‘Notes From Underground,’ Dostoevsky’s ‘Confession’ of a Man Raging Against the World, Is Yale Rep’s Next Offering
The Yale Repertory Theatre will present the world premiere of a stage production of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famed novel “Notes from Underground,” a passionate, obsessive and contradictory confession of a tormented soul.
The new play, starring Obie Award-winning actor Bill Camp and directed by Robert Woodruff, will be staged March 20-April 11 at the Yale Rep, corner of Chapel and York streets. Camp, who adapted the novel with Woodruff, plays Dostoevsky’s iconic antihero, Underground Man.
“I am a sick man … I am a wicked man,” cries Underground Man in “Notes from Underground,” considered one of the first “existential” novels. A former government official who has withdrawn from a corrupt society, Underground Man wages his own personal war on everything — and everyone — around him.
The adaptation by Camp and Woodruff is based on a translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Woodruff, a member of the faculty at the Yale School of Drama, has directed over 60 productions across the United States, including Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, American Conservatory Theatre, Guthrie Theater and Mark Taper Forum, among others. Most recently, he directed “Chair” at Theater for a New Audience and created “Ifigeneia in Aulus” with Toneelgroep Amsterdam and Philip Glass’s “Appomattox” for the San Francisco Opera. He has also directed internationally. In 1972, he co-founded the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco, where he served as artistic and resident director until 1978. In 1976 he established the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, a summer forum for the development of new plays that is still flourishing. He was the artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre from 2002 to 2007. He was named a 2007 Biller Fellow by United States Artists, an arts advocacy foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of America’s top living artists.
Camp previously appeared in the Yale Rep production of “Le Bourgeois Avant-Garde.” He won an Obie Award for his acting in the Off-Broadway production of “Homebody/Kabul.” His New York credits include the Broadway productions of “St. Joan,” “The Seagull,” “Jackie: An American Life,” “Heartbreak House” and “Coram Boy.” His Off-Broadway appearances also include “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” for which he won the Elliot Norton Award for Best Actor. He has appeared at numerous regional theaters. His television and film credits include “Public Enemies,” “The Guitar,” “Coach,” “Deception,” “The Dying Gaul,” “Brotherhood,” “Law and Order,” “Joan of Arcadia” and “The Great Gatsby.”
Other members of the cast and creative team include composer and sound designer Michaël Attias (who also plays Appollon and Musician); lighting designer Mark Barton; costume designer Moria Sine Clinton; Merritt Janson as Liza and Musician; projection designer Peter Nigrini; associate projection designer Dan Vatsky; scenic designer David Zinn; dramaturg Amy Boratko; vocal coach Walton Wilson; and stage manager Kris Longley-Postema.
Opening night is Thursday, March 26. Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (and Monday, March 23); with matinees at 2 p.m. on the following Saturdays: March 28, April 4 and April 11; and on Wednesday, April 1. Special offerings include “Talk Back” — a conversation with the cast and crew — following the 2 p.m. performance on March 28 and the 8 p.m. performance on April 2; a reception for graduate students at 7 p.m. on March 28; an open-captioned performance at 2 p.m. on April 4; and an audio-described performance at 2 p.m. on April 11.
Tickets are $10 for shows March 23-25. Tickets for all other shows are $35-$65 and are available online at www.yalerep.org, by phone at (203) 432-1234, or in person at the Yale Rep box office, 1120 Chapel St. (at York). Student, senior and group rates are also available.