THE NATASHA PLAYS: July 12, 13, 14
Written by Yaroslava Pulinovich
Translated by John Freedman
Directed by Stephen Nunns
Honoring Special Guest PHILIP ARNOULT at a post-show reception July 12!
The Natasha Plays is triptych of monologues by one of the Russia’s freshest new theatrical voices, 23-year-old Yaroslava Pulinovich. Natasha’s Dream, tells the story of a 16-year-old orphan, Natasha Banina (Julia M. Smith), who finds herself experiencing the first rustlings of love—with dire consequences. The second monologue, I Won, chronicles the upward mobility of another teenager, Natasha Vernikova (Sarah Lloyd), who is a middle-class overachiever who lets nothing get in the way of her personal and professional success. Finally, there is Epilogue, a short piece in which yet another Natasha (Shannon McPhee) offers up a love letter to her favorite pop star, Dima Bilan.
The opening night for this event, July 12, will honor the work of PHILIP ARNOULT, founder and director the Center for International Theatre Development, and who originally made it possible for The Natasha Plays and other works from the New Russian Drama movement to be produced in America.
Meet the Artists!
Sarah Lloyd is an interdisciplinary theatre artist with a current focus in performance art, physical theatre and installation art. Before entering the MFA program at Towson University, Sarah explored the use of theatre as a tool for social change, teaching theatre classes to youth in Los Angeles, Tacoma, WA and Gainesville, FL. The foundation of Sarah’s theatre training was established through a chance summer intensive with Double Edge Theatre in 2006, since then Sarah has returned to the farm in Ashfield, MA, completing a four month internship in 2009. Sarah has her BA in History from The College of Wooster. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Sarah feels a strong connection to her homeland, which is often reflected in her artistic work.
Shannon McPhee is an MFA student at Towson University. She is an actor, dancer, visual artist and she does pretty well on her NASCAR fantasy racing league. Shannon hails from Michigan and holds her B.A in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University where she pioneered the use of Motion Capture technology in live theatrical performance with guest artists from SITI Company. Her performance work has been seen at Theatre Kalamazoo in MI, Heritage Theater in MI, The Wilson Center in D.C., The Charlestown Working Theater in M.A, The Manhattan Repertory Theatre in NYC and her paintings have been shown and sold in galleries across Western Michigan. Since moving to the East Coast, Shannon has become a member of Kibism Dance Company and has performed at a variety of venues including DancePlace in D.C., The Theatre Project in Baltimore and QuestFest in D.C.
Stephen Nunns is an assistant professor and director of the MFA Program in Theatre Arts at Towson University. Before coming to Towson University, Stephen lived in New York City for fifteen years, directing, writing (mostly in collaboration with his wife, journalist Karen Houppert), and composing music for theatre pieces at a variety of off-off Broadway venues, including HERE, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Dance Theater Workshop and the 78th Street Theatre Lab. He was an associate artist at the seminal avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines, where he created three theatre pieces, including the Obie Award-winning The Boys in the Basement. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Theatre magazine.
Julia M. Smith is a collaborative theater artist and educator recently graduated from Towson University’s MFA Theatre program. Julia holds a BFA from New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing and from 2005-2008 she was a Senior Artistic Associate for Theatre Action Project and she remains a company member of The Austin Project and Refraction Arts Project based in Austin, TX. Julia has worked in various theater mediums including a recent foray into the world of stop-motion animation which can be seen on her blog: juliamsmith.wordpress.com. Her work throughout Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Austin and Eastern Europe has been recognized by the Austin Critic Table Awards, B. Iden Payne Committee, The Austin Chronicle, The New York Times and Eastern Europe and Slavic Performance Journal.