Theatre of Gulags is a theatrical installation exploring the dark history of the Soviet Union labour camps, and the full-scale theatres that were built inside them. Theatres behind the fence were filled with artists from distinct theatrical and ethnic backgrounds – all prisoners.
Walk through the camp corridor to discover the stories of four prisoners behind the hessian fabric curtain. A Queer Roma man, a Ukrainian theatre revolutionary, a Jewish puppetry maker, and the first woman to direct an Opera, all trapped inside the gulag walls. They will tell you about their journeys – from their homes, to the black NKVD cars, to the train carriages with no windows, to barracks, and onto the stage. Continue walking through the corridor, until you find your seat in a GULAG theatre, and the show of truth will begin.
Anya was born in Moscow in a family of Ukrainian Jews, due to her identity and positionality, Anya’s focus has always been on political art, exploring the history of the USSR, and current Russian War crimes. She relocated to London due to the suffocating political climates in her country and found herself passionate about presenting narratives of freedom and justice to play her part in calling for solidarity and effecting change. She is currently studying MFA Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. With a combined skill set in producing, directing, scriptwriting and filmmaking, she is interested in creating truthful and multidisciplinary work. Anya has been active in both theatre and film productions, including projects with the Museum of GULAG, RIJA FILMS Studia, directing a documentary animation “Birthday Story”, and has written, translated and directed a theatre piece The Heart. Anya presented her collaborative London debut piece “Rooms Left Behind”, a theatrical installation about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Hong Kong protests with Amy Sze at LIFT Festival on 25 June 2022, as part of the UPLIFTERS program.
Cast & Creative Team Director: ANYA OSTROVSKAIA
Producer: AMY SZE
Scenographer: JOCK MAITLAND
Sounds designer: JACK CLEARWATER
Movement director: MARIANA CAMILOTI
Illustrator: OLGA YURASOVA