The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents a Segal Talk with Sasha Denisova (Ukraine), Igor Golyak (US/Ukraine), Sara Stackhouse (US), and Irina Kruzhilina (US) livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 5 May 2023 at 9:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11:30 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
Join us for a talk with award-winning Ukrainian playwright and director Sasha Denisova (Ukraine), and artistic director Igor Golyak (US/Ukraine) of Arlekin Players Theatre, to discuss their production of Denisova’s The Gaaga (The Hague). Denisova has been living in Poland where she has collected stories from refugees who have fled their homes due to the war, and traveled to interview many officials and everyday people in her quest to create a futuristic trail of Putin in the form of this new play. The Gaaga premiered in February in Poland, and Denisova is now working with Arlekin Players Theatre to mount the US premiere which opens in Boston on June 2, 2023. The production’s producer Sara Stackhouse (US) and scenic designer Irina Kruzhilina (US) will join the Segal Talk.
Sasha Denisova is a Ukrainian playwright and director. She graduated from the philological faculty of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Her plays include Dusty Day, Morphology, Mayakovsky Goes for Sugar, Light My Fire (Golden Mask Award winner), Important Things of Sforza`s Family, Decalogue, and Alice and the State (National Theatre “Golden Mask” Award nominee). She has developed and written several witness documentary plays, including That’s yes (Theatre on the Spassky; Kirov), Villages.net (Altai State Regional Shukshin Drama Theater; Barnaul), Plus-minus Twenty (“Ilkhom” theatre; Tashkent), and Kiss! (Prokopyevskiy Drama Theatre). Her short story “Candy” was published in the journal “New World.” She teaches stage direction at The Meyerhold Theatre Centre, lectures at the School of the Moscow Art Theatre, and leads the author and documentary theater studio “Studio-OFF”, created in the repertory theater for the pedagogical work. She fled Russia early in the war and is now living in Poland where she has written and produced several documentary plays, including The Gaaga.
Igor Golyak was born in Ukraine and is founder/artistic director of Arlekin Players Theatre, a theater of immigrants, & Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab in Boston. A global leader in virtual theater, he directed The Orchard Off-Broadway with Jessica Hecht and Mikhail Baryshnikov. During the pandemic he conceived and directed WITNESS, CHEKHOVOS, and State vs. Natasha Banina, each of which became international virtual theater sensations, receiving multiple NY Times Critics Picks and a Special Citation from the Boston Theater Critics’ Assoc. His work received Elliot Norton Awards, including Best Director, a TWI-NY Pandemic Award, and Broadway World Best Director of a Streamed Production Award. He has taught at Boston Conservatory, HB Studios, Boston University, Harvard University, Wellesley College, the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, Moscow Specialized Institute for the Arts, and the ARBOS Theatre Festival. He launched the #Artists4Ukraine initiative in 2021.
Sara Stackhouse is managing producer of Arlekin Players Theatre and Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab. She was executive producer of The Orchard Off-Broadway and co-produced Arlekin’s State vs. Natasha Banina international tour, chekhovOS /an experimental game/, and WITNESS, garnering international acclaim. She was project manager for cellist Yo-Yo Ma and on the producing team for the series Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired By Bach. For Ma, she managed collaborations with Bobby McFerrin, Mark Morris, Wynton Marsalis, Tamasaburo Bando, Tan Dun, Toni Morrison, Mark O’Connor. As founding Executive Producer of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she produced 48 plays. She was Chair of Theater at Boston Conservatory during the merger with Berklee College. Clients have included Mass Cultural Council, ArtsBoston, Silkroad, Boston Baroque, MIT Media Lab, Forum for Cultural Engagement. She was on the Board of MassCreative, and received the “Inspiration Award” from Social Innovation Forum.
Irina Kruzhilina is a New York-based theatre artist, scenographer, director, visual dramaturg, and educator, creating work at the intersection of visual art, live performance, and civic engagement. Her creative endeavors range from interdisciplinary downtown theatre to large scale parades, from opera to site responsive installations. Her work has been shown at Times Square, TokyoDisney, BAM, Prague National Theatre, NY Philharmonic, and Barbican Center. Recent highlights include designing sets and costumes for Dmitry Krymov’s Cherry Orchard at the Wilma in Philadelphia, creating A Dozen Dreams, a large-scale immersive installation developed in partnership with EnGarde Arts, and directing the site-specific performance NoPlace in collaboration with the New School of Drama. Irina’s work embraces collaborative artistic exchange among theatre makers from different backgrounds, fostering generous creative and educational environments that value a diversity of approaches and ideas. Irina is the founder of Visual Echo, a New York-based performance organization dedicated to facilitating generative dialogues among people from diverse backgrounds. Irina is a faculty member at the New School of Drama and a Chashama resident.
The Gaaga (The Hague) is a new phantasmagoria, conceived and written by award-winning Ukrainian playwright Sasha Denisova. She has been living as a refugee in Poland where she has collected stories from women who have fled their homes due to the war, and traveled to interview many officials and everyday people in her quest to create a futuristic trail of Putin in the form of this new play. The Gaaga (The Hague) premiered in February in Poland, and Denisova is now working with Arlekin Players Theatre to mount the US premiere in Boston on June 2, 2023.
Arlekin Players Theatre was founded by Artistic Director Igor Golyak in 2009 and has since toured to New York, Chicago, and Hartford, as well as to international festivals in Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, and Monaco. Most recently Arlekin produced The Orchard featuring Jessica Hecht and Mikhail Baryshnikov, both Off-Broadway and in Boston. Arlekin received world-wide acclaim, including two New York Times Critics Picks, for their groundbreaking virtual theater projects during the pandemic, including of State vs Natasha Banina and chekhovOS /an experimental game/ featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov as Anton Chekhov. Arlekin has received multiple awards for its work including four 2020 Elliot Norton Awards from the Boston Theater Critics Association for recent productions of The Stone and The Seagull. Arlekin takes strong pride in their emphasis on self-identity; they are a company of immigrants performing works that play on the ideas of cross-culture, home, and traditions, challenging the idea of nationality, and finding common themes that unite us all. In 2020, Arlekin launched its Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab to explore new theater possibilities for a new time. The company makes its home in Needham, MA. In response to the war in Ukraine, Arlekin launched #Artists4Ukraine, an initiative to engage artists and audiences to raise funds for humanitarian aid and stand in solidarity with artists in Ukraine. Arlekin co-commissed The Gaaga and is producing its world premiere in Boston in June 2023. For more information, visit their website.