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Reconstructing Boris Godunov.

PRINCETON, N.J.: Princeton University scholars and students have been working to restore a version of Boris Godunov, Alexander Pushkin's 1825 historical drama, that was crafted by Russian director Vsevolod Meyerhold, with a score by Sergei Prokofiev. Because of the censorious politics of Stalinist Russia in the 1930s, Meyerhold had abandoned Godunov, though he left copious notes. On April 12-14, a version of Meyerhold's Godunov, staged by Tim Vasen, finally makes its premiere at McCarter Theatre Center's Berlind Theatre.

The Godunov project is managed by Simon Morrison, an associate professor of music, and Caryl Emerson, chair of the Slavic languages and literatures department and a leading authority on the play. "Tackling this play in 2007, Princeton has advantages undreamt of by Meyerhold in 1936," Emerson says. "Lighting, film projections, special musical and stage effects are the technological advances, but we also have a half-century's worth of experience in contemporary theatre adaptation."

Arrested on charges of treason in 1939, Meyerhold was shot a year later. "I'm hoping the production ends up feeling connected to what Meyerhold was trying to do in the Soviet period and what Pushkin was trying to do in the 1820s--a new way to look at a history play," Vasen says. To see the show, visit To learn more about the Godunov project, visit

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Title Annotation:NEWS IN BRIEF; Princeton University students working on Alexander Pushkin's drama Boris Godunov
Publication:American Theatre
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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