Oksana Savchenko's Award-Winning Play Presented and Published in Poland

20 May 2023

On May 27, 2023, the Polish Theatre in Warsaw will host a captivating performative reading of Oksana Savchenko's play, "The Night will Cover the Morning." This event preludes the highly anticipated premiere of the book "The Insect," a collaborative effort between three cultural institutions: The Ukrainian Institute, the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, and the Lublin Culture Workshop.

"The Insect" encompasses a collection of three remarkable dramas carefully curated in 2022 as part of the Ukrainian Institute's program, "Transmission.UA: drama on the move." This program is dedicated to promoting contemporary Ukrainian drama across European countries, introducing audiences to the richness and diversity of Ukrainian theatrical works. The selection process was meticulously undertaken by experts from UKRDRAMAHUB, an online library renowned for its extensive collection of contemporary Ukrainian drama.

This exceptional collaboration between cultural powerhouses has culminated in an unparalleled literary and theatrical experience that promises to captivate and inspire audiences. The performative reading at the Polish Theatre will serve as a testament to the remarkable talent and artistic exchange fostered by these institutions, inviting audiences to delve into the compelling world of Ukrainian dramatic arts.

At the heart of this narrative are three remarkable women, each embodying unique personas—an athlete, an intellectual, and a young mother grappling with symptoms of neurosis. Their individual journeys unfold against the backdrop of war, weaving together elements of comedy and tragedy. Through the intertwined stories of these characters and their children, the author masterfully navigates her own lived experience during the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Oksana Savchenko, born in Kyiv in 1975, is a multifaceted creative force, excelling as a screenwriter, playwright, and journalist. Her remarkable talent has left an indelible mark on various platforms, including her work as a scriptwriter for esteemed TV channels like TRK Ukraine, Inter, and the renowned media company FILM.UA.

Savchenko's artistic prowess has extended beyond television, with notable engagements at prestigious international events. She graced the stage at the Heidelberger Stückemarkt theatre festival in Germany (2017), showcased her talents at the Telpa Daugavpils International Festival in Latvia (2014), and contributed to the vibrant Contemporary Art Week in Kyiv. Notably, she has collaborated with institutions such as the Georg Henu’s Theatre of Displaced Persons and Natalia Vorozhbyt. Savchenko was selected to participate in the esteemed theatre program for Ukrainian playwrights at the renowned Royal Court Theatre in London in 2011. This opportunity further enriched her artistic journey and solidified her reputation as a talented and versatile creative force.

The play which will be presented at the reading was translated into Polish by Anna Korzheniovska-Bihun, who is a Doctor of Humanities. She graduated from the Faculty of Theatre Studies at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw (1997) and the Department of Ukrainian Studies at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw (2004). She translates Ukrainian literature and films into Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian and English.

The award-winning texts that will be featured in the book include Lena Kudaieva's drama, "The Insect," Oksana Savchenko's, "Night Will Cover the Morning," and Polina Polozhentseva's compelling work, "Save the Light." These remarkable dramas were crafted after the significant date of 24 February 2022 and have been translated into Polish thanks to the generous funding from the Stabilisation Fund. This initiative, established by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut, aims to provide support to cultural and educational organizations affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The bilingual publication, which features both Polish and Ukrainian languages, marks the beginning of a drama series within the esteemed Eastern Express publishing series. Since 2014, the Workshop of Culture in Lublin has been dedicated to sharing the latest texts of Central and Eastern European literature with Polish readers. Serving as the co-publisher, the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, with the backing of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, undertakes an artistic residency program for theatre artists from Ukraine.

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