Virtual Play Reading Series-Lenin’s Embalmers

Read A Play Together
Thursday, January 12, 2023, 6:30 pm

Beginning during  Pandemic an energetic group of  Highland Parkers have been getting together to read famous plays adapted by Stephen Eisdorfer for the Zoom platform. Almost every month they have enjoyed reading contemporary plays as well as classics, Entering their third season, the HPPL Play Reading group is reading “Lenin’s Embalmers” by Vern Thiessen, a play that  is a comedy about death, fame and chemistry. Participants read and act out the play together on Zoom and need no prior experience to have a great time! Email raritanriver@yahoo.com to select a role and receive the Zoom link for the evening. For the script and listing of roles please click here

Between 1924 and the fall of communism in 1991, millions of visitors paid their respects to the embalmed body of Lenin in Red Square. This is the story of the mausoleum, told by the only survivor of the family that plunged the founder of the Soviet Union into a solution of glycerine and potassium acetate to preserve him forever. Alongside the story of the laboratory and its close ties with Stalin, Ilya Zbarsky also tells his family’s story. His father’s responsibility for Lenin’s mummification brought him scientific repute and political prominence but he lived in fear, initially of the body deteriorating, later of the regime. This eye-witness account throws a mordant and original light on a surreal aspect of the Soviet regime at a moment at which the future of Lenin’s corpse is finally a matter of debate.