Together with LaMaMa, we are thrilled to welcome the Belarus Free Theatre back to New York for an extended run of their sold out hit, BEING HAROLD PINTER, which will play in rep with two other BFT productions, ZONE OF SILENCE and DISCOVER LOVE from April 13 to May 15.
This groundbreaking company, led by Artistic Director Natalia Koliada, narrowly escaped imprisonment in Belarus in December of 2010 and came to New York to perform BEING HAROLD PINTER to sold-out houses in our Under the Radar festival. Ben Brantley of The New York Times said of the piece, “Truly passionate, truly political theater... Being Harold Pinter isn't just admirable, it has virtues beyond its relevance and bravery.” We are so proud to be able to collaborate with these artists and to aid in bringing their work to the public eye.
We, however, are only one piece of a growing movement to aid the Belarus Free Theatre in their fight for human rights in Belarus. Such renowned artists as Tom Stoppard and Jude Law have joined the cause, travelling the world with Natalia to speak out against the dictatorship in her country. In January of 2011 Tony Kushner joined Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis in leading a peaceful protest of the human rights violations in Belarus. Click here to see their powerful statements from the protest. Mr. Law says of the company, “the theatre has become a symbol of what's happening to the country, and Natalia has become a symbol of the theatre. She's been thrust into the spotlight because she's eloquent and charming, but what they're so good at is getting attention for their work, and then turning that back on to the country." To read the Guardian article about those involved in the fight for human rights, click here.
Natalia herself says of the company’s mission, “We gathered together to make drama, and to say whatever we thought, wherever and whenever we felt like, performing in front of anyone we cared to. We wanted our spectators to think – this, of course, is the most terrifying part for any dictatorship. As Vladimir Shcherban, the BFT's director, says: ‘We speak the issues that the audience keeps silent on.’” You can read her full statement here, on the Guardian Theatre Blog.
Join us this spring at La MaMa to not only see incredibly moving theatre, but also to support fellow cultural soldiers in the struggle for freedom and the truth. Click here to get more information about the company, the shows, and to see videos.