(From RBTH, 8/8, by Nikolay Komatsky, Izvestia.)

A 500-page collection of contemporary Russian drama, “Real and Phantom Pains: An Anthology of New Russian Drama,” has just been published in the United States. The volume contains 12 plays. John Freedman, the book’s editor and a theater critic and culture expert, sat down to talk about the book’s target audience and why the Anglophone world is interested in Russian theater.

John Freedman: I chose plays without which I couldn’t imagine Russian theater existing for the last 14 years. Russian drama has experienced a true golden age throughout the 2000s. I am convinced, for instance, that the history of Russian drama is impossible without Olga Mukhina. Her play “Flying,” which is in the collection, was the first play about the reality of a new social class in Russia: office workers. The play has been staged frequently in the United States, Europe and the Russian provinces, yet in Moscow it has not received the attention it deserves.


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