Based on novel by Nikolai Gogol
In this bilingual adaptation by Theatre Novi Most of the 19th century story by Nikolai Gogol, Poprishchin is a patient in a contemporary psychiatric hospital who tries in vain to convince a panel of uncomprehending doctors that he is not insane, only foreign. A translator, Dr. Boyle, is brought in to help and is gradually drawn in to Poprishchin’s story, which spans centuries and continents and involves not a small amount of paranoia and mental gymnastics. In an absurd twist, Poprishchin becomes a doppelganger to Boyle, and the two find freedom in a joint escape from reality that bridges and merges different cultures, languages and millennia with startling and thrilling results. Ultimately a commentary of our post 9/11 realities and on the ways in which madness is difficult to define in a world that so often asks us to accept inhuman actions as “normal”.
All photos from 2002 production at Rand Theatre, Amherst Massachusetts.