appeared twice in two small parts, including the police officer who brings the family good news at last. The entire cast proved especially gifted at nailing their lines flawlessly. There were no hesitations, but the actors spoke smoothly and naturally, as though they always articluated their words in a well-rehearsed rhythm. The props were spare but well used, complimenting a set decorated with holiday lights and a circular staircase. The costumes, thanks to Virginia Sweeney ’06, were simple but effective. and included Colella’s frilly wedding dress and Yankes’ stark brown cloak. Much of the play’s success can be attributed to a well-rehearsed cast. “In the early days of rehearsals, Mr. Heelan would just be there every weeknight and any of us who could come around would come around. The play is mostly dialogues between just two characters at a time, so it was always possible to find some scene to rehearse,” Yankes divulged. As time went on, so did the time commitment expected of the actors and their director, setting aside “more of our time each day, more days per week [for rehearsals],” said Yankes. Of course, the weeks before the final performances were the most stressful and intense. Yankes admitted, “it wasn’t uncommon for everyone to be asked to show up.” Additionally the set had to be built and the costumes had to be made, procured or borrowed. The crew included seventeen members, ranging from the props crew to the stage manager. While each show was stellar, it seemed that Friday’s was the most successful. As Yankes said, “The audience was just so responsive. Seriously, they laughed at things we had never realized would be funny.” While the acting during all three performances was superb, the turnout on Thursday low, as many students had other commitments. In a school famous, or perhaps infamous, for its breakneck pace, it is a marvel that so many students were able to put such effort into the production, particularly during the hectic end of the term. However, judging by Tartuffe’s success, students here at Andover are more than capable of assembling a terrific performance.