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Drawing by Liudmyla Tymoshenko.jpeg

theatre of playwrights

Theatre of Playwrights (ToP) is a collective of Ukrainian playwrights who joined together to establish a new theater dedicated to supporting and promoting original Ukrainian plays and playwrights. Led by founding artistic director Maksym Kurochkin, the playwrights planned to launch the theater at an intimate venue in the heart of Kyiv in March 2022. However, these plans were abruptly halted in February when Russian missiles and tanks invaded Ukraine, compelling many of the playwrights to flee or take up arms in defense of their country.

In response to the invasion, CITD supported these playwrights by commissioning 30 new texts and providing $1,000 commissioning grants to individual playwrights. Despite the ongoing conflict, the playwrights remained determined to keep the theater alive. CITD contributed $5,000 to help purchase equipment for the new theater space. Then, in July 2023, CITD furthered its support by fully underwriting a major new directors competition with a $10,000 grant. This contribution not only ensured the successful running of the week-long festival but also facilitated monetary awards for the winners. Two of the productions that came out of this competition, Natasha Vorozhbyt's Green Corridors, and Polina Polozhentseva's Man of My Dreams, were nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in Ukrainian theater, the GRA (Play) award, "GRA-2024" in 2024.


Click the button below to learn more about the festival in a special edition of our publication, DISPATCHES, by John Freedman.

the playwrights


 Drawings by Liudmyla Tymoshenko

Natalka Vorozhbyt

Oscar-nominated director and playwright, author of the international hit “Bad Roads”

"...It is getting harder and harder to shout across the ocean from Ukraine about the war, about our pain. But we are seeking ways to be heard. One way is very effective and fast – theater. Just a few days might pass between the creation of a dramatic text and its theatrical presentation. And then you will briefly find yourself in our shoes when you hear it performed onstage, and you will have an opportunity to understand us. Understanding is the first step to support."

Maksym Kurochkin

Playwright, screenwriter, founding Artistic Director of the Theater of Playwrights in Kyiv

“This act of solidarity is very important for all of us. Thanks to this, we were able to solve a lot of issues, help not only playwrights, but also our directors in the defense, administrators who left their homes, colleagues in occupied Kherson. And for all of us now it’s not just money, but simply salvation and incredible support.”

Andriy Bondarenko

Playwright, screenwriter, journalist and PhD. Author of "Ghost Land," premiered at City Garage Theater, Santa Monica, CA

“The hall was full (at ToP's opening in Kyiv)- people really crowded the place, many were standing because there were not enough chairs. The readings lasted about three hours and in the end people continued to sit, reluctant to go - and Max did very good thing - he said - "you don't want to go - ok, let's hear a few more texts" - and the readings continued for twenty more minutes. And then there was a discussion and again people didn't want to end this and were talking and talking. Everybody said that we really need to hear these texts even if they tell some very traumatic  things. Because drama and theatre has the capacity to heal even when telling something traumatic."



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