John Freedman

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russian drama and theater with john freedman

Welcome to this website detailing the work of John Freedman, an American writer, translator, critic and scholar of Russian theater who has lived and worked in Moscow since 1988. Here you can find information about Freedman's books, plays, translations, articles and other writings; information about international theater and drama projects in which he is, and has been, involved; as well as links to the work of many others who are translating and writing about Russian drama and theater. His now-defunct TheatrePlus blog continues to be archived on the website of The Moscow Times, and is partially available (2009, 2010 so far) on the NITEnews site. In another space he maintains a blog about Russian culture as it is revealed in landmarks, architecture and street art. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter

 

             

                      

Real and Phantom Pains: An Anthology of New Russian Drama may be ordered through amazon.com or directly from the publisher New Academia Publishing. Ebooks are available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. It is also available through ibookstore, Kobo, Baker and Taylor, Google, Ingram and others.

Books

Drillalians, an opera libretto by Boris Yukhananov, published in a dual-language book along with DVDs and CDs of the entire, five-day opera series. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre Foundation, 2016.  

Real and Phantom Pains: An Anthology of New Russian Drama, compiled and edited by John Freedman. New Academia Publishers, 2014. Supported by a generous grant from the Prokhorov Foundation. Now available at amazon.com. 

Provoking Theater: Kama Ginkas Directs, co-authored with Ginkas. Smith and Kraus. 2003.  Go here to order. Published in Romanian as Teatrul Provocator: Kama Ginkas regizeaza, Editura Unitext, 2008. Translated by Andrei Luca Popescu and Marian Popescu.

Moscow Performances II: The 1996-1997 Season. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Go here to order.

Moscow Performances: The New Russian Theater 1991-1996. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Go here to order.

Silence's Roar: The Life and Drama of Nikolai Erdman. Mosaic Press, 1992. 

The Simpleton by Sergei Kokovkin. A play translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here.

Two Plays by Olga Mukhina: Tanya-Tanya and YoU. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here.

Two Plays from the New Russia. Bald/Brunet by Daniil Gink and Nijinsky by Alexei Burykin. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here.

A Meeting About Laughter: Sketches, Interludes and Theatrical Parodies by Nikolai Erdman, Vladimir Mass and Others. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here.

The Major Plays of Nikolai Erdman. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. (Now distributed by Routledge.)  Order here.



plays

Around the Globe Chain Play, one scene in an experimental piece composed by 16 authors working consecutively over a period that ran from Feb. 23 to March 19, 2013. The full list of playwrights included Dominique Morisseau (US), Bekah Brunstetter (US), Van Badham (Australia), Mixkaela Villalon (Philippines), Janice Poon (Hong Kong), Abdelrahem Alawji (Lebanon), Jeton Neziraj (Kosovo),  John Freedman (Russia), Ulrike Syha (Germany),  Enver Husicic (Netherlands), Zainabu Jallo (Nigeria), Beatriz Cabur (Spain), Sarah Grochala (England), Sigtryggur Magnason (Iceland), Caridad Svich (US). 

Dancing, Not Dead. Unpublished. Translated into Russian by Alexei Burykin. Translated into Romanian by Bogdan Budes. Winner of The Internationalists' Global Playwright Contest, June 2011.

The Firebird, performance script w/ Double Edge Theatre ensemble and Jennifer Johnson. 2010.

Five Funny Tales from the Heart of Buenos Aires, a ten-minute monologue. 2013.

film scripts

Nikolai Erdman: A Shot of Suicide, documentary w/ Viktor Korkiya (Russian ORT, aired Sept. 16, 2004).

Provoking Theatre: The Playwright and Director Center and American Students at the Moscow Art Theater. Documentary film produced by FilmPROM (Moscow) for Russia Today TV, 2007.

Provoking Theatre: Anton Chekhov. Documentary film produced by FilmPROM (Moscow) for Russia Today TV, 2007.

Allegro moderato, screenplay for a Russian-language feature film w/ Yevgeny Lungin (unpublished).

play translations

Batalov, Talgat and Yekaterina Bondarenko. Uzbek.

Bogaev, Oleg. The Russian National Postal Service

Bugadze, Lasha. Political Play. Translated from the Georgian with Maya Mamaladze.

---. Shocked Tatyana. A miniature. Translated from the Georgian with Maya Mamaladze.

---. The Tragedy of Aunt Tsitso. A miniature. Translated from the Georgian with Maya Mamaladze.

Bulgakov, MikhailTheatrical Novel. (Subtitles for the Fomenko Studio.)

Burykin, Alexei. Nijinsky. Text available here.

Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard. In progress.

Chichkanova, Alexandra. I Am Me. Available here.

Durnenkov, Mikhail. Trash. Available here

Durnenkov, Vyacheslav. Exhibits (Frozen in Time). Available here

Edlis, Yuliu. Where is Abel Thy Brother? 

Erdman, Nikolai. The Destruction of Europe on Holy Square (three-act sketch). Available here.

---. The Hypnotist (two play fragments). Available here.

---. Interludes for Lev Gurych Sinichkin, The Two Gentlemen of VeronaPugachyov, Princess Turandot [w/ Vladimir Mass] and Hamlet [w/ Vladimir Mass]). Available here.

---. A Meeting About Laughter (one-act sketch w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

---. Moscow From a Point of View (two scenes). Available here.

---. New People, New Songs (parody w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

---. On Laughter (sketch w/ Yakov Ziskind). Available here.

---. Private Schulz (sketch w/ Mikhail Volpin). Available here.

---. The Qualification Exams (sketch). Available here

---. The Suicide (published version, 1995). Available here.

---. The Suicide (new version, 2009). 

---. Three Circus Sketches. Available here.

---. Two Music Hall numbers (sketches for emcee w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

---. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of the Danes (parody in one scene w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

---. The Warrant. Available here.

---. The Work Whistle, or the Stomach Incision (parody in one scene w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

Gink, Daniil. Bald/Brunet. Available here.

---. K.I. from 'Crime' (after scenes from Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment.) Available here (Issue No. 23).

Ginkas, Kama. The Black Monk (after Anton Chekhov.)

---. A Ridiculous Poem (after Fyodor Dostoevsky's 'The Grand Inquisitor' from The Brothers Karamazov).

---. Rothschild's Fiddle (after Anton Chekhov). Available here (Issue No. 25).

---. The Theater of Nikita: Ward No. 6 (after Anton Chekhov).

Gladilin, Pyotr. The Moth.

---. Someone Else.

Kazachkov, Yevgeny. Winter War. 

Kirov, Semyon. Ilya's Day. Russian winner in the New Baltic Drama 2011 competition featuring works from Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Russia. Presented at the Turku City Theater in November 2011 as part of the Turku 2011 Cultural Capital program.

Klavdiev, Yury. I Am the Machine Gunner. Available here and here.

---. The Polar Truth. Available here.

---. The Slow Sword.

Klim. The Cabaret Buchenwald. In progress.

Kokovkin, Sergei. The Simpleton. Available here

Korkiya, Viktor. Hamlet.ru. Available here with introduction about Korkiya.

Kurochkin, Maksym. Almost Aivazov (a dramaticule).

---. A Bad Councilor One Winter Evening Drinks and Waits for Oleinikova (A dramaticule). 

---. Circuit Breaker (a dramaticule).

---. Common Values (a dramaticule).

---. Dulcey and Roxy at City Hall.

---.The Hanged Man (a dramaticule).

---. Kitchen. Available here. Three scenes are published in the internet magazine Asymptote. 

---. The Market From Above (a dramaticule).

---. Religion as Grounds for Pragmatism, or, The Pocket Mahatma (a dramaticule).

---. Repress and Excite. Available here (Issue No. 34).

---. The Schooling of Bento Bonchev. Available here.

Metelkov, Andrei. Powder Keg. An entry in the Prix Europa broadcasting festival, Berlin, Oct. 22 to 29, 2011.

Minchyonok, Dmitry. Mozart's Last Mistake. Available here (Spring 2007, Vol. 22, Nos. 5 & 6).

Mukhina, Olga. The Love of Karlovna. Available here (Issue No. 15). 

---. Flying. Available here.

---. Tanya-Tanya. Available here.

---. YoU. Available here.

Osipov, Maxim. Scapegoats. An entry in the Prix Europa broadcasting festival, Berlin, Oct. 19-26, 2013. Available here

Ostrovsky, Alexander. The Wise Fool (Enough Simplicity in Every Wise Man). In progress.

---. Without a Dowry. (Subtitles for the Fomenko Studio.)

Pryazhko, Pavel. Angry Girl. Available here. 

Pulinovich, Yaroslava. I Won. Available here. 

---. Letter to Dima Bilan (a scene).

---. Natasha's Dream. Available here. 

Ugarov, Mikhail. Masquerade, Masquerade

Vampilov, Alexander. The Elder Son.

Yakimov, Igor. North Wind. An entry in the Italy Prize international radio play competition, September 2012 in Turin.

Yukhananov, Boris. Drillalians/Sverlitsy. A libretto for an experimental romance-opera.

Zhanaidarov, Olzhas. The Store.

Gladilin, Pyotr. The Moth.
Gladilin, Pyotr. The Moth.
Gladilin, Pyotr. The Moth.
Yakimov, Igor. North Wind. An entry
Yakimov, Igor. North Wind. An entry
Yakimov, Igor. North Wind. An entry 
Yakimov, Igor. North Wind. An entry 
Yakimov, Igor. North Wind. An entry in the 


play translations into russian

Nocturne, by Adam Rapp, translated by John Freedman, adapted by Maksym Kurochkin, 2011.

Gertrude - the Cry, by Howard Barker, translated by John Freedman, adapted by Maksym Kurochkin (in progress). 

Subtitle Projects

FILM

The Admirer, a film by Vitaly Melnikov. Lenfilm and KinoMelnitsa Productions (Russia), 2012.

The Constant Principle, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2016. 

Drillalians, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2016.  

Gloss, a film by Andrei Konchalovsky. Andrei Konchalovsky Productions (Russia) and Canal+ (France), 2007.

Oxygen, a film by Ivan Vyrypaev. Kislorod Productions (Russia), 2008.

Whisper: The Silver Age, an auteur documentary film by Konstantin Olonovsky. Independent production (Russia). 2014-15.
 

THEATER

Supervisor of English for the Fomenko Studio's program of subtitles provided in numerous languages on electronic tablets for non-Russian speakers. Edited to date: Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (trans. by Everett Dickson), Leo Tolstoy's Family Happiness (trans. by Regina Kazakova) Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters (trans. by Tatyana Oskolkova), Alexander Ostrovsky's Wolves and Sheep. My own translations for the project are: Ostrovsky's Without a Dowry, Mikhail Bulgakov's A Theatrical Novel, Ivan Turgenev's Spring Freshets (as A Russian on a Rendezvous), George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros, Vladimir Nabokov's The Gift, Olga Mukhina's Olympia, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. 2013 to present.

Supervisor of English for the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, including supertitles, website, booklets, promotional materials, films, etc. Supervision of supertitles for Heiner Goebbels' Max Black, or, 62 Ways of Supporting the Head with a Hand; Boris Yukhananov's The Constant Principle, based on Calderon's The Constant Prince (translated by Rick Davis) and Alexander Pushkin's Feast in a Time of Plague (translated by Matvei Yankelevich). I have done full translations of Boris Yukhananov's compilation of Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird, which includes excerpts of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, The Stone Guest, and long interpolations of actors' memoirs, Boris Yukhananov's Drillalians, a five-day opera libretto, and Octavia, an opera libretto based on the writings of Seneca and Lev Trotsky. 2015 to present.

Rothschild's Fiddle, by Kama Ginkas after Anton Chekhov, for the world premiere run at Yale Repertory Theatre, 2004.  

Rothschild's Fiddle, by 
Rothschild's Fiddle, by 
Drillalians, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, 2016.
Drillalians, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, 2016.
miscellaneous translations

Icariaa screenplay by Sergei Kaluzhanov and Javor Gardev. Third Rome Studio (Moscow), 2016.

Bogatyryova, Irina. Short story, "The Exit," for Portal 9, a literary journal (2013). The text is available online here

Erdman, Nikolai. "The Suicide at the Vakhtangov Theater," an historical document. Available here.

Korkiya, Viktor. "The Posthumous Letters of Napoleon Bonaparte to Count Lev Tolstoy," fiction. Available here

Korolyov, Anatoly. "Stop - Model," a short story.

Russian Folk Tale "The Old Crone," Threepenny Review (No. 17, 1984). Available here. 

Icaria, a film by Javor Gardev. In progress. 
Icaria, a film by Javor Gardev. In progress. 
Icaria, a film by Javor Gardev. In progress. 

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