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Hope College Theatre Presents
"The Government Inspector"

Posted November 15, 2001

HOLLAND -- Hope College Theatre will present "The Government Inspector" by Nikolai Gogol starting Friday, Nov. 16, in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The production continues on Saturday, Nov. 17, and then runs from Wednesday, Nov. 28, through Saturday, Dec. 1. Curtain time is 8 p.m. for all but the final performance, which will be a matinee at 2 p.m.

"The Government Inspector," also known as "The Inspector General," tells a fairly simple story. The corrupt, squabbling bureaucrats of a provincial town are suddenly shocked to learn that a Government Inspector is about to pay them a visit--incognito.

In their panic they jump to the conclusion that a young stranger recently arrived at the hotel is the Inspector, and they set out to woo him with hospitality, bribes and even the hand of the mayor's daughter. The unraveling of the situation propels the play on to the discovery that they have made a major mistake, and they fall to squabbling again until they are interrupted by some startling and ominous news.

The play has enjoyed a rich life in the history of world theatre since it was written in 1836, according to John Tammi of the Hope theatre faculty, who is director of the production. Is it a simple comedy, a satirical farce, a political tract, a social commentary, a morality play? Tammi noted that it may be all of these--and perhaps even more.

"This play seems quite benign and straightforward on the surface, but as you start sorting it out in production, it becomes increasingly complex," he said. "It is both alluring and challenging. It has certainly stood the test of time in that it continues to be produced by theatres in all parts of the world. As with all good plays, the characters are intriguing, the story engaging and the message universal."

"It has been our great joy to bring the play to life on the stage," Tammi said. "Now we look forward to the reaction of our audience."

The Hope Theatre production will be presented by a cast of 24 student actors.

Playing the traveling government clerk, Khlestakvo, is sophomore Tim Heck of Libertyville, Ill. His servant, Osip, is being portrayed by sophomore Daniel Allen Kwiatkowski of Cheboygan. Peter J. Beck, a junior from Manila, The Philippines, plays the Mayor, Anton Antonovich; freshman Abigail Youngerman of Royal Oak plays his wife, Anna Andreyevna; and sophomore Deanna DiFilippo of Flushing plays his daughter, Marya Antonova.

Members of the town council will be played by: senior Kathryn Cleveland of Brighton, as Olga Zemlyanika, the Director of Charities; sophomore Micah Maatman of Kalamazoo, as Luka Lukich, the Director of Education; sophomore Rebekah L. Oegema of Lawton, as Sonia Kuznovna, the Postmistress; and freshman Keith Janofski of Marquette, as the Judge.

Andrew Meyers, a freshman from Churchville, N.Y., and freshman Patrick A. Patton of Grahamsville, N.Y., play the two town-gossips, Bobchinsky and Dobchinsky. Three merchants are played by junior Joshua Brandenburg of Columbus, Ohio, as Panteleyeva; freshman Drew Kosta of Grandville, as Abdulin; and freshman Jeffrey Kurtze of Elkhart, Ind., as Chernyayev.

Playing double roles are: freshman Erik Saxvik of Liberyville, Ill., portraying a Waiter and the retired official, Rastakovsky; and freshman Warren Baker of Mt. Pleasant, as both the Doctor and a Gendarme.

The balance of the cast includes: sophomore Jessica Trakimas of Carmel, Ind., as Avdotya, the Mayor's servant; freshman Jared A. DeBacker of Jonesville, as a Policeman; sophomore Andrew Isola of Allegan, as the Superintendent of Police; sophomore Megan Jewell of Brighton, as the Locksmith's Wife; junior Brenna Bosma of Orland Park, Ill., as the Corporal's Widow; junior Anne Mathias of Jackson, as the Director of Education's Wife; junior Patrick Kearney of Clinton Township, as Korobkin; and sophomore Jill Van De Water of Ramsey, N.Y., as Mrs. Korobkin.

Scenic design for "The Government Inspector" is by Richard Smith of the Hope theatre faculty and senior John J. Andersen of Hamilton. Other theatre faculty involved with the production include Michelle Bombe for costume and makeup design, and Perry Landes for lighting and sound design. The stage manager is senior Jamie Raabe of Greenbrae, Calif.

Tickets are $7 for regular adult admission, and $4 for senior citizens and students. Tickets are available at the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and until 8 p.m. on performance nights.

Reservations may be made by calling the office at (616) 395-7890. The ticket office will be closed on Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 22-24, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.

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