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Yury Klavdiev's Strike: Two Plays at Breaking String's New Russian Drama Festival in Austin—Saturday 9 February 2013

Breaking String of Austin, Texas, presented a performance of Strike: Two plays by Yury Klavdiev directed by Graham Schmidt as well as a post-show discussion: "Klavdiev Performances in Russia and the US" livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 9 February 2013 at 6 p.m. PST (San Francisco) / 8 p.m. CST (Austin) / 9 p.m. EST (New York).

The discussion featured:

Pavel Shishin (literary director, 5th Theater, Omsk, Russia), John Freedman (playwright, translator, and theater critic for Moscow Times), Dave White (artistic director, Generous Company and director of the WordBRIDGE Playwrights' Laboratory), Maria Kroupnik (Independent Moscow-based producer), and Graham Schmidt (artistic director, Breaking String Theater).

About Strike: Two Plays by Yury Klavdiev:

Breaking String Theater extends its work in staging the best that contemporary Russian playwriting has to offer with Strike: Two Plays by Yury Klavdiev. Presented back-to-back, I am the Machine Gunner (trans. John Freedman) and Martial Arts (adapted by David White) launch audiences into Klavdiev's world, inspired by his upbringing on the mean streets of a Russian industrial slum.

I am the Machine Gunner (translated by John Freedman)
Portrays a street tough meditating on his first gun battle, and recalling/becoming his grandfather, who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II's eastern front, The Moonzund Landing Operation. Starring Joey Hood, this one-act monologue walks the line between tenderness and brutality for which Klavdiev has achieved considerable renown throughout Russia.

Martial Arts (adapted by David White)
The story of two young children on the mean streets of a post-Soviet industrial town, which is a shell and a wreck of its former self. But this is no normal story of fleeing circumstances; Klavdiev fits their struggle into Russia's rich tradition of children's fantasies, recasting dragons as drug-dealers and witches as crooked cops. Doing so, he makes accessible these almost-unbearable tales of children's suffering. Another way to think of this story is that it's as if Roald Dahl wrote Pulp Fiction.

Klavdiev's plays have already premiered in the United States and enjoyed strong critical reception. As directed by Yury Urnov, Martial Arts stunned and delighted audiences at the Center for International Theatre Development's New Russian Drama Conference in 2009, and I am the Machine Gunner, as directed by David White, had its premiere at the Baltimore Theatre Project, and toured to Chicago and San Diego, among other cities. A native of Togliatti, Russia, Klavdiev has elicited comparisons with Tarantino and Orestes, with plays that probe philosophical depths, with an almost cinematic feel.

About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre, arts, and cultural community. The channel is at howlround.tv and is a free and shared resource for live events and performances relevant to the world's live arts fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Follow and use hashtag #howlround in Twitter to participate in a community of peers revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field. Our community uses the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). You can become a producer and co-produce with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, contact @HowlRound on Twitter, email tv@howlround.com, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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