What does it mean to believe something and how does that impact our lives in big and small ways? Can people disagree and still love each other?
Those were the questions that the PlayMakers Repertory Company cast has considered as they put on their renditions of Molière’s "Tartuffe," adapted by David Ball and directed by Saheem Ali, and "The Christians," by Lucas Hnath and directed by Preston Lane.
Joey Collins, who played Tartuffe in "Tartuffe" and the pastor in "The Christians," said that the plays' themes were a search for truth. The two plays portrayed these similar themes using different styles.
In "Tartuffe," the characters are looking outside of themselves for truth while trying to convince the main character that the wool is bring pulled over his eyes, said Michael Perlman, the artistic associate for PlayMakers. In "The Christians," he said the characters are looking within themselves to figure out what they believe after a controversial issue is presented to them at church. Collins said there are five unique characters speaking their own truth, with no true antagonist.
To communicate the themes to the audience, "The Christians" was set up as a church service, almost as if the audience was the congregation. With this setup, the audience could introspectively look at what they thought about the issues the play discussed.