Bulgakov and Stalin play a lethal game of cat and mouse in award winning script
Recipient of the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, Collaborators
comes to Washington DC directed by Richard Henrich
"A truly tremendous double act which thrills, chills and makes you laugh out loud - even though you know you shouldn't." - Daily Telegraph
"Collaborators is fresh and energetic, with a thick, throbbing vein of grotesque humour." - Evening Standard
"Rare and special… An absurdly fantastic view of Stalin, and it’s seriously funny."
- The Times
Featuring Paul Reisman, Joe Duquette, Michael Harris, MacKenzie Lynn Beyer, Kim Curtis, Mindy Shaw, Ryan Dalusung, Steve Beall, Sha Golanski, Robert Bowen Smith, Amal Saade, Liz Dutton, Willem Krumich and Matthew Marcus
Recognized as a valued contributor to the DC performing arts community for bringing new and sharp scripts to the area, like The Wedding Dress, Kwaidan and Can't Complain, Spooky Action Theater presents Collaborators, another Washington Area Premiere. Recipient of the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, Collaborators was written by British playwright John Hodge, also known for his Academy Award nominated screenplay for the film Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.
Collaborators takes place in Moscow in 1938. Russian writer and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov has just finished his play Molière, or The Cabal of Hypocrites, which his friends acclaim a masterpiece. The day after the premiere, he is visited by two secret policemen from the NKVD. He learns his play is banned and will never be shown again unless he writes a new play glorifying the leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, in honor of the dictator’s 60th birthday. Bulgakov must accept the commission - his hands are tied. But he is thoroughly blocked and baffled, until he gets help from an unexpected source. The deal that he cuts leads to unexpected and darkly comic consequences, both for himself and for his country.
"Bulgakov was the last man standing. That's why they chose him, because it means more," explains Hodge. "We talk about artistic compromise now. But we know nothing. The worst that can happen is that we have to get another job. It's not as though your life is at stake, or that your wife will be killed."
It's not the first time Spooky Action Theater has explored Bulgakov's work. In 2009, SAT presented Heart of a Dog, a hilarious satire about a great Professor who performs a surgical miracle with transplants, transforming a stray dog into a human. On reading Collaborators, Artistic Director Richard Henrich could not resist the play's irreverent, sly humour.
"While the play is about Bulgakov rather than by him," says Henrich, "Hodge has brilliantly infused it with the Russian playwright’s wild imagination and sense of comic absurdity. It is a modern Faust and the Devil. What starts as a cat and mouse game between irascible dictator and wily, free thinking playwright, quickly runs in a headlong rush from comic to catastrophic. The play makes us laugh then tremble, leaving us finally with the realization we are never bystanders but always players in the great game of fate."
The production design team includes artists who have collaborated on many previous SAT productions as well as projects at a number of regional theaters, like Giorgos Tsappas (set design), David Crandall (sound design) and Brian S. Allard (lighting design), as well as Alisa Mandel who is credited with the imaginative and playful costume design for Heart of a Dog.
February 11-March 6, 2016
Thu - Sat @ 8:00 PM, Sun @ 3:00 PM – Running time 2 hours
Tickets $25-35. Special discounts for students and seniors. Group Rates available.
Purchase tickets online HERE
or at the theater one hour before performances.
For information, or to purchase by phone, call 202-248-0301.
Spooky Action Theater
The Universalist National Memorial Church
1810 16th St. NW Washington, DC 20009
NEW! Free off-street parking is available for every performance
at the Masonic Temple, diagonally across from the theater.
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