John Freedman

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This page is devoted to theaters in the United States and England who largely or solely derive their influence and inspiration from Russian theater traditions. More news is available on the group's Facebook page. Please note that this page is under construction. It will evolve as artists and theaters supply me with additional information.

arlekin players

Located in Boston, Massachusetts.
Founded by Igor Golyak.
Website h
Mission statement

Company members: Alana Kumalagova, Gene Ravvin, Eduard Snitkovsky, Alexander Livshin, Mike McTeague, Elena Kaleva, Natalia Snitkovskaya, Anna Giladi, Marianna Golyak, Megan Kemp.

Current Projects/Productions:
     The Bear by Anton Chekhov, 2010, 2011.
     Three Jokes by Anton Chekhov, 2010, 2011.

Past Projects/Productions:


Based in Los Angeles, California.
Founders Olya Petrakova and Bryan Brown.
Website here
Mission statement: ARTEL is a theatre laboratory for continuous research into the function and relevancy of performance in contemporary culture. The Russian word ‘artel’ can be translated as a ‘labor collective’ while ARTEL serves as an acronym for the American Russian Theatre Ensemble Laboratory. These multiple meanings highlight a line of research that is central to our aim: the development of the individual's potential within the collective environment. From its specific engagement with the histories and cultures of Russia and America, ARTEL aims to create performances that provide space for deeper reflection on our shared human experience. Through instigation and collaborative gathering of creative actions across diverse artistic mediums, ARTEL is committed to the construction of culturally enriched communities.

     Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms after Kharms, 2009, 2010.
     We Play Devil's Advocate (variation #50) after Mikhail Bulgakov, 2006-2008.

breaking string theater

Located in Austin, Texas.
Founder Graham Schmidt.
Website here
Mission statement: Breaking String Theater is an emerging professional theater company. 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 through an annual festival, to be a thread in the rope linking Russian and American theater communities. the name of our company derives from a mysterious stage direction from Act II of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard: "Suddenly, as if from the sky, the sound of a breaking string, dying away, forlorn."

Company members: Liz Fisher, Robert Matney, Matt Radford, Graham Schmidt, all of whom share the title Co-producing Artistic Director.

Current Projects/Productions
     Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, translated and directed by Graham Schmidt, summer 2011.
     Phantom Pains by Vasily Sigarev, translated and directed by Graham Schmidt, a reading, summer 2011.

Past Projects/Productions:
     Cinzano by Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, translated and directed by Graham Schmidt, 2006.
     The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
, translated and directed by Graham Schmidt, 2007.
     The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, translated and directed by Graham Schmidt, 2009.
     Flying by Olga Mukhina
, translated by John Freedman, directed by Graham Schmidt, 2011.
     New Russian Drama Festival, readings, discussions, seminars including Olga Mukhina, Maksym Kurochkin, Philip Arnoult, John Freedman (by Skype from Moscow), and others. January-February 2011.

generous company

Located in Baltimore, Maryland. Resident company at the Baltimore Theatre Project.
Founded in 2004.

Website here
Mission statement: Generous Company is a group of artists dedicated to developing and producing works for stage, film and online media in a supportive, collaborative, generous environment.

Company members: Mark Charney, Anna Chovanec, Suzanne Coley, Rebecca Eastman, Sarah Edison, PJ Escobio, Lauren Halvorsen, Iaeden Hovorka, James Alfred Rose Johnson, Charles  Kartali, James Knight, Alexei Kolesnikov, Doc Love, Will Manning, Bob Mussett, Erik Ramsey, Kendall Sherwood, Mike Vandercook, Michele Vazquez and David M. White.

Current Projects/Productions:
     Panties by Pavel Pryazhko, translated by David M. White. Readings scheduled for May and June, 2011.

I Am The Machine Gunner by Yury Klavdiev, translated by John Freedman, directed by David M. White. Rolling U.S. Premiere, Baltimore, Chicago, Carlsbad. 2010 – present.

Past Projects/Productions:
     Kitchen by Maksym Kurochkin
translated by John Freedman. Developmental readings at WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, 2010.
     New Drama in Russia and the U.S. featuring Jami Brandli, Lauren Halvorsen, Maksym Kurochkin, K. Frithjof Peterson, Pavel Rudnev and Yury Urnov. At WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, 2010.

     I Am The Machine Gunner
by Yury Klavdiev, translated by John Freedman, directed by David M. White. Workshop production in conjunction with WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, 2009.
     International New Works Discussion featuring Russian translator Maria Nikolaeva.
WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, 2009.
     International Possibilities and Trends for New Work, a panel discussion featuring Philip Arnoult, Robert Olinger and Ilze Rudzite. WordBRIDGE
Playwrights Laboratory, 2008.
     I Am the Machine Gunner
by Yury Klavdiev, translated by John Freedman, directed by David M. White. Initial workshop reading at WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, 2008.

moscow nights

Located in New Orleans, Lousiana.
Founded by Natasha Ramer.
Website here
Mission statement:

Company members:

Current Projects/Productions:

Past Projects/Productions:
     I Take Your Hand in Mine based on the relationship of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper-Chekhova, 2006.

Sputnik Theatre

Based in London.
Founder and Artistic Director Noah Birksted-Breen.
Website here.
Mission statement
:Sputnik is the only British theatre company dedicated to sourcing, translating and producing new Russian drama for British audiences.

Company members: Artistic Director Noah Birksted-Breen; Producer (development, press, marketing) Margarita Osepyan; Patron: Ingeborga Dapkunaite. Full biographies available on the website.

Current Projects/Productions: shortly to be announced.

Past Projects/Productions:
      2010: 1st Russian Theatre Festival, Soho Theatre, Including rehearsed readings of: Dreams by Nataliya Kolyada, Tityus the Irreproachable by Maksim Kurochkin, Mums by Vladimir Zuev, Natasha's Dream by Yaroslava Pulinovich.
      2008: Tour of Russian National Mail to Teatr.doc (Moscow) and the Kolyada-Plays Festival in Ekaterinburg.
      2007: Slow Sword by Yuri Klavdiev, Old Red Lion Theatre.
      2006: Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space by Nataliya Moshina, Old Red Lion Theatre.
      2006: Russian National Mail by Oleg Bogaev, Battersea Arts Centre as part of the Time Out Critics' Choice Festival.
      2005: Russian National Mail by Oleg Bogaev, Old Red Lion Theatre.

All plays presented by Sputnik are British premieres.

studio six Theater company

Located in New York, New York.
Founded by the Studio Six Theater Company.
General Director Robert Olinger.
Website here
Mission statement: Studio Six Theater Company is dedicated to strong ensemble acting, directorial vision and creating dynamic relationships with audiences. Studio Six's mission is to be a cultural bridge between the Russian and American theater communities and beyond. We do this by collaborating with foreign directors and playwrights, authoring new translations, and providing educational experiences and workshops for the audience and communities we serve.

Company members: Matt Raines, Karen Tararache, Nicole Kontolefa, Raphael Schklowsky, Adam Muskin, Vasanth Santosham, Alesia Georgiou, Taylor Sutherland, Jill Dion, Ben Sargent.

Current Projects/Productions:
     Winter by Yevgeny Grishkovets.

Past Projects/Productions:
     Playing the Victim by the Presnyakov Brothers, 2005.
     A Place I’ve Never Been To by Zanina Mircevska, 2005.
     Sliding Lucy by Laura Sintija Cerniauskate, 2005.
     Chekhov’s Vaudevilles: The Wedding and The Bear by Anton Chekhov, 2005.
     Finer Noble Gases by Adam Rapp, 2005, 2006.
     Too Clever by Half by Aleksandr Ostrovsky, 2007.
     My Dinner with Antosha: Notes from the Country Doctor, an adaptation of "The Story of an
Unknown Man" and "The Chorus Girl" by Anton Chekhov, 2007.
     Hidden Fees by Viktoria Nikiforova, 2008.
     Plasticine by Vassily Sigarev, 2008.
     Nevsky Prospect by Nikolai Gogol, 2009.
     …the itsy bitsy spider… an adaptation of Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 2009, 2010.

Theatre novi most

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Founded by Vladimir Rovinsky and Lisa Channer.
Website here
Mission statement: Founded in 1998, Theatre Novi Most (Theatre of a New Bridge) combines the artistic traditions of Russia and America to create performances in which seemingly disparate ideas, languages, cultures and ideologies can clash, commingle and cross-pollinate.

Current Projects/Productions:
     M2:Mayakovsky and Marinetti playing in St. Petersburg, Russia, May 19, 2011.
     Picnic on the Battlefield/Enchanted Night, two one-acts by Slawomir Mrozek and Fernando Arrabal. Directed by Vladimir Rovinsky and Lisa Channer. The Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN. December 9-18, 2011.

     A new play (still untitled) by Constance Congdon based on An Ordinary Miracle by Yevgeny Shvarts. A
collaboration between Theatre Novi Most, the University of Minnesota's Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, The Playwright's Center, and The Children's Theatre Company. Directed by Lisa Channer and Vladimir Rovinsky. September 2012 at The Children's Theatre Company Minneapolis MN.

Past Projects/Productions:
     Delirium for Two by Eugene Ionesco.
     Diary of a Madman based on the story by Nikolai Gogol.
     The Oldest Story in the World by Kira Obolensky with Lisa Channer and the Company.



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