Crime and Punishment

This 85-minute dash through the classic Russian novel was last seen in a 2007 Capitol Hill Arts Center production under the same director, Sheila Daniels, and with two of the same actors. Hana Lass again plays all the female roles. And Galen Joseph Osier is Raskolnikov, who turns from academia to homicide all in the name of a proprietary theory. The way Raskolnikov sees it, murder for a noble cause is justifiable, especially if the perp is “extraordinary” (in this translation), rather than just one of the hoi polloi. You don’t have to look too far to find today’s parallels. In Daniels’ hands, time becomes taffy. She whips the action scenes into a staccato frenzy, then stretches out Raskolnikov’s creeping self-awareness into a kind of water torture. Under cross-examination by the detective Porfiry (played by the newcomer to this production, Todd Jefferson Moore), the murderous Raskolnikov’s belief that he’s extraordinary begins to crack, until his realization shatters him from the inside out. KEVIN PHINNEY

March 29-May 3, 2009