Part of FringeNYC: Six orphans struggle to survive in a small Russian village just after the Civil War. Chaos reigns in this lyrical tale of dark secrets, White guards, Young Leninists, Tsarist treasures, and lightning bugs. More…
Categories: Drama, Local. From Infinite Variety Productions. Written by Alla Ilyasova. Directed by Colleen Britt.
FROM THE ARTIST:
It's 1923. In the past nine years, Russia and its people have endured two Revolutions, five wars, two so-called Terrors (Red and White), a famine claiming five million lives, countless uprisings, mass executions, drought, disease. The royal family has been disposed of, and Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks have taken over what is left - the burned down bridges and the flooded mines, the ransacked railway stations, mills and factories, the crowded, filthy city streets... and seven million parentless and homeless youths.
Svetlyachki is a story about six orphans struggling to survive in a small Russian village just after the Civil War. The ninety-minute drama (developed in part in the Actors Studio’s Playwright-Director Workshop) is a tribute to those among us who are, too frequently, the most unnoticeable and unseen, and yet who have the power in them to inspire the rest of us to (when the world grows dark) refuse to give up or give in, and learn to glow.
"These actors are most certainly no longer children, and yet their physicality and vocal choices are very successful in creating the environment of a dangerous children’s battleground...There are a few moments in which the writing and direction can use tightening: monologues roll on too long, motivation is sometimes unclear, and individual relationships have the tendency to be a little muddy. However, the story moves in ways that are unexpected." Full Review
See it if you can handle somewhat slow pacing and hard-hitting plot, characters, and conflicts.
Don't see it if you want to see something light or have no knowledge of Russian history.
See it if you like the idea of Dostoevsky's Demons meets Lord of the Flies. (but while dark, it's overall more hopeful than either of those works)
Don't see it if you're looking for something light, or if you don't like historical dramas.
See it if You love beautiful poetic dialogue, insights into innocent children affected by war, and absorbing storytelling.
Don't see it if You dislike watching adults play children
See it if you enjoy historical fiction and timeless story of children affected by war. Thought provoking and timely.
Don't see it if you are looking for a light hearted comedy.
See it if how political conflict impacts the lives of children. The internal strife - and trying to reconcile innocence with impacts of war.
Don't see it if You are looking for a light hearted, east play. This play's stregnth is the compelling provocative thought that ensues. Powerful. Relevant.
See it if you appreciate poetic yet genuine dialogue, keeps you at the edge of your seat, with a glimpse of hope even in the darkest of moments.
Don't see it if You're NOT willing to go the hard places in a play and in life.