Austin Company Brings New Russian Theatre to US

Starting this Friday, Jan. 28, Austin, Texas’s Breaking String Theatre hosts their New Russian Drama Festival, which–by the look of it–should be a pretty fantastic, if short (it only goes through the thirty-first) series of events.

Breaking String is a professional theatre company in Austin with a threefold mission: “We strive to create excellent productions of Russian traditional and avant-garde plays; to provide artists with a creative, respectful and professional environment in which to work; and to be a thread in the rope linking Russian and American theater communities.” While the festival features readings of new plays by leading Russian dramatists Maksym Kurochkin and Olga Mukhina, the centerpiece of the festival is Breaking String’s production of Mukhina’s Flying (which plays through Feb. 19; tickets ~$25).

Flying is a documentary play Mukhina has constructed based on interviews with 15 thirty-somethings, Russia’s “Golden Youth.” The product of the post-post-Soviet world, they lived charmed, hedonistic lives in media and culture industries, a reality Mukhina punctures powerfully, exposing the soullessness and moral bankruptcy of contemporary Russian society under Putin and his protege Medvedev, a society far more tolerant of the rapacious pursuit of wealth and self-gratification than political dissent.

The show is a co-presentation of Breaking String, the amazing folks at the Rude Mechanicals, our buddies at the Fusebox Festival, and the Center for Internation Theatre Development, and translated by John Freedman, a wonderful American theatre critic who’s been covering Russian theatre for The Moscow Times since 1992. A concurrent event by nth Word magazine, which has been doing some incredible cross-fertilization work in the performing arts, will be a Facebook based presentation of Mukhina’s play.

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