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Gerald Carpenter: Ensemble Theatre Opens Season with ‘Crime and Punishment’
Directed by the company’s executive artistic director, Jonathan Fox, and adapted by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus, Crime and Punishment stars Brian Patrick Monahan as the unbalanced protagonist, Raskolnikov — who fancies himself a Nietschean superman, above the law — Kwana Martinez as several of the female characters, and Peter Van Norden, who will play, among other characters, the patient, relentless police inspector, Porfiry Petrovitch.
Pound had been massaging his own neck and shook his head. “To tell you the truth, Hem, I’ve never read the Rooshians.” Hemingway had tremendous respect for Pound’s literary judgments, but this answer was too perfunctory to satisfy him.
Later on that afternoon, he was sitting in a cafe talking to his friend, Evan Shipman (“He was a fine poet and he knew and cared about horses, writing and painting”), and he brought up the Russian novelist again. “I’ve been wondering about Dostoevsky,” he said. “How can a man write so badly, so unbelievably badly, and make you feel so deeply?”
Whatever his merits — or failings — as a literary craftsman, Dostoevsky had one indispensable gift as a novelist: He could keep you on the edge of your seat, turning pages — 500, 600, 700 of them — until you found out what happened to his characters. That is why plays and films derived from his works are so effective.
The novels usually start with the main character in motion — Crime and Punishment opens with Raskolnikov going downstairs and out into the teeming street, already rehearsing in his head the murder he plans to commit — and despite the infinite distractions and involvements with other people, the momentum is maintained, seemingly without any art at all, until the end.
Crime and Punishment will play through Oct. 21, with showtimes at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays, with a special Saturday 4 p.m. matinee performance on Oct. 13, all in the Alhecama Theatre at 914 Santa Barbara St. in Santa Barbara. Subscriptions, single tickets and group tickets are available through the Ensemble Theatre Box Office at 805.965.5400 or by clicking here.
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