Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Russian Arts for Ukraine

The Russian Arts Theater and Studio was the first place I went for live indoor theatre once the lockdown was eased. Their adaptation of the Nikolai Gogol short story The Overcoat was one of the first plays allowed inside in New York in 2021.

Of course Gogol, one of the greatest writers in the history of Russian literature, was actually born in the town of Sorochyntsi in central Ukraine. The world is watching (and weeping) as Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine wrecks incredible damage and causes so much loss of life to both sides.

Certainly, not all Russians support Putin's invasion, and Aleksey Burago, the Artistic Director of the Russian Arts Theater and Studio in New York, recently issued this statement:

The artists of The Russian Arts Theater and Studio stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Our studio is made up of actors from around the world, united by the common desire to create theater that uplifts those around us, not to destroy. There is never a justification for the invasion of a sovereign country. Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy.

Not only that, but the company has altered its spring programming to protest what Burago described as "the atrocities committed under Putin's regime" and will soon be presenting an adaptation of George Orwell's novel Animal Farm. A portion of the ticket proceeds will be donated to organizations aiding refugees of the Ukrainian crisis.

You can get tickets here. The production will run at Pushkin Hall from May 12 through June 4th. It looks like an excellent way for drama to bring us together, even as war is tearing the world apart.