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Russian and American Playwrights Take Center Stage at Flash Acts, a Groundbreaking Theater Festival


The Festival will open on Thursday, October 8 at 12:30 PM EDT.

The Forum for Cultural Engagement today announced FLASH ACTS, a six-day, bilingual, virtual theater festival featuring newly-commissioned short plays by 20 celebrated American and Russian playwrights; panel discussions; and live musical performances. This first-of-its-kind collaboration brings together Russian and American artists in an innovative exchange of artistic works as the two countries remain in the spotlight. The Festival will open on Thursday, October 8 at 12:30 PM EDT at

FLASH ACTS will premiere two productions - one in English and one in Russian - of four new plays daily. These energizing new plays will be performed by different creative teams featuring actors in an enhanced format combining the best of theatre, film, and television. On Friday, October 9 at 12:30 PM EDT, a panel featuring current U.S. Ambassador John J. Sullivan, as well as two former U.S. Ambassadors to Russia, Jon Huntsman, Jr. and John F. Tefft, will focus on the importance of cultural diplomacy and the emergence of increased digital diplomacy. A full FLASH ACTS schedule is available on the festival website.

"FLASH ACTS reflects the experiences of Russian and American Playwrights living a world apart during this unprecedented time," said Mary McBride, Founder & Executive Director of The Forum for Cultural Engagement. "Today, more than 150 American and Russian artists prove that art has the power to deepen understanding and bring communities together."

"Arena Stage is proud to be part of this international collaboration. Commissioning diverse playwrights to write from the theme of isolation and then sharing those stories internationally through zoom productions is transformative. Isolation becomes collaboration, quarantine becomes company, and boundaries disappear," said Molly Smith, Artistic Director of Arena Stage.

"In a time where so much feels broken and fractured in the world, FLASH ACTS models an inclusive way of building new relationships and understandings, and to foster community, friendship, and hope," said Derek Goldman, Co-Director of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University.

FLASH ACTS is sponsored by the United States Embassy Moscow. "The United States Embassy in Moscow offers a standing ovation for the artists and producers of the FLASH ACTS Festival," said Ambassador John J. Sullivan, United States Ambassador to Russia. "This innovative cultural exchange holds the promise of reaching countless audiences around the globe, shining a spotlight on the power of collaboration during a period too often marked by isolation and division."

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