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This fall we are producing a new translation of Meshahnye by Maxim Gorky. It is 1902 and the lower middle-class Bessemenov family is torn by generational and class revolt. Gorky brilliantly exposes the turmoil of pre-revolutionary Russia and the vast political and personal upheaval to come. Shockingly relevant and culturally enlightening, this new adaptation investigates how a societal rift can affect traditional values and challenges perceptions of duty, morality, and status that are as relevant today as they were one hundred years ago. It is provocative, funny, and utterly entertaining.


"I saw a production by the RSC at the Pit in the Barbican in London in 1985 and was enthralled. It was the translation by Dusty Hughes called Philistines and the plot, the words, the characters intrigued me. It is a weaving of the generations, and class structure, and family life in Russia, with the future seeping in disturbing the status quo. That was 33 years ago, and, having read other translations - The Courageous One, The Smug Citizen, The Petty Bourgeous - I was curious to know exactly what Maxim Gorky had written. I enlisted the help of Leo Grinberg, a young Russian actor who was willing to do a literal translation, taking into account the year in which Gorky wrote it--1902. Then we sifted through the script creating draft after draft to establish Gorky’s original meaning. The whole process to us seemed somewhat like detective work and was utterly engrossing."

-Jenny Sterlin, Artistic Director

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Theater for the New City

155 First Avenue

Between 9th and 10th Street


Transit Directions

Nearest Subway Stations - 6 Train at Astor Place, L Train at 1st Ave, R Train at 8th Street &  Broadway, also walking distance from Union Square

Public Parking with nearest Parking Lots at East 11th Street between 1st & 2nd Avenues, or East 9th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. 




Click on the actor’s head shot to learn more about him/her

John Lenartz Bessemenov

Isabella Knight Akulina

Annie Nelson Tatiana

Thomas Burns Scully Peter

Aaron Wright Nil

Ninoshka De Leon Gill Polya

Kenneth Cavett Perchikhin

Zenon Zeleniuch Teterev

Fede Rangel Yelena

Kelli Maguire Stepanida

Kassandra Perez Tsvetaeva

Leo Grinberg Doctor/Shishkin