(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – John Hodge’s new play, Collaborators, will be shown Live in HD from London’s National Theatre at The Clark and the Mahaiwe on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 2 pm (and in an encore screening at The Clark again on Friday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m.) The drama centers on an imaginary encounter between Joseph Stalin and the playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (best known for his novel The Master and Margarita).
Moscow, 1938, is a dangerous place to have a sense of humor; even more so a sense of freedom. Bulgakov, living among dissidents, stalked by secret police, has both. And then he’s offered a poisoned chalice: a commission to write a play about Stalin to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. Inspired by historical fact, Collaborators embarks on a surreal journey into the fevered imagination of the writer as he loses himself in a macabre and disturbingly funny relationship with the omnipotent subject of his drama. Hodge’s blistering play depicts a lethal game of cat and mouse through which the appalling compromises and humiliations inflicted on any artist by those with power are held up to scrutiny.
John Hodge is the screenwriter of Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, and The Beach. Collaborators is directed by National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner.