A Conversation with the Editors of New Russian Drama: An Anthology

Thursday, September 24, 2020
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a conversation with Maksim Hanukai, assistant professor of Russian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Susanna Weygandt, visiting assistant professor of Russian at Sewanee: The University of the South, editors of the volume New Russian Drama: An Anthology (Columbia University Press, 2019).

New Russian Drama took shape at the turn of the new millennium—a time of turbulent social change in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Emerging from small playwriting festivals, provincial theaters, and converted basements, it evolved into a major artistic movement that startled audiences with hypernaturalistic portrayals of sex and violence, daring use of non-normative language, and thrilling experiments with genre and form. The movement’s commitment to investigating contemporary reality helped revitalize Russian theater. It also provoked confrontations with traditionalists in society and places of power, making theater once again Russia’s most politicized art form. Both politically and aesthetically uncompromising, the plays collected in New Russian Drama: An Anthology chart new paths for performance while challenging us to reflect on the status and mission of the theater in the twenty-first century.

Maksim Hanukai (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Susanna Weygandt (Sewanne: The University of the South)