Special to the Times-Record
Burke Tagne, left, as Tartuffe and Anna Neufeld as Elmire rehearse a scene from Tartuffe on the Vangstad Auditorium stage.
Valley City State University is offering special entertainment this week that should mesh in perfectly with the traditional romantic holiday â€“ Valentineâ€™s Day.
Both the VCSU Theater and The Cafe on the campus are working together to provide something special for couples, and could work perfectly for people staying close to home due to snowy and windy weather during the week, said director Jenni Lou Russi.
The VCSU Theatre opens its production of Moliereâ€™s classic farce Tartuffe in Vangstad Auditorium Thursday, offering local residents a unique entertainment option for their Valentine weekend dates. The production will run through Saturday. Russi said showtimes will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, plus a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee.
Russi said the evening shows will run until about 10:30 p.m.
Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. All students, from any school, are admitted free with student identification. Advance reservations are suggested. People can get their tickets at the VCSU Campus Bookstore in the student center, online at www.vcsu.edu/theatre, or at the Vangstad Auditorium door.
Russi said Tartuffe, set in Paris around 1669, â€śis staged on a raked set with period costumes, creating the largest production in the current VCSU Theatre season.â€ť Students have worked with David Ahumada, the departmentâ€™s technical director on the set, and have rehearsed the show with Russi since December.
Russi said rehearsals for the play began in December. About 20 people are participating in the play in one way or another, either acting or contributing as crew or technical workers.
â€śIâ€™m thrilled with the enthusiasm demonstrated by this cast and crew,â€ť Russi said. She is also director of theater at the university. â€śSeveral of the cast members are student athletes who are model examples of teamwork in ways that benefit a production of this scale. Local residents will recognize seasoned actors from previous shows. This collaborative effort allows us to take on this huge classic comedy, this exceptional challenge â€“ it works because our students have made the investment and they know how to have fun with a comedy!â€ť
Along with football team members, students involved in the production include business majors and one community member, Harley McLain, who plays both Laurent and Mssr. Loyal. â€śItâ€™s the third performance Harley has been in. It (having a community member involved) is really good for the students, working with somebody outside of their own age group,â€ť Russi said.
Valentineâ€™s Day date night Feb. 14 can include an all-you-can-eat dinner on the VCSU campus, in The CafĂ© located in the student center, for $9.89. Recently renovated, The CafĂ© is open to the public with dinner service from 5-7 p.m. More information about dining on the VCSU campus can be found at www.vcsudining.com.
For more information about Tartuffe, tickets for the show, or the VCSU theatre program, call the VCSU Theatre Box Office at 845-7320.