The work is based on Nikolai Gogol's darkly comic 1853 short story centered on the life of a minor civil servant, Poprishchin, in the repressive era of Nicholas I. Written in a first-person, diary-entry format, the story follows the protagonist's yearnings for a senior official's daughter and his elaborate delusions, among them his imagined royal status and communication between animals. Only as Poprishchin descends into madness does he attain a measure of greatness.
Rush plays Poprischchin in the two-hander, which features Stone in multiple roles: Finnish maid Tuovi, exasperated yet tender in her care of Poprishchin; Sophia, the privileged young woman with whom he has fallen in love; and Tatiana, a frightened inmate consigned with him to the asylum.
The production will feature set design by Catherine Martin, costume design by Tess Schofield, lighting design by Mark Shelton, sound design by Paul Charlier, and music by Alan John (after Mussorgsky).
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