Russian literature class to perform free play Thursday night



    There will be no final day jitters for students of HonorsP 203R — only butterflies as they make their theatrical debut Thursday night, March 30.

    Students of Dr. Thomas Rogers’ Russian literature course will be performing Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in 205 of the JRCB. Admission is free and the play will be in English.

    After studying the Russian novelist throughout the semester, students consented to perform a play depicting one of his novels in lieu of a final, Rogers said.

    “It’s a great idea,” said Jonathan Stovall, 19, a freshman from Beaumont, Texas, majoring in history teaching. “You are definitely not regurgitating information. I’m actually learning something that I will remember 10 years from now.”

    Rogers agrees, who has invited students to perform adaptations of Russian novels for several years.

    “It is an opportunity for cultural development of students and gives them language practice,” Rogers said.

    Students are finding that their active participation in the play is enabling them to better understand the complexity of Dostoevsky, said Marlene Hansen, 20, a senior from Cleburne, Texas, majoring in humanities.

    “You really become involved in the literature. You read it, but it isn’t until you actively participate that you fully understand the complexities,” Hansen said.

    In addition to understanding the complexities of Dostoevsky, Kristi Gustafson has gained a greater appreciation of his complicated characters.

    “You actually start to see into the characters. It is a different way to get into them,” Gustafson said, 19, a sophomore from San Diego, Calif., majoring in pre-clinical laboratory science.

    “The Brothers Karamazov” explores the depth of guilt that four sons experience after one of them kills their difficult father, Hansen said.

    “The story is most significant in its attention to immortal and foreboding questions — those of morality, universal guilt, forgiveness, and salvation,” Hansen said.

    Besides the exploring of universal questions, Rogers said that the play contains a familiar theme for a LDS audience.

    “The play coincides with the ideal of ‘the hearts of the children turn to their fathers.’ It illustrates our sense of owing something to our forefathers,” Rogers said.

    By participating in the play’s production, students are also finding that their participation is developing talents they never knew existed, said Gustafson.

    “I’ve never acted before, but it sounded like an interesting concept,” Gustafson said.

    Like Gustafson, many students of the class had not acted before; however, they involvement has developed dramatic abilities in each of them, Rogers said.

    “I am amazed at how well they have participated in their roles,” Rogers said.

    “They have made many sacrifices and are eager to do the best job possible,” he said.

    Students are definitely working to do their best because their performance is the last that their professor will direct before retiring this semester, Hansen said.

    “Dr. Rogers is a very prolific professor. He has a genuine love for the subject matter. This is his culminating class project,” she said.

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