The Mid-Pacific School of the Arts Theatre Department presents BLACK SNOW
The Mid-Pacific School of the Arts Theatre Department presents Mikhail Bulgakov’s
by Keith Reddin
Mid-Pacific Institute, Kawaiiha’o Recital Hall
April 27 to May 6, 2018
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 2pm
$5 Students, Seniors and Military (With ID)
Call 808.973.5066 for reservations.
Mid-Pacific School of the Arts (MPSA) will mark the centennial of the Russian Revolution with the Hawai’i premiere production of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Black Snow, adapted by Keith Reddin.
The production is directed by award-winning actor and MPSA Theatre teacher Alex Monti Fox, and will run at Mid-Pacific’s Kawaiiha’o Recital Hall from April 27th to May 6th, 2018. Featuring an incredible ensemble of MPSA Theatre Certificate program student-actors, Black Snow challenges and entertains audiences with blistering satire and moving drama in this never-more-relevant tale of art, truth, theatre, and politics.
The Time: The aftermath of the Russian Civil War
The Place: Moscow, under the Rule of Joseph Stalin, The Independent Theatre (Moscow Art Theatre), under the rule of Ivan Vasilievich (Konstantin Stanislavski).
The Story: A naive idealist named Sergei Maxudov attempts to publish a novel about the Russian Civil War that is “not in line with the official history of the revolution.” After he partly succeeds in getting the novel into an underground magazine in serial form, his publisher suddenly disappears. Then, out of the blue he is contacted by the most renowned and prestigious theatre in Moscow, the Independent (a fictionalized Moscow Art Theatre), and asked to adapt his novel into a play. He tries to do so, but quickly runs into problems in the absurd world of institutional theatre. When he meets the theatre's Artistic Director, Ivan Vasilievich (a satirical send-up of an aging Konstantin Stanislavski), his play is hacked to bits, along with his vision, hope, and sense of purpose. Maxudov becomes increasingly frustrated by the artistic hypocrisy of the theatre, which itself is subject to government oppression. When he can take no more abuse, ridicule, and failure, Maxudov is forced to choose between extreme compromise, and suicide.
On the Author:
MIKHAIL BULGAKOV (1891-1940) was a Russian playwright, novelist, and short-story writer best known for his humorous and penetrating satires of life behind the iron curtain. Beginning his adult life as a doctor, Bulgakov gave up medicine for writing. His first major work was the novel The White Guard, serialized in 1925 but never published in book form. A realistic and sympathetic portrayal of the motives and behavior of a group of anti-Bolshevik White officers during the civil war, it was met by a storm of official criticism for its lack of a communist hero. Bulgakov reworked it into a play, The Days of the Turbins which was staged with great success in 1926 but was subsequently banned. In 1925 he published a book of satirical fantasies, Diaboliad, implicitly critical of Soviet communist society. This work, too, was officially denounced. In the same year he wrote Heart of a Dog, a scathing comic satire on pseudoscience and an allegorical attack on communism. Because of their realism and humor, Bulgakov’s works enjoyed great popularity, but their criticism of Soviet mores was increasingly unacceptable to the authorities. By 1930 he was, in effect, prohibited from publishing. His plea for permission to emigrate was rejected by Joseph Stalin. During the subsequent period of literary ostracism, which continued until his death, Bulgakov created his masterpieces. In 1932, as literary consultant to the Moscow Art Theatre staff, he wrote a tragedy on the death of Molière, Molière. A revised version was finally staged in 1936 and had a run of seven nights before it was banned because of its thinly disguised attack on Stalin and the Communist Party. Bulgakov produced two more masterpieces during the 1930s. The first was his unfinished Black Snow: A Theatrical Novel, originally titled A Dead Man’ s Memoir, an autobiographical novel, which includes a merciless satire on Konstantin Stanislavsky and the backstage life of the Moscow Art Theatre. The second was his dazzling Gogolesque fantasy The Master and Margarita. The work was published in the Soviet Union only in 1966–67, and then in an egregiously censored form. The publication came more than 25 years after Bulgakov’s death from a kidney disease. Bulgakov’s works were slow to benefit from the limited “thaw” that characterized the Soviet literary milieu following the death of Stalin. His posthumous rehabilitation began slowly in the late 1950s, and starting in 1962 several volumes of his works, including plays, novels, short stories, and his biography of Molière, were published. The three culminating masterpieces of this artist, however, were not published in the Soviet Union during his lifetime. (Britannica.com)
On the Playwright: KEITH REDDIN (1956-) is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Yale Drama School. His plays include: the Sloane Commission, Some Brighter Distance, Too Much Memory, which won the 2008 outstanding play award in the New York Fringe Festival and was revived at New York Theatre Workshop in December 2008; Life and Limb, Rum and Coke, Big Time, Nebraska, Life During Wartime, Brutality of Fact, Almost Blue, All The Rage, But Not For Me, Frame 312, Human Error, and The Missionary Position. Mr. Reddin recently adapted Rear Window for a production at Hartford Stage directed by Darko Tresnjak starring Kevin Bacon. Other adaptations include; Moliere’s The Imaginary Ivalid, Thornton Wilder’s Heaven’s My Destination, and F.Scott Fitzgerald’s Rich Boy, plays by Soviet playwrights Alexander Buravsky (The Russian Teacher) and Mikhail Bulgakov (Black Snow). Mr. Reddin’s adaptation of Mikhail Shatrov’s Maybe was presented at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England in April 1993, starring Vanessa Redgrave. Black Snow had its world premiere at the Goodman Theater (Chicago) in May 1993. It won the Joseph Jefferson Award–Best Play 1993. His plays have been produced all over the United States and Canada as well as foreign productions throughout Europe, Australia, and South America. Film credits include All The Rage, with Joan Allen and Gary Sinise, the Playwrights’ Cinema, Turner Network Television movies: The Heart of Justice, Bad Boys and Milken and a film adaptation of his play Big Time for American Playhouse PBS. Mr. Reddin has been awarded the Charles MacArthur Fellowship (1983), an NEA Playwriting Fellowship (1984), the San Diego Critics Circle Award for Best New Play (1989 and 1990), the Joseph Kesserling Award (1990), a DramaLogue Award (1990), The Whiting Fondation (1992), and the Helen Merrill Award (2006) . (CityTheatreCompany.org)
On the Director: ALEX MONTI FOX is extremely happy to once again be directing an MPSA mainstage theatre production. Locally, Alex has appeared as Trigorin in the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival’s 2017 production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, and as Jerry in TAG’s award-winning revival of Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story (2016 Po’okela Best Overall Play). On the mainland, Alex appeared in the west coast premiere productions of Eric Bogosian’s Suburbia, Mac Wellman’s Hypatia: The Divine Algebra, Mark Ravenhill’s Faust (Faust Is Dead), and Joanna Laurens’ The Three Birds. Other selected stage credits include Julius Caesar (New American Theatre), Five Beauties: Tennessee Williams (New American Theatre), The Elephant Man (El Centro Theatre), The Illusion (The Actors’ Gang), Soon My Work (International Wow Co.), Black Snow (University of Washington) Mother Courage and Her Children (Jones Playhouse) and Cue To Cue (Acme Comedy Theatre). Alex's first full-length solo play, Back To One, premiered in 2010 at The Lex Theatre in Hollywood. Additionally, Alex co-created, co-produced and co-directed a series of underground cult sketch musical variety shows called Another Showcase Showdown, which ran for a decade in Los Angeles, and were an official selection of the 2002 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. Alex has also written a handful of children’s plays for Stone Soup Theatre in Seattle, and most recently, wrote a short film entitled Never Gladly Beyond, which was produced by graduate students at the University of London. Alex’s screen acting credits include the indie films Dirty, Treading Water, Debaser, and Frank’s Book. TV & Web credits include: Hawaii Five-O (CBS),The After Work Special (VH1), I Hate My 30s (VH1), XYZ (ABC Family), The Iceman Chronicles (Fox TV Studios), Keller & Sullivan (Funny Or Die), Mr. Robinson’s Driving School (MSN), and numerous commercials. Alex has an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington PATP and a BA from USC. He currently teaches Acting, IB Theatre, and English at Mid-Pacific.
On MPSA & The Theatre/Film Certificate Program:
Under the leadership of Linda Johnson, the Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts Theatre/Film Certificate program is modeled after nationally successful performing and visual arts high schools that offer conservatory arts training. Students with strong talent and interest in the arts study with professional teachers/artists in a disciplined, professional environment. Emphasis is placed upon the student’s individual growth and increasing technique, with a careful balance between classroom work and public performances/exhibitions. Students who have enrolled in the School of the Arts Certificate programs want to stretch their abilities, knowledge and methodology in the arts and are interested in long-term academic/artistic benefits of arts study.
The Mid-Pacific School of the Arts (MPSA) Theatre/Film Certificate Program is open to students in grades 8-12. The Certificate program is a pre-professional arts training program that ensures that students are studying an intensive prescribed arts curriculum. This curriculum is recognized nationally by arts organizations as standard, professional arts training necessary for a graduate to enter the professional arts world or to attend an arts conservatory (B.F.A. program) at any recognized university across the country.