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The Suicide
Ballard Underground
Seattle, WA
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The Suicide
About the Play:
Written in 1928 after the Russian Revolution, a period when the arts flourished before the suppression of Stalinism, The Suicide is a sprawling, wacky, absurdist comedy that tells the story of Semyon Podsekalnikov, an ordinary man trapped in joblessness and hopelessness. When he begins to consider suicide, the various people in the Russian post-revolution community: the artists, liberal intelligencia, tradesmen, and disreputable women in his life begin competing for the final dedication of his suicide to their individual causes. The play, first directed by Vsevelod Meyerhold, was banned in Russia halfway through the rehearsal process, and was never successfully produced there until 1990.  It was first produced on Broadway in 1980.

About the Playwright:
Nikolai Erdman was born in Russia in 1900 and was known for his work with the famous director Vsevolod Meyerhold in the 1920s.  His first play, The Mandate, was successfully produced with Meyerhold, but The Suicide which is universally recognized as one of the finest plays written during the Soviet Period was never performed.  After the play was banned by the Stalin regime, Erdman turned to writing screenplays for silent movies. In 1933 he was deported to Siberia. Meyerhold was eventually jailed, tortured, forced to recant his life's work in the theatre, and then murdered in 1940 when his work was proclaimed antagonistic to the Soviet people.  

About the Director:
George Lewis has been working in the theater since 1971 as an actor, director, creator of original work, and teacher.  He is one of the original teachers at Freehold where for the last 20 years he has taught movement, personal clown and acting.  For the last three years he has spent six months every year in Buenos Aires where he teaches and has created and directed three full length original clown pieces.  He has also worked extensively as a teacher and Movement Director for Freehold's Engaged Theatre Program, an outreach program that brings Shakespeare to men's and women's prisons, youth detention centers, and other underserved populations.

He studied Meyerhold's approach to theater (biomechanics) over a period of seven years with Gennadi Bogdanov at Seattle's Freehold Studio.  Bogdanov himself was one of seven Russian theatre artists accepted to study with Nicolai Kistov, one of Meyerhold's principal actors as well as a teacher in his school, who resurfaced in the 1970's to spread Meyerhold's approach to theatre.  Lewis encountered a scene from The Suicide in one of Gennadi's workshops and has been intrigued with it ever since.  

The Cast:
Cris Berns, Amber Cutlip, Elizabeth Deutsch, Ted Dowling, Lisa Every, Toan Le, Sachie Mikawa, Carter Rodriquez, Sally Rose, Sara Rucker Thiessen, Ryan Sanders, Tom Spangenberg, Lori Stein

About BASH Theatre:
BASH Theatre, formerly known as The Community Theatre, is a non-profit company committed to producing exceptional theatre.  We have been active in Seattle since 2006 and have produced and performed the following plays:

Wrecks, by Neil LaBute (Footlight Awards: Best of Fringe-Bravura Acting)
Autobahn, by Neil LaBute
Other Places, by Harold Pinter
Carver's Pieces, based on three short stories by Raymond Carver
Three One Act plays by Thornton Wilder



Ballard Underground
2220 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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