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This is a marathon production of Dostoyevsky's prophetic novel, The Demons, staged by Germany's eminent theater and opera director, Peter Stein, for two performances only in an industrial warehouse on Governor's Island. The 12-hour marathon (with four intermissions and two breaks for lunch and dinner)--performed by a cast of 26 European actors in Italian (with English supertitles) for an audience of 467 people--will begin at 11 a.m. each day, after audiences take a 10 a.m. ferry to Governors Island. There will be no late seating. The Demons tells the story of a group of political conspirators who, at the urging of their leader, murder one of their own members. The real-life, widely-reported murder of a young student in Moscow by a small cell of revolutionaries in 1869 was the trigger for Dostoyevsky, beginning what would grow into a 900+ page work, also known in the West as The Possessed. He first conceived of this novel, started in 1869, as a pamphlet in which he would say everything he wanted about the effect that the plague the Western-imported ideas of Nihilism was exercising on the moral fiber of Russian society at that time. The "demons" that Dostoevsky described represented a Russia that had lost its moral center. What emerged was a ferociously funny masterpiece set in pre-Revolutionary Russia, and an eerily prophetic foreshadowing of not only the soulless society that was to be, some 50 years later under Stalin, but also of 21st century terrorism. Stein has said that, in the novel's central character of Stavrogin, the author has depicted someone who suffers from the great malady of our times: indifference, or feeling nothing inside--essentially lack of empathy, which is the gravest danger in our world today.

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