Archive for the tag 'plays'

Source: JSmith Photo/Flickr

The following is from our friends at the Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue). On a side note, I had the opportunity to meet with the three playwrights, as well as the backers of this initiative, yesterday. Three truly interesting people working on an awesome project that will bring stories of Brighton Beach to a global audience. Check it out.

Elyse Dodgson (Head of International Dept. at the Royal Court Theatre, London), The Public Theater (NY), and Actors Touring Company (UK) present: a free practical workshop/discussion hosted by three of the most important contemporary playwrights in Europe today.

Natasha Vorozhbit (Ukraine), Pavel Pryazhko (Belarus) and Mikhail Durnenkov (Russia) will invite the audience to take a journey into the process of playwriting and the world of contemporary drama. They will be joined by Elyse Dodgson (London), the Director of Actors Touring Company Ramin Gray (UK), and translator Sasha Dugdale (London). The session will run in English as well as in Russian.  

Background Information:  In the 1960s, Dodgson’s mother filmed a documentary about life in Coney Island, a document now lost. That missing film and her own family’s emigration from Eastern Europe to Brighton Beach inspired Dodgson to commission playwrights to spend two weeks in Brighton Beach and to turn their findings into plays. The project has come to life thanks to the support received from Public Theater (NY), Actors Touring Company (UK) and the Genesis Fund.

Natasha Vorozhbit (Ukraine) Ms. Vorozhbit studied at the Moscow Literary Institute.  Her plays, Demons and Galka Motalko were staged in Moscow and Latvia. She also writes extensively for television including the script for series School in Russia. She has also written two plays for the Royal Court Theatre in London.  Her play THE GRAIN STORE was produced at the ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY in 2009.

Pavel Pryazhko (Belarus) Mr. Pryazhko has won several major Russian language theatre awards and his plays have been produced throughout Europe. His play LIFE IS GRAND was invited to the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow in 2010. His play HARVEST was presented as a staged reading in London in the Royal Court Theatre’s International Season in 2011.

Mikhail Durnenkov (Russia) Mr. Durnenkov is the author of over 15 plays including THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER which was produced at the Moscow Arts Theatre. His plays have been translated and produced throughout Europe. THE DRUNKS was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2009. He has also participated in workshops with the Royal Court Theatre in London.

When: Sunday, June 3, at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue)

"K sozhaleniyu, ya poka ne govoryu po russki!" ("Unfortunately, I can not yet speak Russian!") Source:

Remember our pre-summertime write-up about the play, Russian Transport, set “in the Russian-Jewish enclave of Sheepshead Bay,” and written by Sheepshead Bay-native playwright Erika Sheffer?

Production dates, cast and additional creative team members had not then been announced, but now we are informed that the actress, writer, political activist and all-around supah-star Janeane Garofalo will play the role of a Russian mother of two living in the Bay.

Continue Reading »

Erika Sheffer with fellow playwrights Thomas Bradshaw and David Rabe (Source:

Off-Broadway theater company, The New Group, announced this weekend that, among this season’s theatrical offerings will be the production of Russian Transport, a play written by Brooklyn-born playwright Erika Sheffer, set in Sheepshead Bay:

Set in the Russian-Jewish enclave of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Russian Transport, according to The New Group, is a “deeply personal, emotionally charged tale of an immigrant couple, their two assimilated teenagers and the fierce and fiery upheaval they experience when sexy, mysterious Uncle Boris from the old country comes to stay with them for his shot at the American dream.”

While production dates, cast and additional creative team members have not yet been announced, you can check out The New Group’s website for the latest ticket information.


The MAC Playhouse at Kingsborough Community College

Leon M. Goldstein High School is putting together a performance of epic proportions: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” Join them for the ride through Shakespeare’s 37 plays, performed in 97 minutes by seven actors.

Directed by English and Drama teacher Victoria Sottile, the work is open to the public and will take place on the Kingsborough campus. Here are the details:

WHAT: The Complete Works of Willliam Shakespeare (abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield
WHERE: The MAC Theatre, Kingsborough Community College (2001 Oriental Boulevard)
WHEN: Friday, January 21, and Saturday, January 22 at 7:15 p.m.
COST: $10