The Department of Theatre and Dance presents: “The Government Inspector”

Originally written by Nikolai Gogol in the mid-1830’s, the play integrates a contemporary spin for American audiences.

Mackenzie Guiry and Katrina Scales

After last season’s run of somber shows, the Department of Theatre and Dance is back with a “laugh-out-loud” production they think will bring the house down.

The Government Inspector is a 19th century Russian satire with melodramatic characters and slapstick antics. The show is adapted by director Desmond Gallant, who felt the play should include implications of today’s political friction with Russia.

“I saw it about 30 years ago,” said Gallant, who is also an assistant professor at FAU. “Really I just remember having a great time with it and fell in love with the show.”

The show takes place in a corrupted, small-town Soviet government, headed by the Mayor, who learns an undercover inspector will be coming to investigate them. Khlestakov, a vain civil servant from St. Petersburg, is mistaken for the inspector, commencing a goofy, mistaken-identity plot.

Sean Patrick Gibbons is a second year M.F.A. student and plays the role of Khlestakov.

“Using both your acting skills, and movement, speech… everything that we learn during the day as students we get to apply on stage at night,” Gibbons said.

Jesse Veliz, Sean Patrick Gibbons, Stephen Kaiser and Erin Williams in their respective roles at a rehearsal on Wednesday. | Katrina Scales

Student actor Om Jumarali said the audience will pick up on the modern interpretation woven into the script.

“I feel like it ties a lot into today and puts a really lighthearted farcical twist on issues that are really happening right now,” Jumarali said.

Gallant decided to write his own adaptation after realizing that other translations of the script didn’t capture the essence he was looking for.

“To keep the play from simply becoming a British comedy about small-town Russians and to keep it relevant for our audience, I felt it needed a more Americanized sensibility,” Gallant wrote in the show’s program. “And while there is another American adaptation I read, it veered too far away from the original plotline and lost some of [Nikolai] Gogol’s intent.”

Though the play injects elements of political commentary, it still embraces the hallmarks of a farce with nonsensical buffoonery.

“They’re gonna have a great time, it’s really wonderfully funny, and very pertinent to today,” Gallant said.

The Government Inspector opened in the Studio One theatre on Nov. 10th and will run until Nov. 19th. Tickets are $12 for students and $22 for non-students.

Cast member Joey De La Rua at a rehearsal on Wednesday. | Katrina Scales

Mackenzie Guiry is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].

Katrina Scales is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].