Season Archives > 2006 - 2007 Season > Good Breeding


Heart of A Dog

Based on a novella by
Mikhail Bulgakov
Adapted by Frank Galati
Directed by Charlie Oates

@ Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre
Directions >>

January 19 – 27, 2007

Ticket Info >>

Performance Dates>>

PLEASE NOTE: The Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre is configured in a stage/house reversal. Approximately sixty (60) audience members will be seated for each performance. There is LIMITED SEATING AND NO LATE SEATING for this production. ADVANCE TICKETS – Highly Advised

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD OnStage) is pleased to present Frank Galati’s stage adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s 1925 novella on the Russian revolution and Soviet Society in the 1920’s. Department Chair Charlie Oates leads a company of talented actors, designers, and stage managers drawn from the UCSD nationally acclaimed Graduate Theatre Training Program.

Under the direction of Charlie Oates, the audience takes the stage in this critical satire on the creation of a new kind of man. A wealthy doctor transplants a deceased criminal’s testicles and pituitary gland into a dog. What ensues as the dog becomes more and more human is both chaotic and sarcastically hilarious.

Director’s Note

In Bulgakov's 1925 novella, A Dog's Heart, everything is turned upside down. Among other things, the social order and its hierarchy are upended, an apartment building is re-organized, medical science attempts to reverse the aging process and a mangy dog is transformed.

There are many reasons to love the book. There are timeless social and political themes, insight into the history of the Soviet Union in its early years, a battle between the forces of science and nature and for those who are lured by Frank Galati's wonderful adaptation for the stage to produce it as a play, fascinating challenges for theatre artists.

It is also hard to resist a play with a talking dog and a character called The Man with Green Hair. Bulgakov's endless theatricality and his ability to conjure a wacky world of reversals appeal to my own perpetual need to take a fresh view of the world. While this play is set in 1925 its central ideas, like those of most good plays, can be applied to any time and any place. We are better off, I believe, when we take time to look at the world upside down.
~Charlie Oates

Charlie Oates (Director) previously directed 10 Human Beings, Not Them and La Ronde for UCSD. At the Creede Repertory Theatre, recent productions include The Mystery of Irma Vep and his original works, A Beautiful Country and Ladder to the Moon (with Rakaia Keefe-Oates). As an active movement coach and fight choreographer, Oates’ credits include the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse and the Denver Center Theatre Company. He has performed his original theatre pieces at theatres and festivals around the world and has been a guest artist and teacher in many leading actor-training programs in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Senegal, Sweden and most recently, Beijing, China. Charlie currently serves as Chair of the department.


About the Playwright

Russian journalist, playwright, novelist, and short story writer, MIKHAIL BULGAKOV was born in Kiev, Ukraine as the eldest son of a theology professor at the Kiev Theological Academy. In 1918-19 Bulgakov worked as a doctor in Kiev, and witnessed the German occupation and then the occupation by the Red Army, but abandoned medicine in 1920 in favor of a career as a writer. From 1925 he was associated with the Moscow Arts Theatre, where he wrote and staged many plays, which enjoyed great popularity. The authorities, however, did not swallow Bulgakov’s criticism of the Soviet system. By 1930s Bulgakov's works were published rarely or not at all. In 1929 he wrote to Maxim Gorky: "All my plays have been banned; not a line of mine is being printed anywhere; I have no work ready, and not a kopeck of royalties is coming in from any source; not a single institution, not a single individual will reply to my applications..." Stalin's favor protected Bulgakov only from arrests and executions, but his writings remained unpublished.


Heart of A Dog features actors drawn from the department’s nationally-ranked Graduate Theatre Training Program

Lorene Chesley
Michelle Diaz
Molly Fite
Rufio Lerma
Ryan Cyrus Shams
Brandon D. Taylor

Creative Team

Heart of A Dog also showcases the creative work of the department’s award-winning MFA design and management students:

Hong Sooyeon (Lighting Designer)
Christian DeAngelis (Sound Designer)
Jinny Parron (Production Stage Manager)

Production Photos by Mannuel Rotenberg

Ticket Info

Advance tickets for this production are advised and are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District's Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.

At-the-Door tickets , if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre's box office at the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre.

General Admission: $15
UCSD Faculty/Staff and Seniors (over 62): $12
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Parking Permits:

Required: Monday through Friday, and are available from attendants on duty at the UCSD Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse one hour before show time. Cost: $3.00 per vehicle.

Not Required: Saturday, Sunday, and UCSD-observed holidays. 

Performance Dates

January 18, 7 pm Reduced Price Preview ($12/$10/$8)

January 19, 8 pm Opening

January 20, 2 pm Matinee

January 20, 8 pm

January 25, 8 pm SOLD OUT

January 26, 8 pm

January 27, 2 pm Matinee (added performance)

January 27, 8 pm Closing



University of California San Diego - Dept of Theatre & Dance 9500 Gilman Drive MC0344 La Jolla, CA 92093 Tel: (858) 534-3791
email: theatreweb@ucsd.edu