VISITING MR. GREEN Comes to Moscow

VISITING MR. GREEN Comes to Moscow

In defiance of Russia's 2013 law against gay 'propaganda', the Chekhov International Theatre Festival will present three performances of Jeff Baron's play Visiting Mr. Green in Moscow, July 1-3, 2019.

Visiting Mr. Green, which has significant gay content, ran for a year in New York City starring Eli Wallach from 1997-1998. It has become one of the most-produced plays in the world in the past 20 years, with well over 500 productions in 49 countries, winning numerous Best Play and Best Actor awards. In the past theatre season, there were first class professional productions in France, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Israel, Germany, Romania, Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria. The Chekhov Festival will present Visitando o Sr. Green, the current Brazilian production, which will be performed in Portuguese with Russian titles, and will not be edited in any way. Although there is no sex or obscene language in the play, the Festival's website says 18+, since the propaganda law is for the 'protection' of children.

The Russian law that prohibits anything that "raises interest" in homosexuality or presents "distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships" was unanimously approved by the Russian State Duma and signed into law by Vladimir Putin on June 30, 2013. Violations are punishable by fines and imprisonment. In 2015, a Russian production of Gross Indecency, a play about Oscar Wilde, was cancelled by the Kremlin because of its gay content.

Jeff Baron and Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna won the Kulturpreis Europa for Visiting Mr. Green's contributions to promoting tolerance across international and societal borders. Visiting Mr. Green was also the first play to have an official reading at the United Nations.

So This Is My Family, Jeff Baron's sequel to Visiting Mr. Green, about gay parenting and religious fundamentalism, had its world premiere last July at the Avignon Festival in France, and will be produced in The Netherlands next theatre season. A reading of this new play will be presented as a special event on July 12th at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, MA, where Visiting Mr. Green had its world premiere in 1996. There will also be a reading in New York City later this summer. For more information, contact Jack North (jacknorthnyc@gmail.com).



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