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Past Projects: Russia 
New Russian Drama

The Project

Beginning in 2007, CITD led an international translation project in America called New Russian Drama.  With partner John Freedman in Russia, CITD identified contemporary Russian playwrights who were emerging and outstanding voices in the new era of Russian drama.  Over three years, more than 25 Russian plays from the last 15 years were translated into American English, and put into the hands of American theater artists.


MARTIAL ARTS, by Yury Klavdiev, translated by David M. White, directed by Yury Urnov. Pictured above: Jenette Isaacson as the Queen of Spades.

The Playwrights

CITD and John Freedman identified playwrights from all across Russia whose work would translate both linguistically and culturally for American audiences.  Those playwrights were:

Oleg Bogaev • Alexei Burykin • Alexandra Chichkanova • Vyacheslav Durnenkov • Daniil Gink • Pyotr Gladilin • Viktor Korkiya • Maksym Kurochkin • Dmitry Minchyonok • Olga Mukhina • Yury Klavdiev • Oleg and Vladimir Presnyakov • Yaroslava Pulinovich

Once the playwrights had been chosen, American playwrights and translators were chosen to translate and adapt the plays into American English.  Those translators were:

John Freedman • John J. Hanlon •  Juanita Rockwell • Kate Moira Ryan • David M. White

The Productions

Towson University in Baltimore became the initial hub of productions for the New Russian Drama project.  Over the three years, 9 contemporary Russian plays involved in the project were produced either in workshop form or as full productions.  The partnership with Towson University culminated in a conference in May 2010, showcasing 5 of those productions.

The Publication

In addition to panel discussions and performances, the conference also debuted the New Russian Drama Translation CD, a compilation of “26 scripts by 14 live playwrights” to be distributed to theaters and artists around the world.  Since it’s initial distribution at the conference, an addition 2000 CDs have been put in the hands of contemporary theater makers. 

Download the scripts here.


FROZEN IN TIME, by Vyacheslav Durnenkov, translated by John Freedman, directed by Peter Wray.

Since the initiation of the Project, New Russian Drama plays have been produced in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, Austin, and Washington DC.

Visit Towson's New Russian Drama website.


Jim Nicola, Elise Thoron, and Kate Moira Ryan discuss New Russian Drama during the NRD Conference, May 2010.

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