Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage ST. THOMAS MORE COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

Ukrainian Theatre at War

Oksana Dudko, a Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow at PCUH, was invited to give an interview to talk about her experiences as a scholar and theatre curator during the war. She and playwrights Anastasiia Kosodii and Lena Lagushonkova were interviewed about their experiences during the first days of the war and the challenges of navigating between war-torn Ukraine and peaceful Europe and Canada. Their predictions about the future of Ukrainian theatre and contemporary dramaturgy are simultaneously hopeful and pessimistic. Ukrainian theatre keeps evolving, creating ambitious new productions, forming international collaborations, and asking difficult questions about the Russian invasion that Ukraine is living through. Yet theatre professionals find themselves in a precarious situation, never knowing where they will live in the next couple of months. As Oksana Dudko noted, “whenever I speak in public, I keep saying that we have no choice, and radical optimism is our political position. […] I am convinced that everyone who has left will continue to work for Ukraine simply because we share the language context. Theatre is a highly language-based phenomenon. Even if you want to get rid of Ukraine inside you, you won’t be able to do it. But the fact that it’s the people in Stuttgart, London, New York, and Toronto who will watch the best Ukrainian theatre performances, not the people in Kyiv and Lviv, that’s what bothers me. But in any case, Ukrainian theatre will be really good. It is already really good, and it will be even better.”

The video interview is accompanied by personal photos and videos of the interviewees that were filmed during the war in Ukraine and Europe.

Watch the interview in Ukrainian with English subtitles:

Read a full English transcript of the interview:

Follow other events about Ukraine, the war, and cultural and social matters organized by the Feminist Workshop here: