February 20, 2009

Crime and Punishment


"Crime and Punishment" is currently on the Indiana Repertory Theatre's Upperstage. Three actors and a sparse set greet audience members attending this condensed adaptation of the classic book. For 90 minutes sinners and saints tangle together in the mess that is human life.

Andrew Ahrens plays Raskolnikov, a man tortured by his inability to reconcile his intellect and faith. Ahrens' turn as Macbeth earlier this season now feels like a taste of what was to come in this role. Like Macbeth, Raskolnikov's guilty conscience seeps out in all of his actions. Even his health begins to suffer under the wait of his guilt.

He is dressed in threadbare rags, the edges caked in mud. The former student finds it easy to postulate about the necessity for great men to break the law for the greater good, but his life falls apart when he attempts to introduce his theory into the real world. The abstract idea of morality is easy for him to discuss, but as soon as he puts himself into the equation, his life is thrust into chaos.

He seeks absolution from the prostitute Sonia, who he sees as a fallen sinner, like himself. Even in the depths of despair Sonia manages to find hope and maintain her faith. She is the antithesis of the cynic Raskolnikov.

The show delves deep into the psyche of a criminal. The scenes between Raskolnikov and the detective, Porfiry, are filled with tense interplay. The two go round and round discussing motives and theories, while at the same time dancing around the subject of the murder that's under investigation.

Crime and Punishment is sure to leave audience members mulling over the topics of right and wrong and religion long after the show ends.


Don't Miss the Show

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. "Crime and Punishment" runs until Sunday, March 8 on IRT's Upperstage.

Discounted tickets are available to students. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com

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