Theater: Plays

Production: 'Ivanov' (See all 15 roles)

Misha Borkin (Supporting)

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Production Details

Casting "Ivanov" for an all African-American cast. Acts I and II will be presented for an audience as part of a classroom project at Columbia School of the Arts, under the tutelage...more

Get more details on 'Ivanov', including pay, union details, full description, rehearsal & production dates & locations, script sides, other roles, and more.

Seeking

Male, ages 18-64, African Descent, African American

Role Description

Misha Borkin: (Supporting) Ivanov's drunk, opportunist cousin.

Audition Sides

IVANOV AUDITION SIDES

Please prepare the scenes below, regardless of what character is of most interest to you. Please indicate whether you are comfortable being considered for all characters. Thank you!



MEN’S SIDE: Please prepare the part of Misha Borkin.

ACT I
The garden of Ivanov’s house. Left, the front of the house and the veranda. One of the windows is open. In front of the terrace is a broad semicircular space from which tree-lined walks lead left and right. Right, garden benches and small tables. On one of the tables, a lamp is burning. Evening ; it is growing dark. As the curtain rises, we hear music from the house, a duet for cello and piano. Ivanov sits by the table and reads. Borkin appears at the end of one the tree-lined walks, wearing heavy boots and carrying a rifle ; he’s been drinking. When he sees Ivanov, he sneaks up close to him and points the rifle in his face.

IVANOV : (Sees Borkin, gives a start, and jumps to his feet) Misha, for God’s sake ! You scared the hell out of me ! I’m upset as it is, and you come around playing your stupid tricks ! (Sits) All right, I’m scared. Does that make you happy ?

BORKIN : (Laughs) OK, OK, I’m sorry. (Sits down next to him) I won’t do it anymore, I promise. (Takes off his cap) It’s hot. You may not believe this, but I’ve just done ten miles in three hours. Wore myself out. Feel how my heart is beating…

IVANOV : (Reads his book) Later.

BORKIN : No, feel it now. (Takes Ivanov’s hand and places it on his chest) Hear it ? Tum-tum-tum-tum-tum-tum. That means I have a heart condition. I could die any minute now. So what do you think… will you be sorry if I die ?

IVANOV : I’m trying to read. Can we talk about this later ?

BORKIN : No, I’m serious. Will you be sorry if I die ? Huh, Nikolai ? Will you ? Will you be sorry if I die ?

IVANOV : Stop bothering me !

BORKIN : Just tell me. Will you be sorry ?

IVANOV : I’m already sorry. Sorry you’re drunk ! It’s not very attractive, Misha.

BORKIN : (Laughs) Am I drunk ? How surprising… Actually, there’s nothing really surprising about it. I ran into the assistant prosecutor in town, and we tossed off about eight vodkas. But I have to admit, drinking is bad for you. Huh, what do you think ? It’s bad for you, isn’t it ? Isn’t it ?

IVANOV : I can’t take any more of this. Misha, you’re really being obnoxious !

BORKIN : OK, OK, I’m sorry ! I’m sorry ! The hell with you- you can sit here all by yourself. (Gets up and starts off) God, these crazy people, you can’t even have a little conversation with them… (Comes back) Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. I need eighty-two rubles.

IVANOV : What for ?

BORKIN : I have to pay the workmen tomorrow.

IVANOV : I haven’t got eighty-two rubles.

BORKIN : Oh, that’s good ! (Mimics him) « I haven’t got eighty-two rubles. » So what am I going to pay the workmen with ? You tell me.

IVANOV : I don’t know ! I haven’t got any money right now. Wait till the first ; I get paid then.

BORKIN : The workmen don’t get paid on the first ; they get paid tomorrow morning !

IVANOV : What do you expect me to do about it now ? Go on, keep nagging- you’ll nag me to death. Why do you always do this ? You come around and bother me just when I’m reading-

BORKIN : I asked you, what am I going to pay the workmen with ? Oh, what’s the use ! (Makes a dismissive gesture) You gentlement farmers, you’re all alike. Scientific farming methods… Two thousand acres, and not a cent in your pocket. What do you want me to do- sell the horse and the carriage ? Sure, why not ! I already sold the oats in the field ; might as well sell the rye too. (Starts walking rapidly back and forth) You think I won’t ? Huh ? Just don’t push me.

(In the house, the music stops)















WOMEN’S SIDE: Please prepare the part of Anna.

ANNA : The flowers come back every spring ; why not happiness ? Who told me that ? I can’t remember. Maybe it was Nikolai who said it. (Listens) There’s that owl again !

DOCTOR LVOV : Forget the owl.

ANNA : You know, Doctor, I’m beginning to think that fate has cheated me somehow. There are lots of people no better than I am, and they’re happy… they’ve never had to pay for their happiness. But I’ve had to pay for everything, every single thing ! Why have I had to pay so much ? Dear Doctor, you’re all so careful with me, so considerate, you’re afraid to tell me the truth, and you think I don’t know what’s the matter with me. But I know what I’ve got, I know perfectly well what I’ve got. But it’s a boring topic of conversation. (Yiddish accent) Oy, gevelt ! Vot have I done ? (Beat) Do you know any good jokes ?

DOCTOR LVOV : No.

ANNA : Nikolai does. (Beat) Oh, why can’t people respond to love with love ? And why is the truth always paid for in lies ? How long do you think my mother and father are going to hate me ? They live about twenty miles from here, and I can feel their hatred night and day, even when I’m asleep. And what can I do about Nikolai’s depression ? He says it’s only at night he doesn’t love me, when he feels depressed, I understand ; I think he’s probably right ; but suppose… suppose he stopped loving me altogether ? I know that couldn’t happen, really- but what if it did ? No, I can’t think that. (Sings) « Snowbird, snowbird, where’ve you been » ? (Shivers) What a scary thought… You aren’t married, Doctor, are you ? So there’s lots you don’t understand.

DOCTOR LVOV : I am amazed. (Sits down beside her) You amaze me ! Now look : will you please explain something, just to help me to understand ? How is it that an intelligent, honest woman like you, almost a saint, can let herself be treated so badly ? What are you doing in this cuckoos’ nest ? What have you got in common with that cold, inhuman- Sorry, let’s leave your husband out of it. What you got in common with this useless, vulgar household ? My God ! That crazy old count, that crook Misha- how did you get involved with these people ?

ANNA : (Laughs) That’s exactly the way he used to talk… exactly like it. Only his eyes are larger than yours, and whenever he started talking intensely about anything, they used to burn like live coals… (Beat) Go on, go on, don’t stop. Talk to me.

DOCTOR LVOV : (Stands, makes an impatient gesture) What is there to talk say ? You should go in.

ANNA : You keep saying Nikolai is this or that or the other. How can you possibly know what he’s like ? You’ve only known him for the last six months ; you can’t get to know a man in that short a time. He’s a remarkable man, Doctor. I’m sorry you didn’t meet him a few years ago. Now he’s always depressed, won’t talk, doesn’t do anything ; but then… What a delight he was ! I fell in love the first time I saw him ! (Laughs) I took one look, and snap ! I was caught in his trap ! And he said, Come on, let’s go away together… So I cut myself off from everything, like cutting rotten leaves from a plant, and I went…

(Pause)

Only now it’s different. Now he spends all his time at the Lebedevs’, he’s seeing other women, and I just… I sit here in the garden and listen to the owl cry.

(The sound of the watchman on his rounds)

Do you have any brothers, Doctor ?

DOCTOR LVOV : No.