Marriage (an utterly improbable occurrence in two acts)

by Nikolai Gogol

The Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5
February 8 - 26, 2012
Directed by Tina Brock
Marriage Postcard - Front
Ivan Kuzmich Podkolyosin
John D'Alonzo
Joe Matyas
Fyokla Feklusha Ivanovna
Tina Brock
Ilya Fomich Kochkaryov
David Stanger
Jenna Horton
Agafya Tikhonovna Kuperdyagina
Kristen Egermeier
Arina Panteleimonovna
Sonja Robson
Ivan Pavlovitch Pancake
Ethan Lipkin
Nikanor Ivanovich Anuchkin
Joe Matyas
Baltazar Baltazarovitch Zhevakin
Brian McCann
Aleksei Dmitrievich Starikov 1
Michael Dura
Aleksei Dmitrievich Starikov 2
Tomas Dura
Voice of Cabbie
Bob Schmidt


Tina Brock

Costume Design

Erica Hoelscher

Lighting Design

Josh Schulman

Scenic Design

Anna Kiraly

Technical Director

Rajiv Shaw

Production Manager

Bob Schmidt

Sound Design

Tina Brock

Assistant Directors/Stage Managers

Gregory Day/Jaime Pannone

Assistant Costumer

Jessica Barksdale

Assistant Lighting Design

Robin Stamey

Set Painting

Evan Leigh, Jaime Pannone, John D'Alonzo, Tina Brock and Bob Schmidt

Prop Construction

Jaime Pannone

Box Office Manager

Eileen O’Brien

Photoshop Magic

Bill Brock


Johanna Austin /


Animals & Cannibals by 3 Leg Torso


This production is made possible in part by generous grants from:

The Samuel S. Fels Fund, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, through Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance with additional support from PECO.


The IRC participates in the Barrymore Awards Honoring Excellence in Theater


Playing time is approximately 90 minutes; there will be no intermission.


Marriage (An Utterly Improbably Occurrence in Two Acts) (2012)

"Plot isn’t the point, but style is, and the IRC production carries Marriage off with considerable ridiculopathy."
Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The only company brave enough to regularly produce plays that explore our often non-sensical world, IRC has produced five seasons of odd but fabulous plays that would otherwise never grace a local stage."
J. Cooper Robb, The Philadelphia Weekly

“Trust Tina Brock's Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium not only to unearth another gem — Russian Nikolai Gogol's obscure "utterly improbable occurrence in two acts," a farce about the business of matrimony — but to provide another superb production in a tiny room."
Bruce Walsh, Metro Philadelphia

Director's Notes


February, 2012


It seemed like the right place, right time for a good crop of fairy tales, so for 2012 we’re ushering in two rarely-performed works to coax you into the spirit.

Renowned playwrights Nikolai Gogol (Russia) and Witold Gombrowicz  (Poland) wrote groundbreaking, absurdist-leaning plays and novels in the early-mid 19th and 20th centuries that made an indelible mark on drama and greatly influenced generations of writers to follow.

We uncovered Gogol’s Marriage: An Utterly Improbable Occurrence in Two Acts after seeing Geoffrey Rush perform as the lowly civil servant Poprischin in the darkly comic short story Diary of a Madman.  Driven mad by bureaucracy, Poprischin loses his mind though the course of the story.  Gogol captures the insanity and the conundrum of the human condition beautifully; Rush gave Poprischin red hot life onstage.

Russian political and literary historian Dmitry Petrovich Svyatopolk-Mirsky characterized Gogol's universe as "one of the most marvelous, unexpected  --  in the strictest sense, original --  worlds ever created by an artist of words….his people are caricatures… but these cartoons have a convincing quality, a truthfulness, and inevitability, attained by slight but definitive strokes of unexpected reality…”  In his book “The Technique of the Comic in Gogol,” writer Alexander Slonimsky says this about Gogol’s humor, “…humor, as the opposite of the sublime, annihilates not what is individual, but what is finite, by setting it in contrast with the idea.  For humor, no individual foolishness and no individual fools exist, but only foolishness as such and a nonsensical world.”  Russian literary critic Vissarion Belinsky, described Gogol’s humor as “...a comic outlook that is always overcome by a deep sadness and despondency…”

Thanks to all the many folks who helped bring Gogol’s world to life, we hope you enjoy.

And, if I might make so bold, would you be so kind as to pass on the word about the IRC to a like-minded comrade who enjoys a penchant for all Well wishes,

Tina Brock
Producing Artistic Director