Following the Iona College Players’ production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged,” is the Iona College Theatre Ensemble’s production. This year the play chosen for the performance in conjunction with the Fine and Performing Arts department is “Crime and Punishment.”
Director and Associate Professor in the Fine and Performing Arts department Thomas Donnarumma selected the script because it was so outstanding. “The story is about Raskolnikov, an impoverished Russian citizen who devises a plan to do away with what he deems to be the undesirables in the world in order to bring about a better society,” he said.
Donnarumma explained that he was initially drawn to “Crime and Punishment” because of the literary era in which it was published. This script, an adaption of the Fyodor Dostoevsky book, put together by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus, offered the strongest characters and representation of the story.
Junior Pieter Maddens and senior Brian Sears will each play Raskolnikov for two performances. Maddens has found the role challenging but thrilling. “I never leave the stage,” he said, “Everything occurs within my mind.”
Sophomore Victoria Zito, who plays Lizaveta for two performances, appreciated the exceptional script, noting how well it demonstrates the desire to be extraordinary and the consequences of this desire.
The student actors in the production have put significant effort into understanding and developing the characters they portray. This work has allowed the actors to make clear, strong decisions and actions when onstage.
Senior Gregory Morra, who plays Inspector Porify, explained that the script played a large role in the character development. He said, “Every time you read it, you can’t help but find something different and exciting. Your character never ceases to develop.”
Both Zito and Morra find the fast pace and unpredictability of the show energizing and find it creates a different experience with each rehearsal.
Complimenting the hard work of the actors is the incredible set and unique staging. These pieces demonstrate Donnarumma’s dedication to the production. These directoral choices offer the audience a glimpse into the disruptive psyche of Raskolnikov.
Maddens and Zito believe the unique staging offers a different experience from traditional productions for the actors. Fortunately, both noted that the cast has a high level of experience and energy; this energy creates onstage chemistry and a strong group dynamic.
If you’re curious about Roskolnikov, the unique staging and what makes the set stand out, settle into a seat in the Doorley Auditorium on Nov. 15-16 at 7 p.m. or Nov. 17-18 at 1 p.m. and experience “Crime and Punishment.”