2012 Library Traveling Show:
HEART OF A DOG by Mikhail Bulgakov
Adapted by Frank Galati
Directed by Steve Stolee
OPENS OCTOBER 6, playing various venues through the month
“Heart of a Dog,” Frank Galati’s modern adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic Soviet comedy, will tour libraries and theaters in Kitsap County October 6—27 in connection with the Kitsap Regional Library annual "One Book-One Community." Written as a reaction to the socialist revolution, “Heart of a Dog” is a wonderfully witty 1920s Russian comedy designed and directed by Steve Stolee, featuring a troupe of players led by I.T. veteran actor Fred Saas and performing in a commedia dell'arte-inspired spectacle. Admission is free (donations welcome) at all venues. Due to the adult concepts and content of the play it is considered PG-13.
In the story, a Moscow medical rejuvenation specialist has made a successful career of restoring sexual prowess to an aging bourgeoisie. One evening, with aspirations of scientific greatness, the professor lures home a stray dog to be his latest test subject. The dog, like the proletariat, will put up with anything as long as his stomach is full. Then one day, the professor transplants human testes and a pituitary gland into Sharik, the dog, who sheds his hair and tail becoming Sharikov, the human, with a consuming taste for vodka, chasing women and politics.
In, Bulgakov had a good job working alongside the famously revered stage director Constantin Stanislavsky in the Moscow Art Theatre and was well on his way to being a bestselling author and playwright. One of his plays was a favorite of Josef Stalin but his criticisms of the Soviet life led to censorship of his works. His 1925 play “Heart of a Dog,” takes issue with a housing crisis, healthcare reform and what it means to be human, and as a result, was denied publication in Russia for 40 years, and wasn't produced on stage until the late 1980s.
Since 2006 Island Theatre has toured the KRL county library branches with shows that connect with the KRL One Book-One Community events series held in the fall. The 2012 book selection is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks about a woman whose remarkable cells, acquired without her consent, became extremely valuable tools in medical research—a story of the collision between ethics, race and medicine. What makes a man: Nature, or Nurture? HEART OF A DOG resonates with these themes and other current debates—philosophical and political—and spins them in a darkly fantastic and comical vein.
The Island Theatre traveling production, sponsored by Kitsap Regional Libraries, is designed and directed by Fred Saas and Steve Stolee, and will feature a company of performers in a commedia delle arte style spectacle. The tour will follow the pattern set in 2006 with the I.T. production of AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE and play at many KRL library branches, including Bainbridge, Poulsbo, Bremerton, and Manchester. This year the tour will include KRL sponsored performances at Bremerton Community Theatre, CSTOCK Theatre in Silverdale, and the Dragonfly Theater in Port Orchard.http://www.islandtheatre.org/component/content/article.html?id=80