The premier Russian dramatist before Chekov, Alexander Ostrovsky was one of the first masters of realistic theatre. A typical example of his approach to drama, A Protégée of the Mistress is almost cinematic in its presentation. The action is represented by a series of vivid snapshots, in which Ostrovsky quickly and subtly illustrates the foibles and weaknesses of each character, and shows how they are forced into a hostile dependence on each other. A recurring theme of Ostrovsky's plays is the uneasy balance between social utility and moral rectitude, which is encapsulated in this bitter comedy in the character of Madam Ulanbekov, wealthy landowner and relentless guardian of young wards, whom she forces into marriages of convenience as she sees fit.
Cast Madam Ulanbekov - Cate Barratt Leonid - David Prickett Vasalisa Peregrinovna - Michele Eaton Potapych and Negligentov - John Burlinson Nadya - Charlotte Duckett Gavrilovna - Maureen Boutilier Peasant girl and Grisha - Becca Maggie Liza - Leanne Yau Stage directions read by Grace Garrett.