A photo taken during the media night for “The Government Inspector,” which opens on Thursday, March 1. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

OU Division of Theater Presents ‘The Government Inspector’ Opening March 1

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Ohio University’s Theater Division in the school of dance, film, and theatre will be presenting its third production of the 2017-18 school year with The Government Inspector. The show will take place in the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theatre in Kantner Hall on March 1-3, and March 6-9. General admission is $10, OU student admission is free with a valid ID, and non-OU students and senior admission is $7.

The Government Inspector was written as a dark satire in 1836 by Russian playwright Nikolai Gogol and adapted in English by the modern American playwright Jeffery Hatcher.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The play explores themes of power, corruption, and greed in a small Russian village as word gets out that the government has sent an inspector to report on the citizen’s bad-behavior. Falsely believing one man to be the government inspector, the citizen’s quickly expose their most selfish sides in order to advance their positions in society.

“It’s a very corrupt town populated by very corrupt people… most of them lie, cheat, steal, and do what they need to do to get what’s theirs,” said Brian Epperson, a third year MFA acting student playing the role of Hlestekov.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

Through the use of comedy and satire, The Government Inspector highlights many depraved aspects of society and humanity at large.

“I would call it an equal-opportunity offender,” said Director Dennis Delaney, Associate Professor of Theater and Directing in the College of Fine Arts. “Basically the whole argument is that people are either already corrupt or they are imminently corruptible.”

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The Government Inspector was originally written in part to comment on the age of Imperialism in 17th century Russia, but the subject matter and presentation can be applicable to modern issues.

“Considering the political climate right now this is the perfect play to put on, to poke fun at the whole process,” said Delaney.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

Though the play may not contain a classic hero, or even many likeable characters, the use of satire allows the message of The Government Inspector to keep audiences introspective.

“Our job as theater artists in the 21st century is to illuminate some corner of societal life and to ask you as an audience to investigate how you’re living your life and why,” said Delaney. “This play in particular uses satire in that effect. It holds up magnifying glasses to power, corruption, greed, bureaucracy, etc.”

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The 16-person cast includes Brian Epperson, Shon Middlebrooks, Kristin Conrad, Evie Weir, Tim Ashby, Taylor Neely, Damian George, Morgan Parsons, Blake Dava, Carlie Meyers, Nick Wilson, Camila Benencia, Jack Benken, Daisy Bentley, Sophia Vangessel and Abby McNulty.