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‘The Kornilov Affair,’ Willow Creek Theatre’s newest comedy, opens Friday

The Kornilov Affair

Opens Friday, March 4, Willow Creek Theatre Company, Iowa City, $12-20


Willow Creek Theatre Company’s newest production, The Kornilov Affair, opens on Friday, March 4 in Iowa City. Tickets are $20; student tickets can be purchased in person for $12 with ID. The Kornilov Affair runs through March 13.

Over the course of two months, an ensemble of actors wrote and designed this two-act comedy about the lead-up to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. (General Lavr Kornilov, commander-in-chief of the Russian army, attempted a military coup d’état in late August of 1917.) The theater calls the show “a hilarious story that’s often more accurate than you’re likely to believe.”

Kornilov on his officers’ shoulders, 1917, Public Domain.

In the wake of recent actions taken by the Russian government against Ukraine, Willow Creek Theatre released a statement about the production, and its “use of Russian history and iconography.” 

Willow Creek Theatre’s statement on February 24, 2022.

“To be clear,” it reads, “we at WCTC wholeheartedly condemn the hostile actions of Putin’s government in Ukraine, and our show, The Kornilov Affair, does not express support for said actions in any way, shape, or form.” It goes on to reiterate the company’s goal to use “an often misunderstood piece of history” to illuminate current events and expresses hope that the play “spurs meaningful discussion in our community.”

“These are unsettling times for a large number of reasons,” it continues, “but we believe theater’s purpose is to help find common understanding of the world around us through communal art. As the world continues to move faster, theater often struggles to keep up with current events moving around it. It is so rare to find ourselves working on just the right project at just the right time, so when events line up the way they have, we consider it our duty as artists to follow through on our work.

“We hope audiences come out and use this show to plug themselves into these incredibly important issues, and allow our work to be a jumping off point for larger community conversations about current events.” 

If you like stage farces based on real-life farces and enjoy theater that pushes you toward common understanding, you won’t want to miss this premiere.


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