Sunday, February 09, 2014

Moscow Art Theatre Performance live stream


From: Philip G. Bennett []
Sent: Sunday, February 9, 2014 2:24 PM
Subject: Moscow Art Theatre Performance


Dear Friends,

I am forwarding this email I received from Dr. Sharon M. Carnicke, my friend and colleague, about a very special live performance and discussion being broadcast from the Moscow Art Theatre on Thursday, March 13, 2014.  Please read the details of the broadcast below and if you are able join in.


For those of you in Arizona please take note of the broadcast time zone:  10:00 am not 11:00 as stated in the email.  I believe that will be 9:00 am PST.


Philip G. Bennett



My name is Ashley Davidson and I work for the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. On Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11am CST (8pm Moscow time) the University of Iowa will link up with the Moscow Art Theatre to present Book Wings, a live bilingual (English/Russian) collaborative theatre project that uses the latest new media technologies to bring together actors, writers, directors, translators, and stage spaces 5,000 miles apart to produce one unified theatre experience, and present 6 newly commissioned plays. The performance will be live-streamed (free and viewable by anyone with an internet connection), with a 20 minute talk-back session featuring Moscow Art Theatre School Director Anatoly Smeliansky and participating playwrights, immediately following the performance. Internet viewers are invited to Tweet comments and questions for the live talk-back using the hashtag #bookw.

Is there any chance you might consider sharing information about this upcoming performance with your colleagues and encouraging your students to watch and participate in the talk-back with Moscow Art Theatre?

More on the project, including full bios of the playwrights and summaries of the commissioned works, can be found at:

The bilingual performance will be viewable live on Thursday, March 13th at 11am CST (12 noon Eastern time) at:  


The March 13th performance will mark the debut of 6 new short plays commissioned by the Moscow Art Theatre and the International Writing Program on the central theme of “Contact”; the plays touch on issues from gay marriage to climate change to torture. The commissioned Russian writers are best-selling Chechen author Herman Sadulaev, twice short-listed for the Russian Booker, publisher and writer Maksim Osipov, winner of the Yuri Kazakov Prize, and playwright and prose writer Ksenia Dragunskaya.


A PDF of the program, including the complete text of all 6 plays, in English and Russian, will be made available free online by early March, for those wanting to familiarize themselves with the plays beforehand.


A little background on Book Wings, in case you’re interested:


Moscow Art Theatre School Director Anatoly Smeliansky and University of Iowa International Writing Program Director Christopher Merrill came up with the idea for Book Wings during a working group meeting as part of the Bilateral Presidential Commission to reset relations between Russia and the U.S. in Moscow in December 2010. “Over the last twenty years we’ve trained a thousand American students in the Stanislavsky Method, and now I can talk to my daughter every night in Cambridge, MA on Skype. Can’t we find some way to meet in the virtual world?” asked Smeliansky.

The 3-year Book Wings initiative designed in response has commissioned short dramatic works from poets (2012), playwrights (2013), and fiction writers (2014) on the common theme of “contact,” and performed them on digitally-connected stages in Iowa City and Moscow, fostering cross-cultural conversation and sparking new dramatic ideas. The pioneering 2012 performance was so successful that Book Wings was expanded to include China (in 2013) and Iraq (in 2014), with plans to establish a collaboration in South Africa in 2015.

Long term, Book Wings aims to provide a model for leveraging new media technologies to increase artistic collaboration internationally. Book Wings is actively seeking arts institutions, theatres, literary organizations, high schools, colleges, and universities to host watch parties of the live internet stream:


We would be delighted if you and/or your students might join us online for the performance.


Many thanks for your time and consideration.




Ashley Davidson

Program Coordinator for Outreach and Special Programs

International Writing Program

Shambaugh House | 430 North Clinton Street | Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2020

Office:   319-335-2817 | Cellular: 928-225-1811 |



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