Belarus: a state of emergency! An overview of contemporary Belarusian dramaturgy

5.10.2020, 19:00
Raven from the Tower
by Andrei Ivanov
translation by Bożena Majorczyk
direction by Aldona Figura

“We are lonely. We love no one. And our life is screwed up.” The teenage Kostia, after the death of her father, lives in conflict with her mother. He spends his free time in front of the computer, hates the world and family, is depressed and depressed. He is cold, there are no feelings in him, will say the mother, who, concerned about her son’s condition, decides to conduct an unusual pedagogical experiment. By creating a fake Facebook account, she decides to establish a contact with her son that he doesn’t really experience. The virtual relationship between Toffee and Raven from the Tower turns into a painfully honest conversation between lonely people who long for normality. In his shocking drama, Andrei Ivanov tells about the despair that becomes a companion in everyday life and about the risky fight that every mother will undertake to get her beloved son back.

Andrei Ivanov (born in 1984, Blagoveshchensk, Russia). He lives in Minsk. He is a philologist and playwright. In 2007 he graduated from the Faculty of Philology of the Belarusian State University. A. Pushkin in Brest. He worked as a journalist, as an editor in a feature film studio, as an editor in a children’s book publishing house. His play “It’s all because of her” (the only one that the author considers completed) was written in 2012 and published in 2013 in the Russian monthly “Oktiabr”, it was first staged in 2014 at the Dramatic Theater. W. Majakowski in Norilsk. Currently, the author works as a screenwriter at the Animated Film Studio in Minsk.

12.10.2020,  19.00
Victims. Belarus
by Andrei Kuriejczyk
translation by Jakub Adamowicz
direction by Marcin Liber

“Victims. Belarus” by Andrei Kuriejczyk is a play devoted to current protests and post-election events taking place in Minsk and the rest of the country. Battles like this – between society and power, happen once every hundred years … battles between good and evil – says one of the heroes of the play. Old Belarus, symbolized by the relentless Alexander Lukashenko, collides with New Belarus, whose face is Svetlana Cichanouska and young citizens. In a country on the verge of civil war, people are asking what a person can do in the name of hatred. The Kuriejczyk is ruthless in showing the truth about how a system that seems to be a monolith is slowly falling apart from the inside.

Andrey Kuriejczyk (born 1980, Minsk) – playwright, actor, director, screenwriter. He lives in Minsk. Author of stage works, incl. Skaryna, Theatrical art (Tieatral’naja pjesa), Bright house (Light house), Kindergarten (Dietskij sad). The writer’s plays have been staged on many stages, incl. MChAT im. Chekhov, Dramatic Theater of them. Majakowski (Moscow), the Belarusian National Theater J. Kupała and the Russian Drama Theater. M. Gorky (Minsk), the Ukrainian National Theater L. Ukrainka (Kiev).

He has participated in many drama competitions, incl. Eurasia (Yekaterinburg), Debut (Moscow), competition organized by the Belarusian Ministry of Culture. For several years he worked as a rapporteur for the daily “BiełGazieta” (he published over two hundred articles). He is the author of two anthologies, the last of which – Skaryna – was published in 2006. Four plays have been translated into Polish: Klan Blindców (translated by Karolina Niewiadomska), Niebo (transl. Piotr Mitzner), Russia offended (transl. By Dariusz Jezierski) and Skrzywdzeni. Belarus (translated by Jakub Adamowicz). The drama Klan the Blinds was published in the anthology Nowa dramaturgia Belaruska. Vol. 1 (edited by Andrei Moskwin, Warsaw 2011). The second, Niebo, under the pseudonym Nikita Mickiewicz, first published the monthly “Dialog” (2005/12), and then – in the anthology Nowa Belarusian dramaturgia (volume 6, Warsaw 2017).

The play “Victims. Belarus”, based on recent events in Belarus, is read in 50 theaters in 13 countries around the world.

19.10.2020, 19.00
Penaty
by Timofiej Iljewski
translation by Jakub Adamowicz
direction by Artur Tyszkiewicz

Instead of talking to each other, they reach for phones, the always-on TV becomes a companion of everyday life, screaming replaces words, and headphones on their ears help to escape from everyday life. Timofiej Iljewski in his comedy-drama portrays a three-generation Belarusian family locked in one apartment, condemned to their presence. Grandma – for thirty years she was the secretary of a party organization and it’s hard to part with the past, father – a frustrated lecturer, tired of explaining the basics of knowledge about culture and art to students, mother – locked in the kitchen with a pot of potatoes, she has no strength to raise children, daughter – a typical teenager experiences emotional crises related to boys, the son – a young rebel stuck to the computer screen, wants to escape from a country where power takes away people’s freedom. There is also my grandfather – a former journalist, a silent observer of crazy family life, whose main occupation is reading notes and memories from the war times at dinner. What must happen for the family to start talking to each other again? Are the crisis of communication and lack of understanding inherent in our everyday life?

Timofiej Ilijewski (born 1961, Brest) – director, playwright. A graduate of the Belarusian State University of Culture. In the years 1988-2001 he worked at the Youth House in Brest, headed a theater club there and was the artistic director of the folk theater “Rajok”. He is the author of eleven stage pieces, incl. Existence (1997), Fokstrot (1997), Homo ludens (2001), West Fort (2008), Chapter Seven (2008), Solar Circle (2011), Penaty (2016), Francysk. A Parable (2016), The Last Hero (2018).

26.10.2020,  19.00
Live until the premiere. A comedy in two acts
by Nikołaj Rudkowski
translation by Bożena Majorczyk

In order to be credible on a theatrical stage, does one have to experience in reality what the protagonist experiences? For Vera and Katia, young actresses who are preparing a war-themed performance, empathizing with a role becomes synonymous with losing a sense of reality. Their ambition dictates that in order to create authentic figures of partisans, they must, like them, “soak up the smell of war”. Hunger, poverty, fear, difficult conditions, escapes, torture, pain – actresses are trying harder and harder to feel the danger and risk associated with conspiracy and conflict. Their attempts quickly turn into crazy and absurd actions, which the husband of one of them looks at with pity. It is he who loudly declares that in the modern world there are things worse than war, and the basic question for today is the question of how an ordinary man is to live in times of ubiquitous reduction, crisis and unemployment? Mikołaj Rudkowski’s surreal comedy is a perverse story about a theater that tries to get closer to life and a life that resembles an ordinary farce.

Nikołaj Rudkowski (born 1971, Minsk) – playwright, journalist, actor and director. A graduate of the Faculty of Philology of the Belarusian State University in Minsk and the Faculty of Directing of the Belarusian University of Culture and Arts. Actor in the National Academic Dramatic Theater M. Gorky (1995-1999). For this group he wrote a production by Pierrett (1995) based on the works of Arthur Schnitzler. In this play, he acted as an actor and served as an assistant director. He was also the director of his own plays: The Blind Star (“On the Balcony” Theater, 2007 and the Center for Belarusian Drama and Directing, 2008); Bergman’s Women (“On the Balcony” Theater, 2007). Since 2000 he has been working on the Belarusian-German radio “Unistar” as an editor.