The Oktavist

[SHORT] In a small church in Imperial Russia, Father Kirill is approached by the scion of a prominent local family for a favor: the young man is convinced it's his divine calling to be an oktavist, one of the legendary ultra-deep-voiced singers in Russian liturgical music. That calling, and much else, will now be put to the test.

WINNER, The Gary Garrison Playwriting Award for 10-Minute Plays
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The Oktavist

Recommended by

  • Mark Loewenstern:
    3 Feb. 2024
    Powerful and also subtle. Deeply moving and full of dangers and yet somehow also sweet and funny. In THE OKTAVIST, Gatton masterfully weaves many threads together to satisfying, compelling effect. Deserving of many productions. Bravo!
  • David Hilder:
    1 Aug. 2023
    A beautiful play, perfectly scaled to capture both the moment it represents and the current moment we're living in. Moving and funny and, yes, sad. Hooray for Vince Gatton.
  • Jarred Corona:
    19 May. 2023
    There's a wonderful innocence to Dimitri that is quite enjoyable. At the same time, given Russia's anti-LGBT-"propaganda" policy, the time distancing serves to remind us the stark cruelty of ignorance. Dimitri has not the ability to conceptualize his true feelings because his society hides that beauty from him. Hopefully we Americans, distanced further by the setting, be able to see the cruelty of our own budding laws. The devastation of religious homophobia. I've had many conversations a la the holiness of beauty, art, and queer love with religious folks. There's a deep, deep sadness to this show. Well done.

Character Information

  • Father Kirill
    40s - 50s,
    Male Identifying
    Local priest and choirmaster of St. Sophia's church near St. Petersburg, Father Kirill is handy, diplomatic, insightful, warm, and, when he has to be, firm. He knows things.
  • Dimitri
    The well-dressed young scion of a prominent local family, Dimitri is eager, energetic, awkward, funny, clueless, and entirely sincere. The last great lovable dork in Imperial Russia.


Gary Garrison Playwriting Award for Ten Minute Plays
The Tusculum Review