Book Wings Russia 2014 (Prose)

Performance Details:

Premiering 6 new short works
from the U.S. and Russia
Date: Thursday, March 13th, 2014, 11 a.m. (U.S. central time) / 8 p.m. (Moscow time) (Run time: 2 hours)
Location: Theatre B, University of Iowa Theatre Arts Building, Iowa City, IA / Moscow Art Theatre, Moscow, Russia
Genre: Prose Theme: Contact

Commissioned Plays (8-10 minutes each):

LUNCH by Michelle Carter: Grapefruit and bacon, together? Scandalous? Immoral? What other instutitional changes threaten to transform our social structure?

WE, THE PEOPLES by Ksenia Dragunskaya: A newcomer causes a stir in a Russian village by announcing his entire island nation will soon arrive, seeking refuge from a typoon by taking up the flippant offer of hospitality previously extended by a Russian tourist.

ASSEMBLING A FLUGINFLABINLUG AT A MILITARY BLACK SITE by Anthony Marra: One table, two soldiers, a war, a sex surrogate, and IKEA's customer support center...a lethal combination?

REVOLUTIONARY PORCELAIN by Maksim Osipov: An art critic and a working-class actor undertake a delicate task.

7 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Robin Romm: Locked in a closet, two strangers get to know each other, but not in the way they’d planned.

A THREE WAY DREAM by Herman Sadulaev: A sleeper is visited by two former flames--but what exactly their shared past holds is the object of dispute.

Commissioned Writers (United States):

Michelle CARTER's many honors include: the PEN USA Literary Award in Drama (2012, 2003); the Susan Glaspell Award; the PEN West Award; Backstage West's Garland Award; a Ground Floor Residency (Berkeley Repertory Theater); and a Donmar Warehouse Theatre residency (London). DREAMSPIEL, a Ukulele Opera (libretto, lyrics) has been performed with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at Arcola Theatre (London). Her plays have been produced and developed by Centenary Stage Company; Kirk Douglas Theatre; Asolo Repertory Theatre; Clurman Theatre; Abingdon Theatre; Aurora Theatre (Global Age Project); Magic Theatre; Symmetry Theatre; and Crowded Fire. She has participated in the Women's Playwriting Festival; Unplugged Festival; New York Summer Play Festival; Grimeborn Opera Festival (London); and New Work Festival. Her Dance Theatre collaborations include AFTER ALL, Part I, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (Erika Chong Shuch, choreographer/director). The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Literature, her fiction includes On Other Days while Going Home, a novel published by William Morrow and Penguin Books, and short stories in many magazines and anthologies.

Anthony MARRA was born in Washington, D.C. He has won The Atlantic’s Student Writing Contest, the Narrative Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and his work has been anthologized in Best American Nonrequired Reading. In 2012, he received the Whiting Writers’ Award. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University, where he will begin teaching as a Jones Lecturer in Fiction this fall. He has studied and resided in Eastern Europe, traveled through Chechnya, and now lives in Oakland, CA. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, his first novel, has been published in fifteen countries.

Robin ROMM is the author of two books, a chapbook, and numerous articles and book reviews. Her story collection, The Mother Garden, was a finalist for the PEN USA prize. Her memoir, The Mercy Papers, was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly. Currently she lives in Portland, Oregon and teaches in the low-residency MFA program in writing at Warren Wilson.


Commissioned Writers (Russia):

Ksenia DRAGUNSKAYA (b. 1965) is a playwright and prose writer whose plays have been staged in many theatres in Moscow, Russia and all over the former Soviet Union. A member of the Russian Theatre Association and the Russian PEN Center in Moscow, her plays have been produced at the Playwrights and Director Center, DOC Theater, the School of Dramatic Art Theater, Et Cetera, Sovremennik and many other venues. Her works have been translated into English, French, German, Serbian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Finnish and Japanese. Her plays have been collected in two volumes, published in Moscow in 2008 and 2009. Originally from Moscow, she resides there with her family.

Maxim OSIPOV is a cardiologist and a writer. For the last few years he has worked in a hospital in Tarusa province. His notes about the province, especially “V rodnom krayu” (“In my homeland”), have gained widespread recognition and sparked a stormy debate in the press. Born in Moscow in 1963, Osipov has worked at the University of California in San Francisco and at clinics in Moscow. In 1994 Osipov launched his own medical publishing company which he managed for many years. In 2005 he returned to practising medicine and founded the Tarusa Hospital Charitable Society. The charity’s activities attracted considerable publicity in 2008 when doctors emerged victorious from a confrontation with the local authorities. Osipov’s social commentary has been widely published, most notably in the literary journal Znamya [The Standard], which awarded Osipov its annual short fiction prize in 2010. His short story “Moscow – Petrozavodsk” won the prestigious Yuri Kazakov Prize and his story “Man of the Renaissance” was shortlisted for the Belkin Prize. Osipov’s prose has been translated into French, English, Polish, and Finnish and his play Russian and Literature was staged by the Omsk Theatre of Drama, Abakan Russian Theatre and is soon to be staged by The Maly Drama Theater – Theatre of Europe, St. - Petersburg. Osipov’s radio play “Scapegoats” was recorded at Russian Radio “Culture”.

Herman SADULAEV is the author of nine books, of which Jump of the Wolf, essays on the political history of Chechnya, is the most recent. Born in 1973 in the Chechen village of Shali, he left Chechnya in 1989 to study law at Leningrad State University. After graduating, Sadulaev worked as a lawyer and traveled in Russia and abroad. Sadulaev’s first book, I Am a Chechen! was published in 2006. The book was translated to five European languages. In 2008, his novel The Maya Pill was shortlisted for the Russian Booker and for the National Bestseller. His next novel, Attack on Shali, was shortlisted for the Russian Booker and for the Big Book in 2010. In addition to novels and short stories, Sadulaev writes articles on political and social issues and works for regional TV. He lives in Saint Petersburg.

Book Wings

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  • We regret the passing, on April 11, 2024, of the distinguished Romanian author and critic Dan Cristea, who served as the editor in chief of the Luceafărul de Dimineață cultural monthly. In addition to being an alum of the 1985 Fall Residency, Cristea received his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa.

  • Our congratulations to 1986 Fall Residency writer Kwame Dawes, who has been named the new poet laureate of Jamaica.

  • Congratulations to our colleagues Jennifer Croft and Aron Aji, who are among those serving as judges for the National Book Awards this year, in their case in the category of translated literature.

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