kids in Asheville
Join the Moppets for "The Tempest" and "Henry V" this summer!
The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company brings comedy and history to the stage this summer with “The Tempest” and “Henry V”!
Want to be a Moppet? Registration is open for both sessions!
Just want to see the shows? Mark your calendars!
“The Tempest” opens July 1, with more shows on July 2, 3, 8 and 9. “Henry V” opens July 29, with additional shows on July 30 and 31 and August 5-7.
About the shows
We are such stuff as dreams are made on...
“The Tempest” was probably written around 1610, and it’s thought to be one of the last plays Shakespeare wrote on his own. It tells the story of Prospero, a duke who was deposed in a coup by his brother.
Prospero also happens to be a sorcerer, and he conjures a storm that causes his brother and the crew of his ship to be stranded on the island where he’s been exiled with his daughter and some servants.
Chaos and mayhem ensue!
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!
We are thrilled to announce that the titular character in the Montford Moppets production of “Tartuffe” will be played by Aidan Short!
Aidan became a Moppet in 2019, when he played Bob Crachit and Mr. Fezziwig in our production of “A Christmas Carol.” He’s been on stage for much longer than that, though. His first stage appearance was as Tiny Tim in The Montford Park Players’ “A Christmas Carol” in 2012!
Aidan tells us that his favorite Moppets moment was playing “everyone but Scrooge” in 2021’s “The Moppets Present: A (slightly chaotic) Christmas Carol,” with his role as the Fool in “King Lear” coming in a close second. He’d like to play Mercutio in a future Moppets production of “Romeo & Juliet,” and as we do occasionally cast Aidan in non-Dickens roles that could very well happen.
Aidan is a high school freshman and a founding member of the Moppets musical duo Brick and A Stick, which seems natural for a guy whose off-stage hobbies include collecting “cool-looking sticks” and having fun with his friends.
You can catch Aidan on stage March 24-26 in Asheville High School’s “Quixotica” and on April 15 and 16 in the Moppets’ “Tartuffe.”
Bonjour, les amis des Moppets!
Our artistic director has never shied away from challenging our Moppets to bring a little something new to the Asheville theater scene, and our Moppets have never blinked an eye at what she’s thrown their way (time-traveling Scrooges, 10-minute “Richard III”s and flip-flops included).
So we were not at all surprised when Ashleigh came to our season planning meeting armed with a heavily-highlighted copy of Molière’s “Tartuffe.“
OK, maybe we were a little bit surprised.
Once we got past our initial shock, though (a non-Shakespeare title? How now, Ashleigh!) we realized that this 17th Century French satire would be perfect for our first show of the 2022 season. “Tartuffe” has everything the Moppets love: a little romance, a little laughter, and a good bit of back-stabbing.
Not actual stabbing, though, to our Moppets’ dismay. It’s a youth theater company. The kids love a good stabbing.
But they’ll just have to wait for “Julius Caesar” for that!
Who? What? Wherefore?
You may be wondering why The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company is kicking off the 2022 season with Molière, who is certainly an excellent and well-respected playwright but is not our namesake.*** We wondered the same thing, so we asked our artistic director.
“I feel like our troupe is ready to tackle classics beyond Shakespeare, and ‘Tartuffe’ is a great classic farce,” Ashleigh said. “It’s a great opportunity to work on comedic timing in a genuine ensemble show.”
Considered one of the greatest French writers ever, Molière wrote comedies and satire in the mid-1600s, sometimes under the patronage of Louis XIV. His play “Tartuffe, or the Imposter, or the Hypocrite” is the story of a sanctimonious scoundrel’s machinations in the household of a wealthy Parisian and how the con man is eventually unmasked. It’s a comedy about religious hypocrisy, gullibility and obsession — all themes that are still relevant today!
Fun fact: “Tartuffe” was banned in its first two iterations at the behest of the Catholic Church and was only allowed to be published after Molière changed the ending to flatter the king! (That’s why it has so many names!)
“Tartuffe” is witty, biting and pretty racy. So racy, in fact, that we’ve edited it a bit for content. This is a youth theater, after all.