Still another guest of that day's events was Ukrainian director Oleh Liptsyn who spoke in great detail and with great knowledge about Ukrainian theater from its beginnings to modern days. It was a true master class.
Later in the festival, on May 18, we had the opportunity to attend a beautiful performance of “24,” a devised performance written and directed by Valéria Schulczová. It imagined the experiences of several Ukrainians forced into the roles of refugees as they encountered the reality of war unleashed on them by the Russian invasion, the occasional kindness shown by strangers, and the not-infrequent indifference or even hostility aimed at them by those who do not understand or care to understand the full meaning of this historical event.
Ukrainian Drama and Theater at the Nova Drama Festival, Slovakia
by John Freedman
Philip Arnoult and I showed up together on our old stomping grounds at the Nova Drama Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia, in the middle of May. I was there to speak about the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings, and Philip swung by to add his expertise after having spent several weeks in his home-away-from-home, Budapest, Hungary.
We were both excited to be present for the May 16 launch of a new collection of Ukrainian plays as published in Slovak by the Divadelny Ustav Bratislava (Bratislava Theater Institute). Titled simply “Ukrainska Drama,” and designed beautifully with yellow geometrics and sparkly blue lettering, it contains three full-length plays: Pavlo Arie's “Diary of Survival of a Civilian Urbanite in Conditions of War”; Natalka Vorozhbyt's “Bad Roads”; and Maksym Kurochkin's “Russiaphobia” (that's the title, it's not a typo).
Philip Arnoult and John Freedman