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The Idiots Karamazov

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A zany literary cabaret! What would you expect to play in repertory with Ivanov—another esteemed Russian classic? Not quite. When Constance Garnett translates Dostoevsky, the Brothers Karamazov become expert plumbers and Anaïs Nin has Mary Tyrone over for eggshell and mayonnaise sandwiches. Confused? Then you’d better take a course with Professors Durang and Innaurato, who’ll puree the whole Western canon before your very eyes. The Idiots Karamazov is a zany literary cabaret that makes Cliff Notes look like high scholarship. You’ll be amazed at how many characters are skewered on this wild, irreverent sword.

SYNOPSIS

Constance Garnett, the doddering British translatrix of the Russian classics, is embarking on her translation of The Brothers Karamazov. Her failing memory and obstinate self-regard make the process difficult, and soon the Russian brothers are joined by a host of characters, literary and real, who can scarcely tell their troikas from their samovars. Soon Mary Tyrone is rubbing shoulders with Anaïs Nin at a monstrous tea party where sexual conventions are abandoned and the politics are revolutionary. The Karamazovs are a mighty clan, but can even they survive the coup de plume when Constance drops her authorial guard and enters the fray herself?

Credits

Creative team

by

Christopher Durang

Christopher Durang (The Idiots Karamazov) is the author of The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award, Dramatists Guild Award), Baby with the Bathwater, and Media Amok, all presented at the American Repertory Theater; as well as A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), The Actor's Nightmare, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Laughing Wild, Durang/Durang (an evening of six plays including a Tennassee Williams parody For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls), Sex and Longing, and Betty's Summer Vacation (Drama Desk nomination). As a performer, Mr. Durang appeared in Laughing Wild in Los Angeles, shared an acting ensemble Obie for The Marriage of Bette and Boo in New York, and with John Augustine and Sherry Anderson has performed his cabaret Chris Durang and Dawne in numerous venues, winning a 1996 Bistro Award. He co-wrote with Sigourney Weaver and performed in the Brecht–Weill parody Das Lusitania Songspiel, appeared with Julie Andrews in the Sondheim review Putting It Together, and in Call Me Madam. His films include The Secret of My Success, Mr. North, The Butcher's Wife, Housesitter, The Cowboy Way, The Object of My Affection, and The Out-of-Towners. For television Mr. Durang wrote for the Carol Burnett special "Carol and Robin and Whoopi and Carl" and for the PBS series Trying Times. He has written several screenplays and two sitcom pilots. Mr. Durang has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, is the winner of numerous scholarship and grants, and had his plays published by Grove Press and Smith & Kraus. Since 1994 he and Marsha Norman have co-chaired the Playwrighting Program at the Juilliard School.

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by

Albert Innaurato

Albert Innaurato (The Idiots Karamazov) is an internationally known writer and cultural observer whose works for the theater include Gemini (performed for four years on Broadway, Obie Award), Passione (Playwrights Horizons and Broadway), The Transformation of Benno Blimpie (two Off-Broadway productions; performed in Italy, Spain, Israel, and London; Obie Award), Magda and Callas, Coming of Age in Soho (two versions at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, both directed by Mr. Innaurato), Gus and Al (Playwrights Horizons), and Dreading Thekla (Williamstown Theatre Festival). In addition to The Idiots Karamazov, he collaborated with Christopher Durang on I Don't Generally Like Poetry But Have You Read "Trees" and Gyp, the Real-Life Story of Mitzi Gaynor, while both were students at Yale University. Mr. Innaurato's film and television credits include short pieces for PBS, "Subway Stories," "Verna the USO Girl" (Emmy Award), two screenplays for Bette Midler, and rewriting the book and some of the lyrics of the Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin/Moss Heart musical Lady in the Dark. He Adapted Puccini's opera La Rondine for Lincoln Center Theater and has contributed to the New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, New York, Forbes, Newsday, Opera News, and the programs of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He taught at several universities and has lectured for the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Lincoln Center Chamber Society, and a number of other musical organizations.

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Lyrics by

Christopher Durang

Lyrics by

Christopher Durang

Christopher Durang (The Idiots Karamazov) is the author of The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award, Dramatists Guild Award), Baby with the Bathwater, and Media Amok, all presented at the American Repertory Theater; as well as A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), The Actor's Nightmare, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Laughing Wild, Durang/Durang (an evening of six plays including a Tennassee Williams parody For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls), Sex and Longing, and Betty's Summer Vacation (Drama Desk nomination). As a performer, Mr. Durang appeared in Laughing Wild in Los Angeles, shared an acting ensemble Obie for The Marriage of Bette and Boo in New York, and with John Augustine and Sherry Anderson has performed his cabaret Chris Durang and Dawne in numerous venues, winning a 1996 Bistro Award. He co-wrote with Sigourney Weaver and performed in the Brecht–Weill parody Das Lusitania Songspiel, appeared with Julie Andrews in the Sondheim review Putting It Together, and in Call Me Madam. His films include The Secret of My Success, Mr. North, The Butcher's Wife, Housesitter, The Cowboy Way, The Object of My Affection, and The Out-of-Towners. For television Mr. Durang wrote for the Carol Burnett special "Carol and Robin and Whoopi and Carl" and for the PBS series Trying Times. He has written several screenplays and two sitcom pilots. Mr. Durang has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, is the winner of numerous scholarship and grants, and had his plays published by Grove Press and Smith & Kraus. Since 1994 he and Marsha Norman have co-chaired the Playwrighting Program at the Juilliard School.

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Directed by

Karin Coonrod

Directed by

Karin Coonrod

Karin Coonrod (Enrico IV) previously directed The Idiots Karamazov at the American Repertory Theater. She adapted and directed Henry VI, Parts 1 and 2, at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, where she also directed a workshop production of Moilère's The Imaginary Invalid in 1996. She is the founding director of Off-Broadway's Arden Party and director of more than twenty Arden Party productions, including Christmas at the Ivanovs (a co-production with CSC); Lear (Ohio Theatre); Love's Labour's Lost; Dangerous Clowns (NADA); Waiting for Godot; Ubu Roi; Antigone; The Beggar's Opera; Romeo and Juliet; The Threepenny Opera; The Chairs (Count Basie Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest; and Victor or Children Take Over (for which she received Encore's Outstanding Director Award).

Ms. Coonrod has also been a guest director for numerous New York University productions, including Brecht's A Respectable Wedding and Lear. She directed a workshop of Naomi Iizuka's award-winning play Polaroid Stories for En Garde Arts in New York. She also directed two of Chiori Miyagawa's plays, Nothing Forever and Yesterday's Window, for New York Theatre Workshop. Currently, she is collaborating with playwright Nilo Cruz on a new translation/adaptation of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and also recently returned from working on a project based on the writings of Flannery O'Connor for the University of Iowa. She is currently preparing a production of King John for Theatre for a New Audience.

A 1995/1996 artist-in-residence at the Public Theater, Ms. Coonrod received her BA in English from Gordon College and an MFA in directing from Columbia University. She has also studied French at the Université de Grenble, did post-graduate work in medieval literature and language at Durham University in England, and has an acting certificate from British Theatre Institute in Cheltenham, England.

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Set design by

Scott Bradley

Set design by

Scott Bradley

Scott Bradley (set designer of Ivanov and The Idiots Karamazov) previously designed sets for the American Repertory Theater in 1989 for Arthur Kopit's The Road to Nirvana, Allan Knee's The Lost Boys, and Charles Marz's The Island of Anyplace. His set designs for the Goodman Theatre include the world premieres of August Wilson's Seven Guitars, Mary Zimmerman's Journey to the West and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (also part of Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival); at Steppenwolf Theatre, the world premiere of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Slavs!; at the Huntington Theatre he designed A Midsummer Night's Dream and Ah! Wilderness! Currently he is working on Amiri Baraka's Dutchman for Hartford Stage and Philip Glass's opera Akhnaten for Boston Lyric Opera. Mr. Bradley is the recipient of the 1996 NY Drama Desk Award for Best Set Design and was a Tony nominee for his design of Seven Guitars. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

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Costume design by

Catherine Zuber

Costume design by

Catherine Zuber

Catherine Zuber has created the costumes for Richard II, The Doctor's Dilemma, and over forty other A.R.T. productions including Three Farces and a Funeral, Antigone, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, Ivanov, Phaedra, The Merchant of Venice, Valparaiso, The Imaginary Invalid, The Taming of the Shrew, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Bacchae, Man and Superman, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Woyzeck, The Wild Duck, The Naked Eye, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Tartuffe, Ubu Rock, Waiting for Godot, The Oresteia, Shlemiel the First, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Touch of the Poet, What the Butler Saw, The Cherry Orchard, and Orphée. Ms. Zuber's credits include work at Lincoln Center, The Joseph Papp Public Theater, Goodman Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. Her Broadway credits include The Triumph of Love (Connecticut Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk nomination), Ivanov (Drama Desk nomination), The Sound of Music, Twelfth Night, The Red Shoes, London Assurance, The Rose Tattoo, and Philadelphia Here I Come. Ms. Zuber was the recipient of the 1997 Obie Award for sustained achievement in design. She is the costume designer for La Fête des Vignerons de 1999, the massive Festival of the Winegrowers in Vevey, Switzerland.

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Lighting design by

Michael Chybowski

Lighting design by

Michael Chybowski

Lighting designer, Lady with a Lapdog. The American Repertory Theater's resident lighting designer (1997–2001). AntigoneFull Circle, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, The Master Builder, Phaedra, The Bacchae, In the Jungle of Cities, The Taming of the Shrew, The Imaginary Invalid, and The Wild Duck at the A.R.T. Other: Moby Dick and Other Stories with Laurie Anderson, The Grey Zone (Long Wharf Theatre), Andrei Belgrader's production of Waiting for Godot (Classic Stage Company), Cymbeline (New York Shakespeare Festival, Delacorte Theatre), Playboy of the Western World (Steppenwolf Theatre), and the original production of Wit. For the Mark Morris Dance Group, he has designed over thirty dances, including Four Saints in Three Acts for English National Opera and Falling Down Stairs, which toured the U.S. with cellist Yo Yo Ma. Nominated for an American Theatre Wing design award for his lighting of David Rabe's A Question of Mercy and also for The Grey Zone by Tim Blake Nelson. Received a 1999 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, the American Theatre Wing Design Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award for 1999.

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Sound design by

Christopher Walker

Sound design by

Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker has composed music and designed sound for We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, Phaedra, Beckett Trio: Eh Joe, Ghost Trio, and Nacht und Traüme, and An Evening of Beckett, and designed sound for The King Stag, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, Ivanov, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Charlie in the House of Rue, The Merchant of Venice, Valparaiso, The Taming of the Shrew, The Bacchae, The Wild Duck, Woyzeck, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Wild Duck, Alice in Bed, Slaughter City, Buried Child, Ubu Rock, The Threepenny Opera, The Accident, Demons, Waiting for Godot, The Oresteia, Hot 'n' Throbbing, The America Play, A Touch of the Poet, The Cherry Orchard, What the Butler Saw, and Those the River Keeps at the A.R.T. Previously he composed music and designed sound for productions at the Intiman Theatre, the Bathhouse Theatre, and the Alice B. Theatre. He also scores for dance and has composed for the Allegro Dance Festival, the Bumbershoot Festival, and On The Boards.

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Music composed by

Peter Golub

Music composed by

Peter Golub

Peter Golub (composer for The Idiots Karmamazov) is the composer of numerous works for the theater, film, ballet, and concert hall. Most recently, he composed music for Demonology and The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. His musical, Amphigorey, with stories and design by Edward Gorey, was performed at the American Repertory Theater in 1992 and was nominated for a 1994 Drama Desk Award. For ten years he was composer-in-residence at Charles Ludlam's legendary Ridiculous Theatrical Company in Greenwich Village and wrote music for such classics as The Mystery of Irma Vep, Reverse Psychology, and Galas. His music was used in the successful West End production of Irma Vep and continues to be used at regional theaters throughout the country in this often-performed work. Golub's music has appeared frequently at the New York Shakespeare Festival in such Central Park productions as Othello, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV. For many years, he worked with noted director Joseph Chaikin (Re-arrangements, Tourists and Refugees) and with performance artist Ethyl Eichelberger (Ariadne Obnoxious, Dilbert in Love). He also composed music for productions at the Roundabout, La Mama, the Joyce, the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Theatre for the New City, and the Magic Theatre.

Golub composed music for the film English Only (produced by Universal), Lost (the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women), and the British TV film The Cat Brought It In. He served as dance-music arranger on The Addams Family, and conducted and orchestrated the films Poison and Swoon.

Golub was commissioned by Edward Villella to compose The Lost World for the Miami City Ballet. He wrote The Gilded Bat, with story and designs by Edward Gorey, for Ballet West; the work was performed at the Kennedy Center. He also composed scores for the Atlanta Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, and Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens.

His concert works have been performed by Tashi, the Brooklyn Philharmonia with Lukas Foss conducting, Promusica Chamber Orchestra, Da Capo Chamber Players, Musical Element, the Jubal Trio, the Gemini Duo, and numerous other chamber groups and soloists. Performances have taken place at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Wigmore Hall (in London), the Frankfurt Opera House, and others.

Golub is the recipient of a Charles Ives Scholarship, given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and grants from the NEA, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Meet-the-Composer. He is currently the director of the Sundance Composers Lab.

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Music Directed by

J. Michael Friedman

Music Directed by

J. Michael Friedman

Composer, The Communist Dracula Pageant. A.R.T.: [I Am] Nobody's Lunch, Lysistrata, Marat/Sade, Idiots Karamazov, The Merchant of Venice. Composer/lyricist for the Civilian’s This Beautiful City, [I Am] Nobody’s Lunch, Gone Missing, and Canard, Canard, Goose? Also wrote music and lyrics for Saved, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, In the Bubble, The Brand New Kid, God’s Ear, and The Blue Demon. With Steve Cosson, he is the co-author of Paris Commune. New York: Playwrights Horizons, Public/NYSF, NYTW, Roundabout, Second Stage, Soho Repertory, Theatre for a New Audience, Signature, and the Acting Company. Regional: Hartford Stage, Humana Festival, Kennedy Center, Berkeley Repertory, Williamstown Festival. International: London’s Soho and Gate Theatres, and the Edinburgh Festival. Founding associate artist of the Civilians. Artistic associate at New York Theatre Workshop, MacDowell Fellowship, and a Princeton University Hodder Fellowship. 2007 Obie Award for sustained excellence.

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Constance Garnett, translator Thomas Derrah
Ernest, her butler Doug Goodenough
Alyosha Karamazov, the monk Sean Dugan
Ivan Karamazov, the intellectual Jonathan Hova
Dmitri Karamazov, the sensualist Antonio Edwards Suarez
Smerdyakov Karamazov, the epileptic Boni Alvarez
Fyodor Karamazov, the father John Douglas Thompson
Mary Tyrone Karamazov, the mother Paula Plum
Father Zossima, the mystic Remo Airaldi
Anais Nin, a woman of letters Karen MacDonald
Djuna Barnes, her secretary Mercedes Herrero
Miss Nin’s Leather Girls Naemmah White-Peppers, Nora Zimmett
Grushenka, a Russian prostitute Greta Sanchez Ramirez
Grushenka II Faye Debonis
Altar Boys William Cryer, Oliver Poole