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Book Wings: Bridging the Distance from Iowa City to Moscow

On Thursday, March 14th, audiences in the University of Iowa Theatre Building in Iowa City, IA and at the Moscow Art Theatre in Moscow, Russia were joined by viewing parties at institutions around the world, including Bennington College in Bennington, VT, California State University in Long Beach, CA, The Women's Cultural Society in Kuwait City, Kuwait and at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC to experience the collaborative bilingual theatre initiative known as Book Wings. These real and virtual audiences gathered in theatres, auditoriums, and meeting rooms to take in six innovative 10-minute plays from accomplished young playwrights in the United States and Russia, commissioned by Book Wings on the central theme of contact. The plays were staged collaboratively, using digital videoconferencing technology to link twin stages in Iowa City and Moscow.

Complete video of the performance is now available online, so grab some popcorn, sit back, and allow yourself to be teleported 5,000 miles from Iowa City to Moscow and back again, as you experience these emotionally complex, darkly humorous, and moving works brought to life by the phenomenal artistic and production teams of the Moscow Art Theatre and the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts.

Book Wings 2013, the second installment of the 3-year collaborative theatre initiative, is a testament to the willingness of actors, directors, writers, translators, and their audiences to go beyond the confines of traditional artistic performance space and explore the innovation made possible by digital media. A PDF containing the complete texts of the plays in English and Russian along with information about the project and bios of the playwrights is available here. Paper copies of the program are available for educational use. Educators interested in obtaining paper copes of the program should contact Ashley Davidson, Program Coordinator for Book Wings, at ashley-r-davidson[at]

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