Kolya Krasotkin Gets a Stepfather

A Short Story from Stories from Children by Alexander Harrington, Painting by Soul26



Editor’s Note: Harrington’s forthcoming story collection Stories from Children is a continuation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Beyond his personal interest in this classic novel, Harrington divulges that a sequel was always planned, and gives evidence and jumping-off points for such commencement. For context, it’s helpful to include the opening paragraphs of Harrington’s introduction to the collection.

I suggest that Harrington’s bold endeavor goes beyond extending the plot and exploring characters. It braves a change of form—to the short story. Such a choice exemplifies a rewilding of the venerated author’s craft. “Kolya Krasotkin Gets A Stepfather,” the third story, gives us a glimpse of the boys who’ve lost their young friend Ilyusha, as they rewild their own lives for inspiration… and perhaps, revolution. 

-N. Kimber



In “From the Author, the preface to The Brothers Karamazov,” Dostoevsky or his narrator (it is unclear whether the “author” is Dostoevsky or the narrator of his novel) writes that the book is beginning a two-volume biography of Alyosha Karamazov. Both Joseph Frank, in his five-volume biography of Dostoevsky, and James L. Rice, in a series of articles for the journal Russian History, describe Dostoevsky’s intentions for the second novel, citing Dostoevsky’s widow and conversations with Dostoevsky recounted by the publisher and journalist Alexei Suvorin and others. The second volume would be called Children; the young boys of The Brothers Karamazov would be major characters; Alyosha would become a schoolteacher; he would undergo “a great drama” with Lise Khokhlakova and possibly leave her for Grushenka; and, most surprisingly, he would become a “Russian socialist” (as opposed to a European socialist) and would be executed for either assassinating or attempting to assassinate the tsar.

In addition to the preface, The Brothers Karamazov contains teasers for a second novel in the form of cliffhangers, set-ups, and asides. At the end of the book, Katerina Ivanovna and Alyosha intend to carry out Ivan’s plans for Dmitry’s escape, yet the book ends before the escape is attempted. Ivan, himself, is lying unconscious with the 19th-Century-novel-disease, “brain fever,” and the reader does not know whether he recovers or dies.

In his speech to the boys after Ilyusha Snegiryov’s funeral, Alyosha says:

“Perhaps we will even become wicked later on, will even be unable to resist a bad action … And yet, no matter how wicked we may be—and God preserve us from it—as soon as we remember how we buried Ilyusha, how we loved him in his last days, and how we’ve been talking just now, so much as friends, so together, by this stone, the most cruel and jeering man among us, if we should become so, will still not dare laugh within himself at how kind and good he was at this present moment! Moreover, perhaps just this memory alone will keep him from great evil, and he will think better of it and say: ‘Yes, I was kind, brave, and honest then.’”[1]

This is quite possibly a set-up for a second novel in which Alyosha and/or one or more of the boys is saved from doing evil by the memory of Ilyusha’s funeral…




III. Kolya Krasotkin Gets a Stepfather


About four and a half hours after the walrus slammed his rifle butt into Dmitry Karamazov’s mouth, Kolya Krasotkin’s hair caught fire. He was cradled inside the closet under the staircase of his mother’s tidy little house, reading Chernyshevsky’s What Is to Be Done?. Though the widow Krasotkina had given her son free rein in exploring his late father’s bookcase, not objecting to many a volume other parents would have found scandalous – even Voltaire’s Candide –, What is to Be Done? was a bridge too far – a novel by an imprisoned author – a novel regarded by nihilists as holy writ. “How stupid the censors must be,” thought Kolya, “to let this one slip by.” As he was reading by candlelight, nestled in his hiding place, his drooping blonde forelock had toppled into the flame. Kolya quickly snuffed the fire. He had finished it – he had unlocked the secrets of the revolution.  It was time to share those secrets with his comrades at “The Meeting”.

As Kolya opened the closet door, Perezvon, his one-eyed dog with the smoky blue-grey coat, lifted his head as far as he dared and thumped his tail twice on the floor.  In the kitchen, Agafya, his mother’s plump and pockmarked maid, caught a whiff of singed hair and bellowed, “Mother save us! What’s that stench?”

“Mind your own business, female,” snapped Kolya.

Barely suppressing a smile, Agafya waddled into the kitchen doorway.

“I’ll female you, brat! I’ll female you so good, you’ll squeak as high as you did last year.”

“Aaahhh, I have business to attend to, wench!” He barged past Agafya, past the stove, into the pantry.

“Wench, is it? Tell me brat, d’ya even know what a wench is?”

“Oh impertinent female, do you doubt my vocabulary?

“Oh, obnoxious brat, if I didn’t doubt your voca …, I’d wash your mouth out with soap.”

“Oh, strutting popinjay …”

“Strutting popinjay? Do you want to tell me what that means?”

“Bahh!” sputtered Kolya and grabbed a jug of kvass.

“Where do you think you’re taking that, stretching popinjay?”

“Where I please, wen … strut … stretching popinjay!” He smiled, suppressing a giggle, and barged past Agafya.

Kolya grabbed his padded winter coat with its seal fur collar and put on his school uniform cap. He barked, “Ici, Perezvon,” and the mongrel sprang to his feet, joyful to follow his master. 

Out on the streets of Skotoprigonyevsk, Kolya passed Plotnikov’s shop and turned off Main Street onto Potemkin Street, went one block and then turned left onto Mikhailovsky. After half a kilometer, he turned right onto Lake.  He walked almost to the dead end, and then passed through the gate to Old Man Kropotkin’s property. Since September, they had been meeting in the abandoned shed in Kropotkin’s yard.

Kolya never arrived on time – best to keep them waiting. He pushed open the flimsy door. There were gaps between planks of the walls – being inside the shed was as good as being out in the December cold. 

Smurov, Kartashov, Bulkin, and Borovikov were huddled around a small fire they had made on the dirt floor. Perezvon let go a deep, resonant bark, and the boys looked up.

Smurov’s usual red cheeks were made even redder by the heat from the fire – a tuft of dark brown hair fell out from under his uniform cap. If Kolya had not adopted the preparatory class, Smurov would have been the natural leader of his peers.  He was intelligent – perhaps as intelligent as Kolya, if not presuming to be as worldly and if not as bold. Like Kolya, he had an expansive and embracing heart, but, also like Kolya and like many children and adolescents, Smurov could be cruel. He was one of the instigators of the bullying of Ilyusha Snegiryov. Ilyusha was a small, frail boy from an impoverished family. But Ilyusha was brave and proud and would not meekly submit to his tormentors – this attracted Kolya’s attention and protection, bringing Ilyusha into the fold of his classmates. By an unfortunate confluence of circumstances, Ilyusha and Kolya had a falling out just before the convicted murderer Dmitry Karamazov dragged Ilyusha’s father (a lackey of Dmitry’s father, Fyodor – victim of the murder for which Dmitry was convicted) through a town square by his wispy, brush-like beard, earning Ilyusha the taunt “backscrubber,” repeated incessantly by Smurov and his classmates. Ilyusha’s being struck with consumption and the diplomacy of Alexei Karamazov had inspired Smurov and his compatriots with a devotion to the sick boy and effected a reconciliation between Kolya and Ilyusha. Ilyusha’s death had forged a profound bond among his friends and former tormentors.

Kartashov was a small boy with high cheekbones, extraordinarily fine features, and eyelashes that girls envied. He was painfully shy but would irrepressibly (or compulsively) blurt things out that would bring down upon his head the scorn of his schoolmates – particularly Kolya. Though his small frame belied it, Kartashov dearly loved food. 

Bulkin’s pudgy frame did not belie the fact that he was Kartashov’s confederate in gourmandizing. With blonde hair and tiny wireframe spectacles, he looked like a caricature of a German schoolboy, prompting Kolya to give him the nickname “sausagemaker”.

Borovikov was the only boy Krasotkin’s age — 14. Kolya was popular with his own class – he was physically strong, and he was daring – so much so that he had earned a reputation as a “desperado” – and, most importantly, he was an affectionate friend and a fiercely loyal one. Yet, of late, he had gravitated toward the preparatory class of 11-and-12-year-olds.  He had started seeing them more frequently when he became Ilyusha’s protector.  He bonded with them for both humane and human reasons. His capacious heart had a soft spot for younger children – this only child loved being an older brother and guide – he played this role not only with the preparatory class, but also with the 7-and-8-year-old children of his mother’s tenant. The role of big brother and mentor bled easily into the role of hero, which, in turn, bled into the role of tsar.  Kind as he was, Kolya was compelled to dominate. And, so, when he decided to build his “revolutionary cell,” he chose the “kids” as his minions, but he made an exception for the one peer whom he could dominate – Borovikov. 

Nondescript with medium brown hair and regular features, Borovikov was as timid as Kartashov – he feared teachers, he feared older boys, he feared “toughs,” he feared girls, he feared policemen, he feared priests, he feared shopkeepers, he feared crones, he feared “Simple Semyon” (the erratic holy fool who roamed the streets of Skotoprigonyevsk), and, most of all, he feared his parents. Nearly all of the boys were forbidden to play with Kolya. His reputation as a “desperado” was well earned – he had once lain flat on railroad tracks as a train roared over him and he had been hauled before the justice of the peace for goading an errand boy from Plotnikov’s shop into killing a peasant’s goose. Yet, as much as Borovikov feared his parents and, accordingly, should have respected their ban, he loved Kolya (as did all the boys) and had a compulsion to impress him. So, when Kolya traded a dirty book to the official Morozov in exchange for a toy cannon that fired real shot, Borovikov found a recipe for gunpowder that enabled Kolya to put the cannon into action. Firing the cannon at Bulkin’s house had earned Bulkin a whipping. Though it was Bulkin, not Borovikov, who got the whipping and Bulkin’s father, not Borovikov’s, who did the whipping, Borovikov trembled lest his parents find out that he still fraternized with the delinquent. So, when he was invited to join Kolya’s “cell”, he was both thrilled and beside himself with terror.

Va, Perezvon!” barked Kolya, and, as the dog knocked Bulkin over and licked his face, Kolya strode to a table in the center of shed on which tin cups were arrayed – Kolya’s “cell” kept the cups in the “meeting hall”.  He slammed down the jug of kvass.

“Belly up, gentleman.”

Smurov, Kartashov, and Borovikov, who were nearly suffocating Bulkin as they scratched Perezvon’s belly and pet his head, disentangled themselves and scurried to the table with Perezvon skipping after. Bulkin felt for his spectacles in the dirt, put them on, wiped the dog spittle from his face as best he could, and joined the others at the table. Kolya poured a round. 

“Ici, Perezvon!” commanded Kolya, and the dog came to his Kolya’s feet.

The boys returned to the fire and sat on the dirt in a semi-circle facing the table, where Kolya seated himself with Perezvon nestled below.

“I finished it,” Kolya announced.  “They know how to organize society – the heroes in the book. There’s this female named Vera Pavlovna – now I believe females can be equal to men – they can even be superior, like Vera Pavlovna, but the way society is organized now, girls are just silly – it’s the monarchy and feudalism and capitalism that’s the problem, not girls. Anyway, Vera Pavlovna opens a dressmaking business, but the girls who work there all share the profits, and they live there quite comforta –”

Kartashov had approached the table with his cup and Bulkin’s.

“You, Kartashov – and you Bulkin – are like big, fat, greedy capitalists, never content with your share,” Kolya said as he grudgingly filled their cups. Kartashov skulked back to his place. Bulkin turned to him with smirk and moved his lips as if to speak. Anticipating an attempt to mock Krasotkin, Kartashov shot Bulkin a look.  Kartashov had tried to show up Krasotkin – once.

“Anyway,” resumed Kolya, irritated by the looks passing between his subordinates, “they all live quite conformably – we could all live quite comfortably if a few lazy landowners and fat, greedy merchants – like you, Bulkin and Kartashov – didn’t live in luxury. But Vera Pavlovna isn’t the best character – the best character is only in the book a little bit – Rakhmetov. Rakhmetov is “an extraordinary man” – Chernyshev –”

“Don’t say “Chernyshevsky”,” hissed a panicked Borovikov, who ran to the door to see if anyone was listening.

“But you just said it,” piped Kartashov.

Borovikov’s hands shot up to his mouth and he stood in stricken and stunned silence before peeking his head out the door again.

Kolya rolled his eyes.

The author calls him “an extraordinary man” because the censors won’t let him use the word “revolutionary.”

“Don’t say rev – that word,” Borovikov protested.

“Borovikov!” barked Kolya, “You can’t join a revolutionary organization if you’re afraid to say the word “revolutionary”!”

A squeak escaped from Borovikov’s mouth.

“ANYWAY,” continued Kolya, “Rakhmetov comes from a landowning family – he has money, but he works as a bargeman and does other common jobs – AND he sleeps on a bed of nails.”

Smurov, Kartashov, and Bulkin nodded in reverential silence. Borovikov peered out the door.

Smurov broke the solemn mood, “Are these characters supposed to be socialists?”

“Don’t say –”

“Borovikov!” Kolya shut him down.

Kolya knew this was coming.

“Y-e-e-s … the censors wouldn’t let him use the word.”

“Aren’t socialists atheists?” Smurov continued.

“Y-e-e-s …” Kolya was dreading this.

“Karamazov’s a Christian,” said Smurov, referring Alexei Karamazov, “and I don’t think he’s a socialist.”

No, Karamazov was not a socialist – Kolya didn’t think Karamazov approved of socialists. Kolya hated the idea that Karamazov would be angry with him or think he was stupid.

“Christ’s philosophy is socialist,” Kolya spoke loudly and quickly to hide his uncertainty. “Christ would definitely join the socialists if he were alive today.”

“Why do they have to keep saying that word,” thought Borovikov.

“It’s just that spiritual slop that’s the problem,” continued Kolya.

“But, at the funeral, you asked if we would all rise from the dead and see Ilyusha again,” pursued Smurov.

“I wanted it to be true – I was being sentimental – it was a funeral, for God’s sake!”

“For whose sake,” asked Smurov, smirking.

“Oh, shut up!”

“I believe in God,” Kartashov chimed in. “Do I have to leave our group?”

“Though religion is sentimental slop to keep peasants and workers from rebelling, there are Christian socialists, so you can still be a socialist.”

“That’s a funny joke – saying we’re socialists – Ha! Ha! when we’re … like … the opposite thing! I love the tsar!” Borovikov shouted through the crack in the door at the top of his lungs.

“Was Jesus really a socialist?” asked Smurov.

“Of course, he was,” Kolya responded – “‘love thy neighbor,’ help the poor, ‘it’s as easy for a rich man to get into heaven as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a pin …’”

Borovikov turned pale – his cry of “I love the tsar!” had been heard by Marey, Old Man Kropotkin’s freed serf and caretaker, who was now barreling toward the shed. Borovikov jumped from the door, but there was no other way out of the shed. If he ran through the door, Marey would catch him.

Hearing and smelling Marey, Perezvon barked furiously and thunderously, but, without the command “va!”, he wouldn’t leave Krasotkin’s feet.

Marey, in sheepskin jacket and cap, burst into the shed. “Mother of God! Who made that fire? You’ll burn the whole place down!”

Borovikov was knocked over as Marey rushed to the fire, scattering Smurov and Kartashov.

Perezvon strained, but Kolya barked, “Non!”

The path through the door clear, Borovikov pushed himself to his feet and bolted, followed by Smurov and Kartashov.

On y va, Perezvon!” Kolya strode out of the shed, a frustrated Perezvon at his heel. The spot by the fire that Marey had run to was right in front of Bulkin. Bulkin looked up at Marey, forced a grin, fell to his knees, crawled between Marey’s legs, and scrambled out the door.




Perezvon followed Kolya along Lake Street, pining for Marey’s ankle. Kolya did not walk home as briskly as he had headed to “The Meeting.” Ever since meeting Karamazov, and particularly since Ilyusha’s funeral, he had interrogated himself as Smurov had done during “The Meeting.” Yes, most socialists were atheists. Chernyshevsky was certainly an atheist. Kolya wanted to be an atheist. Ever since he had discovered Voltaire in his father’s bookcase, he believed that man had created God. And then he met Karamazov. Even before he had met Karamazov, the former novice had captured his imagination. All the kids in the preparatory class had told him that Karamazov talked to them as equals. The idea of someone who was almost 20 who would talk to him as an equal was thrilling – but no, it was more than that, as soon as he heard about Karamazov he couldn’t stop thinking about him – and then he met Karamazov. And it was true, Karamazov talked to him as if he were an adult – an adult – or a 19-year-old – who would talk to him as an adult – and a smart adult, not a bourgeois adult, not a provincial adult, but a thoughtful adult, a soulful adult – but aren’t souls superstitious slop? All right, don’t call it a soul – call it “spirit,” call it “heart.” But actually, he didn’t treat him quite as an equal. When Kolya ventured his religious and political ideas, Karamazov asked “Who told you that?” Kolya protested that he came up with it on his own, but he got a lot of it from his father’s books and most of it came from Rakitin. Rakitin was also 19, and Rakitin discussed ideas with him, but he knew Rakitin thought he was a “kid” – that Rakitin looked down on him. Karamazov didn’t look down on him – he didn’t even look down on his ideas. He was disturbed by them, almost hurt by them. Karamazov was a Christian, and he wasn’t stupid. There must be something there that Kolya didn’t understand. But it was obvious that primitive men were scared of thunder and lightning, and they called it “God.” How could Karamazov not see that? Kolya did believe at the funeral – he wanted to see Ilyusha again. It hurt him that he had given Ilyusha the silent treatment for too long, that, if he’d let up sooner, Ilyusha never would have stabbed him, the other boys never would have yelled “backscrubber” at Ilyusha, they never would have thrown stones at him, and Ilyusha never would have gotten consumption – can being hit in the chest give you consumption? – and he wouldn’t have died. And he shouldn’t have waited so long to visit Ilyusha once he got sick – just to train Perezvon. At the time, he thought he was doing it to give Ilyusha a surprise, to make him happy – that the dog Ilyusha thought he had killed was not only alive but could perform tricks[2]. But now he knew it wasn’t to make Ilyusha happy – it was to show off. He wanted there to be a Judgment Day when everybody rose from the grave, so he could see Ilyusha again to apologize, so Ilyusha could forgive him. But, if there was a God, why was Ilyusha’s family so poor? Why did God let Dmitry Karamazov pull Ilyusha’s father by his beard? Why was there consumption? What would Karamazov say to that? And there was serfdom until five years ago –people owned other people and beat them with the knout – what kind of God would permit that?

Kolya turned onto Main Street and walked to his tidy, little green house.

As he entered the hall, he heard the squeals of the “squirts,” as he called the tenant’s children, behind the varnished wooden door to their rooms.  He heard other voices from the drawing room. One was his mother’s, but the other was male – Dardanelov, his teacher. This was no surprise – Dardanelov had been courting, very gingerly, the widow Krasotkina for more than a year, and, ever since Dardanelov had saved Kolya from severe discipline – possibly expulsion – after the train incident, she had given him the slightest hint of hope.

As Perezvon sat obediently by the front door to see where his master would go next, Kolya put his coat and hat in the closet opposite the tenant’s rooms, where he had previously hidden, to unlock the secrets of the revolution.

Ici, Perezvon,” and, with the dog in tow, he walked almost to the kitchen and opened a door to his left. In the prim little drawing room with its floral wallpaper, his mother sat on the highbacked sofa – she sat upright and rigid, as if posing for a daguerreotype. Anna Fyodorovna Krasotkina, a young widow of 33, had the kind of looks that many men – particularly the less imaginative sort – admire: she was petite and blonde with a delicate, upturned nose and had a figure that was made to be accentuated by a corset. Just as rigidly, Dardanelov sat in an elegantly uncomfortable chair catty corner to the tea table that stood in front of Anna Fyodorovna.

“Kolya, my dearest,” said his mother in her soft, soothing voice, “say good afternoon to Mr. Dardanelov.”

Couche, Perezvon,” and the dog lay down by the door. “Good afternoon, sir,” Kolya bowed in Dardanelov’s direction.

Affecting a bonhomie to mask his agitation, Dardanelov rose and strode over to Kolya with his hand extended. He was 45 and of above average height – 6 feet, at least – with a handsome face that was only slightly diminished by his thinning brown hair and steel-rimmed spectacles.

“Good afternoon, Nikolai Ivanovich,” he said,  using Kolya’s Christian name and patronymic and shaking his hand.

“Dearest, come sit by me.”

Dardanelov clapped Kolya on the back and guided him to the sofa.  Once the boy was seated next to his mother, Dardanelov, with a bow to Anna Fyodorovna, resumed his seat.

Anna Fyodorovna poured tea for her son.

“You know that Daniil Denisovich,” she said, using Dardanelov’s Christian name and patronymic, “has been very kind to us and …” she faltered.

Dardanelov jumped in. “Nikolai Ivanovich, as you know far better than I, your mother has been a widow for 14 years. Many highly respected widows remarry after a year or two. Your mother has not been wanting for proposals, but all she could think of for the last 14 years was you. But now you are approaching manhood … uh … that relieves her of a burden – not a burden – a responsibility … it gives her a little more freedom. As you probably have deduced, I am a bachelor. I am no longer young … I have offered my hand in marriage to Ann Fyodorovna, your most respected mother … and … she has done me the honor of accepting my proposal.”

“The teacher’s stepson!” thought Kolya, “Oh, God!”

“That is,” Anna Fyodorovna interrupted Dardanelov, “I will accept Daniil Denisovich’s proposal if you approve.”

“Shit!” thought Kolya, “I’ll not only be teacher’s pet – I’ll be his son.”

“Mama,” he said, “I need to speak to you – ALONE.” And turning to Dardanelov, he said, “I mean no disrespect, sir.”

“Daniil Denisovich …” Anna Fyodorovna began.

“Nikolai Ivanovich,” interrupted Dardanelov, “I have made the most serious proposal to your most respected mother, and she has ac … is seriously considering it. That puts us on int … in a position of trust. Anything you would say to your mother, you can say in my presence.”

Kolya was not used to having his authority over his mother challenged. He cleared his throat as he gathered his composure.

“Ummm …”

“Damn!” he thought, “I sound indecisive.”

“Mama … Mr. Dardanelov … Mr. Dardanelov, after you kindly stepped in when the authorities heard about the train … and thank you, sir … your kindness got kids calling me the teacher’s pet – now, I’m strong and the kids respect me, so I was able to put a stop to it … but, if I was the teacher’s stepson … you don’t know what it’s like to be in high school, sir – kids are vicious – they don’t mean harm, you understand, that’s just the way they are – they’ll grow out of it.  Think about that … about me … what would happen to me if you became my stepfather.”

“Kolya, my angel, is that what you’re worried about?” sprung from Anna Fyodorovna. “Oh, sweetie, let me put your heart at rest – you are the son of a highly respected government official, and, if I marry …”

Dardanelov looked at Anna Fyodorovna with pleading yet firm eyes.

When I marry Daniil Denisovich, you will remain the son of a highly respected government official. It would not do for you to be the son of a schoolteacher … forgive me, Daniil Denisovich, there is nothing more important than teaching children, but society … we can’t ignore society … Kolya has a position … I’ve said all this before – I apologize for repeating myself, Daniil Denisovich. Kolya, my dearest, Daniil Denisovich will be leaving the school for a position in government – your father is still greatly respected by his colleagues in the service … and so, they have kindly arranged – no, I have brought your talents, Daniil Denisovich, to their attention – they are just doing what’s best for the government by appointing you.  But Kolya, the important thing is that you have nothing to worry about – you will not be the teacher’s stepson.”

Kolya’s mind began calculating with the speed of a locomotive.

“Mr. Dardanelov, have you recommended … or have the authorities chosen a new teacher?”

Dardanelov was expecting Kolya to decide his future with Anna Fyodorovna – he was not expecting a question about the school.

“N-o-o …” Dardanelov replied.

With his heart racing, Kolya asked, “Do you know Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov?”




[1] from Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s translation of The Brothers Karamazov.

[2] Ilyusha tossed a mushed-up piece of bread with a pin in it to a stray dog named Zhuchka. Zhuchka squealed and ran away. Kolya found Zhuchka, whom everyone thought was a girl, renamed him Perezvon, and trained him.


Alexander Harrington is a theater director, writer, scholar, critic, and teacher. He has directed at New York theaters including Metropolitan Playhouse, La MaMa, The Culture Project, Queens Theatre, and The Actors Studio, regionally in Maryland, New Hampshire, the Catskills, North Carolina, and New Jersey, and at Bentley, Clemson, and Louisiana State universities. He wrote and directed a two-part stage adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov; adapted and directed Chekhov’s short story “The Kiss”, “The Philosopher” chapter from Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio; translated and directed Aeschylus’ “Agamemnon”; and wrote “The Great Society” about Lyndon Johnson (not to be confused with Robert Schenkkan’s play of the same name on the same subject).  

Two of his passions as a director are Shakespeare and classical tragedy. He has directed all the plays in Shakespeare’s major history cycle (Richard II; Henry IV, Parts 1 &2; and Henry V) and adapted the four plays of the minor history cycle (Henry VI, Parts 1,2, & 3, and Richard III) into a single play, which he directed, as well as directing “Much ado about Nothing,” “Measure for Measure,” two productions of “Twelfth Night,” a second production of “Henry V” and a program of scenes focused on the women of the history plays. He has focused on the original Greek practice of setting tragic choruses and exchanges between the chorus and principal characters to music, collaborating with composers on his own translation of “Agamemnon, Richmond Lattimore’s translation of “Agamemnon,” Seneca’s “The Trojan Women” and “The Burial at Thebes” (Seamus Heaney’s adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone).

As a scholar and critic his work has been published in DissentFirst of the MonthUpstart Crow; Shakespeare Criticism, Vol. 89; and Literary Themes for Students: War and Peace. He contributed an essay on political theater to the anthology New Threats to Freedom, published by Templeton Press.


Soul26 is a graffiti writer from Denver, CO. Painting since 1993, the move to Colorado from Oklahoma in 1994 is when his journey in graffiti took off. For the past few years, Soul26 been developing his graffiti style into an abstract form. Follow Soul26 on Instagram @soul26ism