2008 – Pnin [Пнин]



Click the image to see the program!

The play is based on «PNIN,» a short novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the renown emigre author who lived in the USA. The novel was written during Nabokov’s stay in Ashland, Oregon. In the novel, Pnin, a Russian literary scholar, flees from France to the US during the Second World War with his wife and becomes a citizen. His pregnant wife then informs him that the child is not by him but by an Austrian psychoanalyst Eric and leaves Pnin with her new love. Pnin begins to teach in the US and eventually moves to a quiet university city of Waindell. He teaches to a small group of students who are curious about Russia. His descriptions of Pushkin’s Queen of Spades and Gogol’s Nose are so vivid students see stories in front of them …

Note from Julia Nemirovskaya, the play’s director and script writer:

“In our theater, Pnin’s lectures turned into small “plays within a play” “Queen of Spades” by A. Pushkin was practically “danced out” thanks to our strong dance team; “Nose” by N. Gogol made one abandon the familiar reality and immerse in a dream; and “Notes from the Underground” by F. Dostoevsky were accompanied by rock music and pantomime and explored a strange formula: ” two times two makes five” All three stories were disturbing, ambiguous and exotic – but we hoped the public would go to the books and “catch the germ,” Professor Pnin’s infectious love for Russia.”