The Adobe Theater's production of "The Jewel in the Manuscript", a new play by Santa Fe author Rosemary Zibart, will feature some actors new to the Albuquerque theater scene and some familiar favorites. Brian Hansen, director of this world-premier production based on the life of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is pleased with the “extraordinary cast for a very demanding play.”
As the lead figure, David James will play Dostoyevsky. Mr. James comes to Albuquerque from years of stage and film work in Los Angeles and Chicago. Jessica Quindlen will make her Albuquerque debut as Anna Snitkina, the young stenographer who is thrust into the unsettling world of Dostoyevsky’s enormous talent. Linda Williams, a favorite with local audiences, will be playing Anna’s mother, the one person to whom she can unburden her heart. Ms. Williams was last seen earlier this summer as Maria in the Vortex Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night". Her most recent role at the Adobe was the maiden aunt Lizzie in "Is Life Worth Living?" Joining the company fresh from playing Charlie in the Vortex Theatre’s "Death of a Salesman" will be Tyler Strand, as Dostoyevsky’s best friend Milyakov. Mr. Strand will also serve as the production’s dramaturg, based on his deep knowledge of Russian literature and his years of residence in Russia.
The central situation in "The Jewel in the Manuscript" is based on an actual incident in Dostoyevsky’s life: in 1866 he had accepted an advance from an unscrupulous publisher for a new book. If he was unable to produce the completed manuscript in an impossibly short period of time, the rights to his other books would revert to this publisher. In desperation, Dostoyevsky turned to something entirely new: dictating his work to a stenographer. Little did he anticipate that the stenographer would be a woman. Their struggle, both personal and literary, is one of the great stories of Russian literature. And it makes for a memorable evening in the theater.
"The Jewel in the Manuscript" by Rosemary Zibart opens October 19th and plays through November 11th at the Adobe Theater with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. Tickets for this world premiere are only $15, students and seniors $13. Reservations can be made at www.adobetheater.org or by phone weekdays.