In association with the Center for InterNational Theatre Development's New Directors-New Voices Project and Towson University, Single Carrot Theatre will be presenting leading Russian playwrights in Baltimore for the first time.
Playing Dead, by the Presnyakov brothers, will run at Single Carrot Theatre through March 14th.
In addition, the play will be directed by Single Carrot Theatre's first ever guest director, Russian citizen Yury Urnov. Currently, Urnov is a Fulbright Scholar, teaching and directing at Towson University.
The New Russian Drama Project is designed to bring Russia's top new playwrights to the United States, where audiences, theater professionals and students will experience American translations for the first time. Towson University's Juanita Rockwell translated Playing Dead as a part of the initiative, and for Single Carrot's production.
Playing Dead revolves around Valia, a thirty-something slacker who makes his living ‘playing dead' in murder reconstructions for the police, a broken system that doesn't seem to be producing accurate results. "It's hysterical," says Urnov, "but there is a horror in this play, I believe, behind this humor. This horror is of a society which is formally falling apart."
Russian critics have applauded the play for both its humor and its profound representation of Russian culture. "Society is following a lot of strange laws and procedures," says Urnov, "a lot of them taken from the past that completely don't work in the new world. I think these reconstructions the police are doing are very representative of what the society is. It's not that these authorities are terrible, it's about the whole country being a mess."
"It's tragic and absurd. But it's not about cynicism, it's about people getting used to tragedies. Terrible, but usual." concludes Urnov.
Playing Dead by The Presnyakov Brothers
Translated by Juanita Rockwell
Directed by Russian Fulbright Scholar Yury Urnov
This wry, jocular work from leading Russian playwrights features a thirty-something college dropout with a fierce willingness to avoid real work. Valya, still living with his mother, dating an indifferent girlfriend, and mixed up in a Hamlet-style vindication against a future father-in-law, makes his living by "playing dead" in murder reconstructions for the police. This defiant, deft, and delectable foray into Russian culture both submerges gleefully in whimsy and rings profoundly of truth.
February 19th - March 14th
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 2:30pm ?WHERE
Single Carrot Theatre
120 W. North Ave (at Load of Fun)
Baltimore, MD 21201
TICKETS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore's Only Ensemble Theatre
The Single Carrot Theatre ensemble is a driving force for theatrical innovation in Baltimore-championing new, diverse, and socially significant works; reinvigorating the classics; creating vibrant theatrical experiences; and fiercely supporting the growth of young artists.
"The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution." -Paul Cézanne
All photos courtesy of Chris Hartlove.