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Production Archive

Closed on March 10, 2019

based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master

and Margarita

in an adaptation by Edward Kemp

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In the streets of Moscow, Margarita is destined to meet a brilliant writer, the Master of her heart.  Meanwhile, the Devil and his demonic crew descend on the city to wreak havoc on the literary elite.  When Soviet censors imprison the Master to silence him, Margarita joins forces with the dark side in a courageous effort to save her lover.  

Supernatural, satirical, and darkly comedic, Mikhail Bulgakov’s celebrated Russian story is a powerful indictment of corrupt government and authoritarian rule.         

 

Closed on March 10, 2019

 

Mikhail Bulgakov's
THE MASTER

AND MARGARITA
In an adaptation by

Edward Kemp

 

directed by Allison Arkell Stockman

Run Time: 150 minutes,

including intermission

Production Photographs
Videos
Plot Synopsis

ACT ONE

The play opens mid-rehearsal for the Master’s play, which depicts the historical meeting between the Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Nozri (Jesus of Nazereth) in ancient Yershalaim (Jerusalem). The play’s director, Trepan, asks the Master to take the rest of the day off.

As the Master makes his way through the streets of Moscow, he meets a beautiful woman, Margarita. In the world of the Master’s play, Pilate asks the High Priest, Kaifa, for Yeshua Ha-Nozri’s release. His request is denied. The Master’s play is denounced by critics, including the prominent literary critic Misha Berlioz. Berlioz assigns her young protégé Ivan, to take charge of the Master’s script.  


ACT TWO

Six months later in a Moscow park, Berlioz and Ivan debate the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. They are interrupted by Professor Woland, who informs Berlioz that she will die that day. Woland’s prediction comes true when Berlioz slips on sunflower oil and is decapitated by a moving tram. A hysterical Ivan is admitted to an insane asylum, where he is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The next day, Woland mysteriously appears in Trepan’s apartment and announces that he will be performing a Black Magic Show at the theater.  Woland’s demon retinue force Trepan out of the apartment by throwing her to Yalta.  Back at the theater, Rimsky and Varukha are overwhelmed by ticket requests, telegrams and surprise visitors. That evening at the Black Magic Show, Woland and his entourage – a trickster named Fagott, the vampire Azazello, and a talking cat named Behemoth – entertain a sold-out audience.



INTERMISSION
 


ACT THREE

At Stravinsky’s asylum, Ivan meets the Master, who is a fellow patient.  Margarita, still distraught at the Master’s disappearance, happens upon Berlioz’s funeral. She is met by Azazello, who suggests that Woland may be able to give her information about the Master.  Later that night, Margarita serves as the hostess of Satan’s full moon spring ball and meets a multitude of murderous spirits now living in hell.

In ancient Yershalaim, Pilate orchestrates the murder of Judas of Kiriot, whose betrayal of Yeshua led to his arrest.


ACT FOUR

Woland offers to grant Margarita her deepest wish in reward for her services, and she uses her power to forgive one of the tortured souls from the ball. Woland offers her another wish, which Margarita uses to summon the Master.

In Yershalaim, Pilate meets with Yeshua’s disciple, Matthew Levi.  In another dimension, Fagott and Behemoth set Moscow on fire and loot the burning theater.  Azazello tricks the Master and Margarita into drinking poison, killing their earthly bodies while granting them eternal afterlife. They rejoin Woland and his retinue and experience a cataclysm.

Woland leads the lovers to Pontius Pilate, who has been sitting staring at the moon for two thousand years, wracked with guilt for not saving Yeshua.

Many years later, Ivan attributes the strange events surrounding Woland’s visitto the work of “criminal hypnotists.” He admits, however, that he still
becomes agitated every year at the spring full moon, and dreams of Pontius Pilate, Margarita, and the Master.

 

The World of the Play

Erik Teague brings his unique steampunk aesthetic and exquisite eye for detail to the delightfully demonic world of Mikhail Bulgakov's celebrated novel.