Politicians Behaving Badly in The Government Inspector at A.C.T.
The last date listed for The Government Inspector was Sunday, Apr. 20, 2008 / 2:00pm.
Quotes & Highlights
“A wackily comic repast fit for a czar” —Time
Packed with sizzling scandal, local flavor, and politicians behaving very, very badly, The Government Inspector could easily be set in Anytown, USA. This famous ensemble comedy by Nikolai Gogol (A.C.T.‘s The Overcoat) plays out in a backwater Russian village, where government leaders and local cronies are willing to give a visiting official money, women, and whatever else he wants—just as long as he gives them a good report back at the capital. But are they even greasing the right man’s palms?
By Nikolai Gogol
Translated and adapted by Alistair Beaton
Directed by Carey Perloff
Nikolai Gogol’s first collection of stories, Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, was published in two volumes in 1831 and 1832. He became famous overnight, and in 1835 and 1836 he published several stories that have become canonical, including “Nevsky Prospect,” “The Diary of a Madman,” “The Coach,” and “The Nose.” Gogol’s dramatic masterpiece, The Government Inspector, was produced at the court theater by special order of the czar in 1836. It was taken by many to be a realistic satire on governmental corruption, but the satire bit too deeply and, despite the czar’s endorsement, the play was viciously attacked by the reactionary press and officialdom. Gogol, his health broken, left Russia, complaining that his work was universally misunderstood. He continued work on his projected three-part masterpiece, Dead Souls, but by the late 1840s he had fallen under the influence of an ultraconservative religious fanatic, who convinced Gogol that his fictional writings were unholy. During a regime of fasting and prayer, Gogol burned several manuscripts, including part two of Dead Souls, just ten days before his death on March 4, 1852.
Carey Perloff (Artistic Director) is celebrating her 16th season as artistic director of A.C.T., where she most recently directed acclaimed productions of Philip Kan Gotanda’s After the War (an A.C.T. commission that premiered in March), Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill’s Happy End and A Christmas Carol (a new adaptation by Perloff with dramaturg Paul Walsh). Perloff has directed for A.C.T. the American premieres of Stoppard’s The Invention of Love and Indian Ink and Pinter’s Celebration and The Room; A.C.T.commissioned translations of Hecuba, The Misanthrope, Enrico IV, Mary Stuart, Uncle Vanya and A Mother (based on Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova); David Mamet’s new adaptation for A.C.T. of Granville-Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance; the world premiere of Leslie Ayvazian’s Singer’s Boy; and major revivals of _A Doll’s House, Waiting for Godot, The Three Sisters, The Threepenny Opera, Old Times, The Rose Tattoo, Antigone, Creditors, Home, The Tempest _and Stoppard’s The Real Thing, Night and Day and Arcadia.