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PETERSBURG: IMPRESSIONS, A SITE-SPECIFIC ADAPTATION OF A NOVEL BY ANDREI BELY, WILL BE PERFORMED BY BARD COLLEGE AT BARD ON SEPTEMBER 10 AND 11
Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Theater Program at Bard College presents Petersburg: Impressions, a site-specific adaptation of a novel by Russian surrealist Andrei Bely, on Friday, September 10, and Saturday, September 11. Free and open to the public, the performances will take place in Theater Two of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Dmitry Troyanovsky, Petersburg: Impressions was originally performed this past July at the 18th-century Bobrinskiy Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. (The palace, which is undergoing renovation, is the nonresidential campus of Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia’s first liberal arts college.)
Considered a novel of suspense, Petersburg is set in prerevolutionary St. Petersburg, the capital of the Russian empire, and the plot includes revolutionary organizations, terrorist bombings, love affairs, and family entanglements. But the place where the novel’s real action takes place, according to Bely, “. . . is not the city, but the human soul.” Petersburg: Impressions is an adaptation by Stephanie Fleischmann, visiting lecturer in theater at Bard, with dramaturgy and guidance by Tatiana Boborykina of Smolny College.
The cast includes Zumi Rosow (Bard College) as Madame Smolny and Anna Petrovna; Konstantin Ushakov (Smolny College) as Revolutionary and Lippanchenko; Brendan Whittaker (Bard College) as Nikolai Appolonovich Ableuhov; Ian Samuels (Bard College) as Appolon Appolonovich Ableuhov; Luke Elliott (Smolny College/Wabash College) as Alexander Ivanovich Dudkin; Tatiana Mordvinova (Smolny College) as Sofia Petrovna; Tess Lampert (Bard College) as Varvara Evgrafovna; Jenia Boborykina (Smolny College) as Zoya Zakharovna; Olga Rachkovskaya (Smolny College) as Servant; and in the ensemble Bard students Rafael Iskhakov, Raul Jara, Cassio Oivera, and Lauren Shomaker and Smolny students Julia Fedorova, Dasha Kuznetsova, and Dasha Ershova.
Under the guidance of Fleischmann and Boborykina, 10 students from Bard and 8 from Smolny began working on a bilingual production during the spring 2004 semester. In the six months preceding the performances, more than 20 individuals on both sides of the Atlantic studied the novel in the context of other literary works, in addition to Russian history, language, and theatrical tradition. They used the existing videoconferencing technology at the two colleges for joint lectures and collaboration on design and dramaturgy. Six Bard students took a special January Russian language intensive course taught by Jennifer Day, assistant professor of Russian, who also accompanied the students to St. Petersburg.
“It’s hard to think of a better way of teaching and learning, a better way of collaboration, than the one we experienced in this project,” notes Boborykina.
Smolny College, which currently has 320 students, is a joint enterprise of Bard and Saint Petersburg State University. The Ford Foundation provided funds for Russian students to travel to Bard for the September production.
For further information and reservations, call 845-758-7900.
# # # (8/31/04)
This event was last updated on 05-23-2005