April 22, 2024, 14:01

American playwright Richard Nelson is set to stage his play “Conversations in Tusculum” in Ukraine

Richard Nelson, known for his work in theater, directing, and screenwriting, is lending his support to the Ukrainian theater scene. He will be based in Kyiv for over two months, with the premiere of his play scheduled at the Theater on Podil on May 3 and 4. 

The announcement was made during a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

“Our goal, our ambition, and what we are trying to do and what I hope people when they come to see the show they will find themselves leaning forward overhearing conversations of complex human beings in difficult times that somehow they find some relation to or understanding of or reflection on,” explained American playwright and director Richard Nelson.

Bohdan Beniuk, Artistic Director of the Kyiv Academic Drama Theater on Podil, expressed the theater’s anticipation of Richard Nelson’s work, describing it as “a big ball of kindness and truth – stage truth, soul truth.” 

“In early May, we are presenting Conversations in Tusculum. It will delve into the worth of a person, the value of love, honesty, and human trust,” he elaborated. 

The decision to use a small venue underscores the importance of intimacy in Richard Nelson’s work, aiming to involve the audience not just in the theatrical process, but also in the inner lives and thoughts of the characters. Roman Halaimov, an actor at the Kyiv Academic Drama Theater on Podil, portraying the lead role in Nelson’s play, highlighted the need for intellectual engagement from the audience, stressing the importance of attentively listening to every word spoken by the actors to grasp the essence of the story.

“This theater is intriguing to me because it feels like the actors are enclosed within four walls, while the audience surrounds the stage, enveloping the room where the action unfolds. Here, the performance is delivered straight from actor to audience member. The actors and characters engage directly with the spectators. It’s as if the audience is seated right beside us, in the same space, with the opportunity to eavesdrop and witness the characters’ conversations, becoming a part of these intimate moments they might not otherwise have access to. And that’s what captivates me,” Roman Halaimov elucidated.

For reference: “Conversations in Tusculum” delves into the dynamics of power and its misuse in ancient Rome. It offers a reimagining of the tense exchanges between Brutus, Cassius, and Cicero, culminating in the assassination of Julius Caesar. Despite their readiness to sacrifice their lives for Caesar, they were left disillusioned. The characters grapple with their loyalty to their Emperor while grappling with the potential threat his actions pose to the nation. The world premiere of this gripping narrative unfolded at the Public Theater in New York in March 2008.

Notably, American playwright Richard Nelson has landed at the Theater on Podil in the capital, backing Ukrainian theater and its enthusiasts. Set to stay in Kyiv for over two months, the director aims to craft a play from his script alongside Theater on Podil actors, conduct master classes for local artists, and delve deeper into Ukrainian culture. His Ukrainian chronicles are soon to be featured in The Guardian.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news