Fall 2012 More News: Russian Studies

RPSS Faculty and Students Attend Play in DC

RPSS Faculty and Students Attend Play in Washington

On October 20, 2012, the students and faculty in the Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Program went to Washington, DC, to see a Russian classic performed in English – Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector General.  This new adaptation of the play is being performed by the Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Lansburgh Theater in Washington, DC.

Nikolai Gogol is one of the most influential Russian writers of the 19th century.  Although his comedy, The Inspector General, is a satire of 19th-century Russian bureaucracy and provincial kowtowing, the play is so universal that over the last two centuries it has been performed all over the world and has inspired numerous film and stage adaptations.

Attending the matinee performance of this new adaptation of Gogol’s classic comedy was a unique opportunity for the students and faculty in our RPSS program! We are tremendously grateful to the Parents Association at the College of William & Mary and the Mellon Foundation Grant for making this trip possible.  We also want to say a big thank you to Bella Ginzbursky-Blum for organizing the trip!

Here’s what some of those who went had to say about the experience:

“I thought the play was very interesting.  I would really like to see how the version we saw compares to the play as it was originally written.”

~ Natalie Hulse

“The play, while clearly having been adapted for a modern, American audience, was still very enjoyable. This outing was an excellent opportunity to see one of Russia’s most famous works; I’m hoping more Russian works follow so the department can continue doing really cool field trips!”

~Jessica Parks

“The trip was a fantastic way to not only see a hilarious show but to also spend time with other Russian students.  Special recognition goes to the superb timing of the actors/actresses as an ensemble and the generous affordability of the trip.  Thank you for your help in preparing this outing!”

~ Matthew Baker

“I thought the play was excellent. It was both funny and relevant, and the overall trip was a great experience!”

~ Zach McCarty

“The trip to see The Government Inspector was an incredible experience for me. Absurdly funny and smart, this adaptation of Gogol’s famous play brought a tale set in 19th-century Russia to life on the modern stage, showing its stark portrayal of corruption, stupidity and hypocrisy in society is just as relevant now as it was then.”

~ Ben Raliski

“I thought this play was very funny and the characters were very interesting.  However, I thought that this version was very Americanized and therefore Gogol’s original Russian text probably has quite a different tone.”

~ Ben Oelberg

“After arriving in D.C. all of the groups split up to grab a bite to eat before the show. My group ventured into China Town and had some delicious egg rolls, dumplings, noodles, and duck! Once we finished eating we headed out to the streets and took in the sights before our 2 o’clock show.  The Government Inspector was by far one of the best plays I have seen this year!  This was definitely a good investment on the Russian House’s part and I would recommend all students to attend similar events!”

~ Hallie Harriman