Moscow Nights Presents: 24 Hours In The Life Of Pontius Pilate
An original theatrical production based on Mikhail A. Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita”. Director Natasha Ramer adapted chapters involving Pontius Pilate remaining faithful to Bulgakov’s work.
This new script addresses Pilate’s life and relationship over a 24 hour period that begins with the confrontation with Jesus and depicts his fate in the hours following that event.
Bulgakov’s text presents a completely different rendition of the meeting between Pilate and Jesus from that recorded in the New Testament. His story builds an atmosphere for the audience, building anticipation that they will learn what really happened between Jesus and Pilate during this dramatic time.
In essence, Bulgakov writes his own “Gospel” with Natasha Ramer succeeding in capturing from the novel stunning revelations and timeless drama beginning by giving form to one of the most mysterious characters from the source material named “Evil Spirit” who arrives with his entourage of “students” onto Planet Earth, showing them people he watches over throughout the centuries.
They cross centuries of time into the past to arrive at the dawn of the very moment this saga begins. Spontaneously –and quite unpredictably– the conversation turns to Jesus and their questions about people’s belief in Jesus. They even call into question if Jesus even existed…
*Saturday, January 19th @ 7:00 PM Bulgakov: Writing in a Time of Terror
Free and Open to the Public: Join us as the world-famous Bulgakov scholar, Ellendea Proffer Teasley, opens our production run and examines the world of Bulgakov and the influences on his life and writing style.
Ellendea Teasley is an American Author, Publisher, and Translator of Russian Literature into English.
She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University and is a well-known Bulgakov scholar, translator and publisher.
She is known for Mikhail Bulgakov: Life&Work (1984), translations of Bulgakov’s plays and prose, numerous articles and introductions ~ most prominently the Notes and Afterword to the Burgin-O’Connor Translation of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita.
This event takes place in the Professional Sciences Building (Building 19), next door to our venue on the campus of Dillard University (location below).
(This Educational Lecture is made possible thanks to Grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.)
Samuel Dubois Cook Fine Arts Center
2806 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70122
Diana E.H. Shortes
Joe S. Burch
Roscoe Reddix, Jr.
* Appearances Courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association
About the Production
Our Director, Natasha Ramer, adapted extracted chapters involving Pontius Pilate for the theater stage. Faithful to Bulgakov’s chapters, the new script addresses Pilate’s life and relationship over a 24 hour period that begins with theconfrontation with Jesus (in the novel referred to as “HA-NOTSRI”) and depicts his fate in the hours following thatevent.
Bulgakov text presents a completely different rendition of the meeting between Pilate and Jesus from that recorded in theNew Testament. The text of the novel created the uncanny sensation that the audience is about to learn what really happened during this dramatic time.
More than fifty years ago, while still a student in the Theatrical Institute of Moscow (also known as GITIS), she read the Bulgakov novel, “The Master and Margarita”, and its impact on her was stunning ~ like a volcanic explosion into her consciousness! The penetrating chapters of the novel exploded, alternatively mystical and satirical ~ and she could not immediately comprehend and internalize the entire symphony of words.
After so many years she decided that she will stage the vivid chapters that “the Master” in the novel writes about Pontius Pilate. In essence, Bulgakov writes his own “Gospel”. She decided to transform this amazing set of chapters into a theater play.
She begins with creating a script. As a part of her writing, she went to Israel and visited the sites that the original saga unfolded in. While there, she invited Lithuanian-Israeli Composer V. Ganelin to write an original audio score for the play. Upon her return to New Orleans, she invited the best local professional theater actors to discuss the script, to read through the dialogue, and carefully built her cast.
On the 28th of March, 2018, Moscow Nights presented a staged reating of the script. (for more, please see 24 Hours in the Life of Pontius Pilate – Staged Reading.
We performed at the Jefferson Parish Eastbank Regional Public Library inMetairie, Louisiana, to a full house audience. We received numerous very positive audience reviews and felt the excitementof our audience as the staged reading unfolded. Our next step will be the staging of a full-fledged theatrical play stagingalong with the original music score along with specialized choreographical movements, lighting, full stage sets and attire appropriate to those times.
Our original cast, with a few exceptions, is returning to re-enact their roles from the original staged reading. All who are returning are very enthusiastic about their roles and look forward to the coming curtain rising.
Natasha succeeded to capture from the novel one of the most mysterious characters named “evil spirit” arriving with his entourage of “students” onto Planet Earth, showing them “people” he watches over the centuries. Spontaneously, and quite unpredictably, the conversation turns to Jesus ~ and answers their questions about people’s belief in Jesus. They even question if Jesus even existed!?
“Oh yes,” says Woland. “I was there and I’ll show you!”
They cross time into the past through the centuries to arrive at dawn at the very moment the saga begins.
Collarborating with Dillard University
This production is unique in that we are collaborating with Dillard University’s Theatre Department, giving undergraduate students ~ actors and technical crew alike ~ an opportunity to work alongside the region’s finest professional theater actors and crew. In exchange, Dillard students will have an invaluable educational opportunity to intern with us and receive degree credit through Dillard’s “Internship” seminar.
However, this is not the whole story. Tulane University’s Theatre Department joins the collaboration team with the services of Theatre Set Design Professor Diane Cupsa, Choreography by Professor Barbara Hayley and Theatre ActingProfessor Jeffrey Gunshol reprising his role as “Woland”. Lithuanian-Israeli Composer Vyacheslav “Slava” Ganelin wrote very haunting audio tracks for our play.
Sponsors of this Production
This production is made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors!