“If you’re a purist, prepare to be offended,” says Professor of Theatre Robert Gross, the director of “Idiot Apocalypse” which opened on Thursday and runs through Saturday in Bartlett Theatre.
The production is what Gross calls “a radical remix” of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel, “The Idiot.” Written in the 19th century, “The Idiot,” is considered one of the great literary achievements of the Golden Age of Russian Literature. The novel follows Prince Myshkin, “a good and innocent man” as he navigates through “a cruel and desperate world.” Though not originally intended for stage, the novel has been adapted over time in several different ways.
“It’s an imaginative response to a great work in terms that are often contemporary,” Gross says of his stage presentation of the work. “Certainly not ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ and more a riff on Dostoevskian themes than an ‘adaptation’ – ‘Idiot Apocalypse’ is an exploration of a landscape of idealism and humiliation, obsession and a yearning for salvation.”
The remixed production, “Idiot Apocalypse,” includes elements from Percy Bysshe Shelley, an English romantic poet; Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland;” Iggy Popp, an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor; John of Patmos, the name given to the author of the “Book of Revelation;” Mae West, an American actress, singer, playwright and sex symbol named as one of the fifteenth greatest female stars of all time by the American Film Institute; and others.
The cast is led by Richard Nix ’14 at the Prince Myshkin, and includes Tyler Hatton-Bullock ’14, Eric Hambury ’13, Alex Corless ’13, Kathryn de Pietro ’15, Maggie McNair ’14, Jake Deitrich ’14, Brittany Lopez ’14 and Adriana Ureña ’16. The production crew includes Bill Burd, technical director at Bartlett Theatre, costume designer Cynthia Brookhouse, and Abigail Jordan ’13, for the sound and lights.
Admission is free for HWS students and general admission tickets will be for sale beginning an hour before the show at $5 per ticket.