Arvada Center Blog

Tartuffe’s final week has an understudy stepping into some unusual shoes

Posted by Sarah Kolb on November 02nd 2016 to Center News


The Arvada Center’s production of Moliere’s famous satire Tartuffe is filled with humor, silly references and surprising twists – including an unexpected casting change-up in the production’s last two weeks.

For two weeks the role of Madame Pernelle, until now played by Leslie O’Carroll, will be played by her real-life husband Steve Wilson.


Matt Gale Photography 2016

Madame Pernelle is the imposing matriarch of the Tartuffe family who is duped by the con man’s false piety. In her first scene, she makes it clear exactly what she thinks of her family members, and how Tartuffe’s hypocrisy has impacted her.

O’Carroll had to leave Tartuffe early to begin rehearsals for the DCPA Theatre Company’s annual production of A Christmas Carol – and she almost turned down the role because of the scheduling conflict. Director Lynne Collins suggested she take the role anyway – but switch it up so Steven Wilson would step in at the end of the run.

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Wilson is a well known face in the Denver theatre community – he was the Artistic Director of Phamaly Theatre Company for many years and is now the Executive Artistic Director of the Mizel Arts and Cultural Center. But it’s been a long time since he’s been on stage. Wilson brings a serious approach to a humorous role – he memorized his lines four months in advance and even shaved his face to prepare. He made his debut in Tartuffe last week and will perform through the closing of the production.

Jessica Austgen, who plays Dorine in Tartuffe, filmed this 15-second interview to send Leslie O’Carroll off to A Christmas Carol.

Leslie O’Carroll talked about the casting decision earlier in the year when we introduced the Black Box Repertory Company:

This is the last week to catch Tartuffe and see Steve Wilson in action! The production closes November 6 and tickets can still be purchased on our website. Don’t miss the play that the North Denver Tribune called “a great beginning for the Arvada Center Black Box Repertory Company!”



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