Skip to main content

Transnational Drama

Transnational Theatre: 'New Drama' in the Post-Soviet Russophone Space

The project investigates the development of Russophone theatre, specifically ‘New Drama’, in East-European Russian-speaking environments since the beginning of the present century. It examines the links and bonds which saw experimental drama in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus develop initially along a common path between roughly 2000 and 2010, with shared workshops, festivals and competitions as well as stagings ensuring that radical new developments in the form, language and content were disseminated widely across post-Soviet national borders. This includes especially an investigation of the uses of Russian in a specific cultural context, namely theatre, but across different national and political spaces (Russia, Ukraine and Belarus). 

Political events since 2010 have served to cut these nations off from one another, with national as well as linguistic boundaries being re-imposed in recent years. The project thus also considers how repertory and directorial choices have been shaped by external events in recent years. In this context, we have (in phase 2 of the project) examined especially representations of homosexuality and gender identity in this drama as a controversial benchmark for the new pressures constraining artistic, social and legal spheres in Russia today. 

The project, led by Professor Julie Curtis (University of Oxford), also includes as researchers Professor Philip Bullock (University of Oxford) and Dr Noah Birksted-Breen, translator, director and playwright, whose Sputnik Theatre, based in London, focuses on staging modern Russian drama. 

For more information about this project contact:


Transnational Theatre: ‘New Drama’ in the Post-Soviet Russophone Space Phase 1
A report on all activities carried out during the first, seedcorn, phase of the project (01.10.2016 - 30.10.2017). 

Transnational Theatre: ‘New Drama’ in the Post-Soviet Russophone Space Phase 2
A report on all activities carried out during the second, core, phase of the project (01.11.2017 - 30.09.2019). 

The above reports contain comprehensive information on fieldwork, publications, conference papers and other types of dissemination, academic events, knowledge-exchange and impact activities associated with the project during the period in question. Displayed below are the flagship events in each phase of work.