Customer Service available Mon - Fri 9am to 6pm EST

Pushkin - Full Length Play, Dark Comedy


Don Nigro

Customer Rating: starstarstarstarstar (Rate this!)

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy

5m, 3f

ISBN: MS00000000280

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is being made available now in manuscript form prior to its publication.

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dark Comedy

More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - 19th Century


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Period Costumes


Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

At the time of his violent death, Alexander Pushkin was the most famous living Russian poet, still a young man, and married to the most beautiful woman in St Petersburg. This play traces the dark, tragic farce of the events that led to his shooting. A notoriously successful womanizer, Pushkin became obsessed with the famously beautiful Natalya Goncharova, whose insane father and lack of a dowry finally led her to give in and marry him. The marriage appears to have been a surprisingly happy one at first, only to gradually develop more and more strains as Natalya's love of dancing and showing herself off at balls drew her further and further away from her short, ugly and somewhat lame husband, and towards a handsome young French officer named D'Anthes. As Pushkin's suspicion and jealousy grew, so did his frustration that everything he wrote had to be submitted to the Tsar's chief of police and head censor, the sardonic and dangerous Count Benckendorf, whose attitude towards the great poet seems to have been about equal parts affection, respect, resentment and hatred. The fuse to this powder keg of increasingly violent emotions was finally lit by the anonymous mailing of malicious letters to Pushkin and all his friends, congratulating the poet on being elected to the brotherhood of cuckolds. The authorship of the letters remains a mystery to this day, but they set off a chain reaction that led step by step to a bloody duel in the snow and the premature death of Russia's greatest poet. Many believed the letters were written by D'Anthes' grotesquely jealous protector, Baron Van Heeckeren, a figure reminiscent of Proust's Baron de Charlus, but there are other likely suspects in the play as well. Told in a fluid and cinematic fashion as a kind of surreal, ongoing ball that is also perhaps the attempt of Pushkin's friend and rival Gogol to construct a play that makes sense of his life and death, the play presents an increasingly tangled web that includes Natalya's resentful sisters, the brilliant and somewhat wicked Alexandra, who might have had serious designs on Pushkin herself, and the plain and desperate Katya, who managed to get herself pregnant by D'Anthes while acting as a go-between. The play flows like a dance, blending dark comedy, mystery and tragedy as it moves inexorably to that bloody snow bank. Part of Nigro's ongoing cycle of plays tracing the history of Russia through the lives of its writers, which includes Gogol, An Angler in the Lake of Darkness, A Russian Play, Emotion Memory, Rasputin and Mandelstam.


5m, 3f


Ensemble cast

Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)

Don Nigro

Don Nigro

Don Nigro is among the most frequently published and widely produced playwrights in the world and has continued to build a deeply interrelated and diverse body of dramatic literature, employing a wide variety of dramatic conventions and styles of presentation. He has written monologues and epics, spare realistic dramas and surreal homicidal puppet farces, plays with music and verse plays. He ... view full profile

Now Playing

You May Also Like

See all

Customers Also Bought