‘Government Inspector’ entertains at DDHS

Looking for something to lift your spirits? Consider taking in this play, presented by the student actors at David Douglas High School …

Rehearsing for their upcoming production of The Government Inspector, Hlestakov (played by DDHS student actor Caleb Huggins), a lazy low-level government worker who has been mistaken for a powerful government inspector, is confronted by an angry resident of the town – the locksmith’s wife (portrayed by Kayden Skipper).

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The title of the winter comedy offered by the David Douglas High School (DDHS) Theater Department, a play originally published in 1836, might not ring a bell – but the story will have audiences smiling in recognition of human behavior, as they watch The Government Inspector come to life, beginning on the evening of March 9.

“Like all of our productions, our main goal is choosing a show that showcases the strengths of our actors while challenging them to grow as performers,” said DDHS Theater Instructor David Rosenbaum, the show’s director.

Greed and corruption is the basis for situational comedy gold, says he show’s director, DDHS Theater Instructor David Rosenbaum.

“This year, we have a cast of very funny, high-energy performers – and The Government Inspector, being a large-cast satirical farce, gave our students the opportunity to create larger-than-life energetic characters to showcase their talents,” Rosenbaum told East Portland News during a rehearsal.

Noting the presence of a large outer East Portland Russian community, Rosenbaum said they believe that offering a play, written by famous Russian author Nikolai Gogol and set in Russia, will connect with neighbors of Russian heritage.

“And, with government corruption becoming a higher profile issue in our country recently, this seemed like a great time to do this play,” Rosenbaum added.

The locksmith’s wife and the Corporal’s Widow (played by Imagen Huey), as well as other townsfolk, beg Hlestakov to save them from the corrupt politicians who run their town.

About the story

When the locals in a small Russian hamlet learn that an undercover government inspector is coming for a surprise visit, an unfortunate case of mistaken identity sends the villagers spiraling into a world of panic and greed.

“A ‘farce’, such as The Government Inspector, is many times based on mistaken identity and increasingly ludicrously improbable situations, which provides the comedy,” Rosenbaum explained.

Marya, the mayor’s daughter (played by Erin Grady), and the mayor’s daughter Anna (Julia Archer), both try to seduce Hlestakov, who they have mistakenly believe can help improve their lives and fortunes.

The Government Inspector features a cast 20, who are ably supported by 16 stage technicians.

“We hope that the audience comes away from this show exhausted from laughing, but also questioning where they do and don’t see their community and themselves in these characters,” Rosenbaum said. “And, even thought it was written in the 1800s, there are many parallels between then and now!”

Can the townspeople be convinced that Hlestakov truly is a great and powerful man, or will their collective greed and ambition blind them to the fact he isn’t? Find out, by going to see The Government Inspector.

March 9 at 7:30 p.m., the curtain goes up for the first performance of The Government Inspector.

Evening shows continue March 10, and again on March 15 and 16. Plus, there are Matinee shows at 2:30 p.m. on March 11 and March 18.

Tickets: $10 for Adults | $8 for Students and Seniors. To reserve tickets online (you’ll pay for them when you arrive at the Box Office), CLICK HERE. Or, visit the Box Office on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 3:00 until 5:30 p.m. school days.

The Box Office and Theater are located in the Howard F. Horner Performing Arts Center, at 1400 SE 130th Avenue, (between SE Stark and Division Streets).

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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