INTRACTABLE WOMAN: A THEATRICAL MEMO ON ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA Opens Sunday
The U.S. premiere of renowned playwright Stefano Massini's Intractable Woman: A Theatrical Memo on Anna Politkovskaya, opens on Sunday, September 23 at 122CC Second Floor Theater. The Play Company (PlayCo; Founding Producer Kate Loewald, Managing Director Robert Bradshaw), directed by Lee Sunday Evans (Dance Nation, PlayCo's Caught), and translated by Paula Wing, Intractable Woman follows journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in Moscow in 2006 after spending the previous seven years exposing government suppression and the atrocities of war in Chechnya. Staged at a moment when even the U.S. constitutional protection of a free press feels precarious, and swelling numbers of journalists are being jailed and even killed for their work worldwide, Intractable Woman is a vital display of the indispensability of journalism in the face of a government that views it as an enemy force to stifle.
While Intractable Woman is layered with vivid cultural detail surrounding a life that was taken over a decade ago, Politkovskaya's story also brims with immediacy and universality. In Evans's production, three actors-Nadine Malouf (PlayCo's Oh My Sweet Land; queens at LCT3), Nicole Shalhoub (China Doll on Broadway; The Clean House at Lincoln Center Theater), and Stacey Yen (PlayCo's Enjoy; Miles for Mary at Playwrights Horizons)-will deliver this interpretation of her experiences reporting on and living within the Second Chechen war. Theatre cannot resurrect the dead, but it can tap into the desires that compelled them in life-and Intractable Woman mines Politkovskaya's uncompromising desire to unveil the truths behind authoritarian power. Massini's take on Politkovskaya, inspired by her life and her writing, illuminates the resilience it takes to question governments simply by stating facts.
Evans, who returns to PlayCo following 2016's Caught, which she directed says, "There's something about the granular, everyday detail of life in a warzone that takes it out of sensationalism and really makes it about the experience of living and existing there. With this cast of three women, I want audiences to feel the tension between the incredible and courageous things she was doing when she was alive, while also feeling that her life was cut short. We are never attempting to recreate her, but we are honoring her spirit and sense of duty to report what was happening, no matter the cost."
PlayCo is unique in its commitment to producing an international program of new plays, from both the U.S. and around the world, to advance a dynamic, global experience of contemporary theater and expand the American repertoire.The production marks a U.S. debut for Massini, a prominent Italian writer, director, and artistic head of Milan's renowned Piccolo Teatro. Massini's play offers a window into the political landscape of Putin's Russia, the ravages of the Second Chechen War, and Chechnya under the authoritarian rule of Ramzan Kadyrov, approaching all forms of sociopolitical detail with wrenching clarity.
Performances of Intractable Woman will take place through October 14 on the second floor of 122CC, located at 150 1st Avenue, New York, NY. Regular performances will take place on Tuesday - Saturday at 7:30pm. Sunday matinees will take place at 3pm.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting playco.org or calling 866 811 4111. $15 student tickets can be purchased in advance with a valid school ID presented at will call. Group rates and discounts for teachers, librarians, first responders, and active duty personnel will also be available.
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes