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.