Things look grim for Orgon and his clan: Tartuffe is taking over. Darkness falls. The door is seen fully closed, with light bouncing off its silvery surface.
“The color and direction are changing from the top windows,” Serrand says. “It’s getting to be more peachy-orange, and more diagonal. The sun is setting. It’s going more directly across. It’s very flat.” He points to lighting instruments hung very low, under the balcony in Harman Hall, projecting nearly horizontal beams.
“In a way,” Serrand says, “it’s more like a filming approach, where the light helps us frame in a cinematic way. It can be a static scene, but the entire look of it is changing.”
The creators did allow a few exceptions to this strict daylight pattern. “What is the fun of rules if you’re not going to break them once in a while?” Dilliard reasons.
Now and then they use footlights — very stagey, but also a tool Molière would have used (candle-powered, of course). There’s also a surprise at the end that they don’t want to spoil but that Dilliard says indicates a psychological meltdown.
Mostly, though, they stuck to their guns. Rehearsing the show at Jeune Lune, Dilliard occasionally bumped lights into more conventional patterns when he though Serrand wasn’t looking. Serrand noticed: “He’d say, ‘You’re cheating.’ ”