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‘Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man’ opens 20th anniversary season

by UofL Today last modified Nov 04, 2013 03:27 PM

Music, dance and comedy that centers on family conflict and religious hypocrisy are part of the Nov. 20 ‒ 24 African American Theatre Program (AATP) production of “Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man,” Roger Furman’s modern adaptation of Moliere’s “Tartuffe.”

The play, along with workshops, a gala and other events, celebrate AATP’s 20th anniversary.  It will be the last performance directed by Lundeana Thomas, who has been head of AATP for 18 seasons.

Show times are 8 p.m., nightly Nov. 20 ‒ 22 and Nov. 24.  There will be additional matinee performances Nov. 23 (2 p.m.) and Nov. 24 (3 p.m.). All performances will be at The Playhouse, 1911 S. Third St. In conjunction with the play, there will be a free, public exhibit in the lobby area with posters and other materials from previous AATP productions.

“Monsieur Baptiste” is set in 19th century Haiti where the gens de couleur libres (free people of color) engage in a raucous battle over wealth and status. A religious con man infiltrates a wealthy household until a voodoo priestess exposes his lustful passions for the lady of the house.

“The play explores the complications of a friend’s trust, the adverse actions of jealousy and the hypocrisy of a houseguest’s character,” Thomas said.  “The play is hilarious; it’s a wonderful family show with surprising reveals of true love conquering all.”

Other programs and events related to the anniversary celebration are:

  • Nov. 22 workshops by Broadway director and producer Woodie King, 10 a.m., and actress Jasmine Guy, 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to observe the workshops at Thrust Theatre, 2314 S. Floyd St.
  • Nov. 23 public 20th Anniversary Gala with a full meal and Harlem Renaissance entertainment by AATP students directed by theater professor Nefertiti Burton. The event begins at 7 p.m., University Club. King, Guy and producer Voza Rivers will be honored with Trailblazer Awards for their leadership in African American theater. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling 502-852-8443 or at uoflaatp.eventbrite.com.

The AATP program offers the nation’s only graduate certificate in African American theater according to the theater arts department. For information about play tickets call 502-852-6814 or go to louisville.edu/theatrearts.

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