Photos by Matthew Freer
I hate to admit that I’d never heard of the Holodomor before I read Abbey Fenbert’s play. My initial reaction after reading it was, “Seriously? This happened? How did I not know about this?”
Millions of people died, and I didn’t have the foggiest idea. I was shocked, and kind of ashamed. As I began talking about the play with friends and potential collaborators, I realized I wasn’t alone. In all of those early conversations, maybe three out of 100 people had ever heard of this genocide perpetrated against the people of Ukraine. Perhaps it’s no surprise, as news of the famine was actively denied and suppressed until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
So what do you do with a story that has, by and large, gone untold? You tell it.
In writing this play, Abbey has taken a story which primarily exists as lists of horrific facts and given it life. While imagined, these characters' inherent nuance, contradictions, and unpredictability give us a dynamic perspective on history.
This is not a play about women who are dying.
This is a play about women who are living, against all odds.
Anna: Moira Begale
Iryna: Christine Vrem-Ydstie
Halka: Catherine Dvorak
Nadya: Katherine Bourne
Yasia: Brittany Ellis
Halka/Yasia/Anna U/S: Cristiana Park Barbatelli
Iryna/Nadya U/S: Maddie Todd
Director: Elizabeth Lovelady
Assistant Director: Taylor Pasche
Technical Director: Becca Venable
Stage Manager: Becky Warner
Production Manager: Jamie Crothers
Ukrainian Language and History Consultant: Ali Kinsella
Violence/Intimacy Designer: Rachel Flesher
Assistant Violence/Intimacy Designer: Veronica Oczowinski
Assistant Violence/Intimacy Designer: Tristan Hall
Set/Props Designer: Jessie Howe
Lighting Designer: Jason Lynch
Sound Designer: Sarah D. Espinoza
Costume Designer: Hailey Rakowiecki