Artists Rep and the University of Portland are pleased to present the U.S. Premiere of Natasya Filippovna from Moscow New Drama Theatre. Natasya Filippovna is in an improvisation form based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot as directed by Viacheslav Dolgachev. The limited performances run January 8 through 12 at 7:30pm, with five fixed improvisation shows performed with English subtitles; the final performance, January 13 at 2pm, will be fully improvised and in Russian with no English subtitles. A reception with the artists will follow performances on January 9 and 13.
This is an uncommon opportunity for this region to see Russian theatre artists perform contemporary dramatic theatre. Viacheslav Dolgahev, the Artistic Director of Moscow New Drama Theatre and director of this production, said, "True improvisation is a rare experience in contemporary dramatic theatre. Usually actors convey a specific vision of the director, rooted in the text of the play and the director's interpretation of it. Nastasya Filippovna is the result of a radically different process. The actors of Moscow New Drama Theatre have rehearsed for a year and a half - and immersed themselves completely in the material, memorizing the entire novel, The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The result is a totally unpredictable performance, in which the actors know only the beginning and the end. Everything in between is up to them and their adrenaline-driven, heightened state of emotion."
The play begins from the final scene of the novel: Myshkin and Rogozhin enter Rogozhin's apartment the night when Rogozhin murdered Nastasya Filippovna. Using only the text of Dostoyevsky's masterpiece, the actors can, at any moment, turn to any place in the novel. They turn to any event and transform into any character - or multiple characters at the same time. And through this puzzle, put together before our eyes, emerges the history and the meaning of their relationship with Nastasya Filippovna - the woman whose body lies in the next room.
The idea to tell the novel from the point of view of its two main characters - merchant Parfen Rogozhin and Count Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin - was first introduced by a Polish director, Andje Vaida, in the 1970s. Viacheslav Dolgachev took this idea into the 21st Century - and developed it to its extreme.
The production has received wide international critical acclaim and top awards at the 2011 International Festival of Plays based on Dostoyevsky's Works in Novgorod, Russia: The "Grand Prix" Award for Best Production and "Best Male Actor" Award for Mikhail Kalinichev and Andrey Kurilov's portrayal of Count Myshkin and Parfen Rogozhin.
More information about the presentation of Natasya Filippovna in Moscow can be found HERE.
Natasya Filippovna, Moscow New Drama Theatre's improvisational performance based on The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Directed by: Viacheslav Dolgachev
Featuring: Mikhail Kalinichev as Myshkin
Andrey Kurilov as Rogozhin
Set Design: Margarita Demyanova
Translated by: Sergey Gordeev
Performance Dates: January 8 -13
Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30pm, with English subtitles
Sunday at 2:00pm, with no English subtitles
Preview is Tuesday, January 8 at 7:30pm
Opening Night is Wednesday, January 11 at 7:30pm
Venue: Artists Repertory Theatre - Alder Stage (15th and Alder St.)
Box Office: 503.241.1278 or www.artistsrep.org
Now celebrating its 30th season, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theater company in Portland. Artists Rep strives to challenge artists and audiences with plays of depth and vibrancy in an intimate setting. Artists Rep explores the strengths, frailties, and diversity of the human condition primarily through regional premieres, commissioned works and selected classics appropriate to contemporary issues.
Photo courtesy Moscow New Drama Theatre.