Lantern Theater Company: Geneviève Perrier and Charlie DelMarcelle in A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (2014); Kittson O'Neill, Maxwell Eddy, and Alex Boyle in ARCADIA (2014); Damon Bonetti, Daniel Fredrick, and Dave Johnson in THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (2015); and Kirk Wendell Brown and Peter DeLaurier in THE TRAIN DRIVER (2014). Photos by Mark Garvin.
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The Government Inspector
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Russian satire The Government Inspector premieres in Philadelphia

Family-friendly adaptation of Nikolai Gogol play debuts at Lantern Theater Company

October 21, 2008

Lantern Theater Company's 15th Anniversary 2008/09 Season continues with an all-new adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector. This Philadelphia premiere production will run from November 21-December 28, 2008 at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets in Center City. When a small town full of bumbling, loony officials hear that a government inspector is paying a visit, they are thrown into a panic! The townspeople, instead of pitching in to improve the problems of their town before the inspection, set about to cover up their messes and mistakes. Since its first performance in 1836, this bustling satire from the pen of Russian comedian Nikolai Gogol has resonated with audiences all over the world. This all-new adaptation is an imaginative, madcap theatrical event perfect for ages eight to ninety-eight.

Lantern Theater Company strengthens its commitment to producing innovative and accessible work by commissioning an all-new translation and adaptation of The Government Inspector. While Gogol's play has seen recent revivals around the United States, the Lantern is the first to give The Government Inspector a local production, with Armina LaManna translating the work from Russian to English and director David O'Connor adapting the play specifically for the Lantern's space and actors. O'Connor says of this opportunity provided by the Lantern: "With the great support team here, I never feel overwhelmed, but always stretched, and I think that is exactly where anybody needs to be to thrive and do their best work."

After the Lantern's success with The Foocy in 2005, a similarly resourceful and innovative production featuring physical comedy, puppetry, and a playful set transforming before the audience, The Government Inspector adaptation is tailored to be engaging for audience members as young as 8 years old. To create an affordable theater-going experience for the whole family, the Lantern is offering a week of family matinees from December 23-28, 2008, with tickets starting at just $10.

David O'Connor, the director behind the Lantern's popular and critical successes "Master Harold"...and the boys (Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Director) and The Lonesome West, directs The Government Inspector. The five-member, all-Philadelphia cast bringing the small Russian town to life includes David Ingram, Anthony Lawton (2005 Barrymore nominee for The Foocy), Seth Reichgott (2005 Barrymore nominee for The Foocy), Sarah Sanford, who will also serve as choreographer, (2008 finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist), and Luigi Sottile. The Lantern is proud to welcome back a team of Philadelphia-based designers which includes set designer Meghan Jones, costume designer Millie Hiibel, lighting designer Janet Embree, and sound designer Jeff Lorenz.

The Government Inspector begins previews on Friday, November 21, 2008 with an opening on Tuesday, November 25. The closing performance is scheduled for Sunday, December 28, 2008. Tickets are $20-$35, with discounts for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more. From December 23-28, the Lantern will offer special pricing for a Family Matinee Series, with tickets ranging from $10-$27. The Lantern provides student rush discounts through "$15 at :15", which provides up to 15 tickets to students with valid ID 15 minutes before the performance for just $15. All performances are held at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia, PA. Tickets and subscriptions, starting at $54, can be purchased on-line at or by calling the box office at 215.829.0395.

After The Government Inspector, Lantern Theater Company's 15th Anniversary season continues with Sizwe Bansi is Dead by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona (January 30-March 1, 2009) and Hamlet by William Shakespeare (April 3 - May 10, 2009). The Lantern is also proud to welcome back by popular demand The Great Divorce based on the novel by C.S. Lewis, for a limited engagement run (December 28, 2008 - January 4, 2009).

Three-play subscriptions are available for the 2008/09 season with packages ranging in price from $54-$120. Single tickets for the 2007/08 season are $20-$35, with student, senior and group rates available. The Lantern is proud to introduce a new student rush program, $15 at :15, which provides up to 15 tickets to students with valid ID 15 minutes before the performance for just $15. For tickets and information, please contact the Lantern Theater Company box office at 215.829.0395 or visit us online at

Founded in 1994 by Charles McMahon and Michael Brophy, Lantern Theater Company has emerged as one of the most successful professional theaters in the Philadelphia region. Lantern Theater Company is committed to an authentic and intimate exploration of the human spirit in its choice of classic, modern and original works.

The Lantern commits itself to being a vibrant, contributing member of its community. To that end, each season the Lantern produces four main stage productions, a variety of special events, and Illumination, the Barrymore nominated education program designed to engage local students and adults alike in the world of theater and nurture their own artistic expression. This program reaches the Greater Philadelphia area in four vital ways: outreach in area schools, matinee performances for students, training teaching artists for after school programs, and our audience enrichment series of lectures, discussions, and symposia for each production of our season.

Lantern Theater Company has been in residence at St. Stephen's Theater at 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia since 1996, managing the performance space and developing it into an affordable multi-purpose performing arts venue. Since the inception of Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, the Lantern has received 12 awards and 54 nominations, including nominations from 2006 to 2008 for the Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service Award. Philadelphia Weekly named the Lantern Best Theatre Company for the 2007/08 Season, calling the company's selection of plays "impressively diverse in genre and style". The 2008/09 season at Lantern Theater Company marks the company's 15th year of creating high-quality professional theater in Philadelphia.

The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol
Original Adaptation by Armina LaManna and David O'Connor
Directed by David O'Connor

The Cast
David Ingram, The Judge, Osip
Anthony Lawton, The Hospital Director, Dobchinsky, Bobchinsky
Seth Reichgott, The Mayor
Sarah Sanford, Anna, Marya, The Servant
Luigi Sottile, Khlestakov

Meghan Jones, Set Designer
Millie Hiibel, Costume Designer
Janet Embree, Lighting Designer
Jeff Lorenz, Sound Designer
Sarah Sanford, Choreographer

Lantern Theater Company at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Press Night
Reviewing Press are invited to attend Opening Night of The Government Inspector on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7pm. Call 215.829.9002 x106 to reserve seats.
Other Press may arrange for tickets for any other performance by calling 215.829.9002 x106.

In Conversation: Audience Enrichment Series
This series offers audiences an insider's look at each show of the season from the Lantern's artistic team, joined by some of the finest humanities scholars on the East Coast.

Scholars: In Conversation
Monday, November 24 at 7pm
Pay What You Can Admission

The Translator's Task: Russian Comedy for an American Audience. This lively panel discussion will address the challenges of bringing Gogol's 19th Century satire to modern Philadelphia audiences. Featuring Kevin M.F. Platt, PhD, Chair of the Slavic Department at the University of Pennsylvania and Armina LaManna, MFA, translator of the Lantern's all-new adaptation of The Government Inspector.

Directors: In Conversation
Friday, November 28 at 7pm, before the 8pm performance
Free for all ticket holders to this production

Kathryn MacMillan, Lantern's Literary Manager, hosts a pre-show conversation with The Government Inspector's Assistant Directors, Jessica DalCanton and Craig Getting to provide a first-hand look into the rehearsal process.

Artists: In Conversation
Saturday, December 13, following the 2pm performance
Free for all ticket holders to this production

This post-show discussion focuses on the process of bringing scripts to the stage. The audience will have an opportunity to talk about the production with the director, performers, and designers who created it.

Pre-Curtain Cocktails
Friday, December 5, Cocktails from 6pm-8pm, Performance at 8pm

New this season! On a select Friday night of each performance, the Lantern hosts Philadelphia professionals for drinks and light fare at Marathon Grill, 10th and Walnut Streets. The inaugural Pre-Curtain Cocktails event welcomed over 30 attendees from Jefferson Hospital, Comcast, Motorola, Subaru and others. Tickets to the performance can be purchased through the Lantern Box Office. Marathon Grill provides complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.

Calendar and Tickets for The Government Inspector
Single Tickets: $20-$35; discounts available for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more
  • By Phone: 215.829.0395
  • Online:
  • In Person: St Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets
  • Box Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm. One hour prior before curtain on performance days.
  • Performance Calendar: Online at
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Header Photo: Geneviève Perrier and Charlie DelMarcelle in A Child's Christmas in Wales (2014); Kittson O'Neill, Maxwell Eddy, and Alex Boyle in Arcadia (2014); Damon Bonetti, Daniel Fredrick, and Dave Johnson in The Hound of the Baskervilles (2015); and Kirk Wendell Brown and Peter DeLaurier in The Train Driver (2014). Photos by Mark Garvin.

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