DARE TO SPEAK PRODUCTIONS is pleased to announce the World Premiere production of I PLEAD GUILTY, written and directed by Natalia Pelevine, based on the real events of the Moscow theatre siege of 2002. It is adapted from Pelevine's play In Your Hands, which, after a successful London run, was translated into Russian and banned there by the government officials after just one performance. I PLEAD GUILTY will play a limited engagement at Gene Frankel Theater, (24 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012). Performances begin Wednesday, May 18 and continue through Sunday, May 29. Opening Night is Friday, May 20 (7:30 p.m.).
Eight hours into the siege of a theatre, Islamic terrorists have taken the audience hostage, demanding for troops to be pulled out of their land. They insist that if this does not happen, the government will have the blood of many on their hands.
In this midst of this horror, an interaction occurs between two women, the journalist, Natasha, and black widow terrorist, Seda. Their relationship, tense, difficult, and dangerous takes an unforeseen turn, when Seda, removes her veil and reveals her personal story to Natasha whose life is in her hands. In disbelief and agonizing circumstances, the two women are stripped of their roles as victim and villain, and are simply that- women.
The production features scenic design by Jane Stein, lighting design by Jeff Nash and Catriona Rubenis-Stevens is the stage manager and producer.
I PLEAD GUILTY plays the following schedule:
Weds May 18th @ 7:30 PM
Thurs May 19th @ 7:30 PM
Fri May 20th @ 7:30 PM
Sat May 21st @ 3PM and 7:30 PM
Sun May 22nd @3 PM
Weds May 25th @ 7:30 PM
Thurs May 26th @ 7:30 PM
Fri May 27th @ 7:30 PM
Sat May 28th @ 3 PM and 7:30 PM
Sun May 29th @ 3PM
Tickets are $18 and are now available online at www.smarttix.com or by calling (212) 868-4444. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater box office ½ hour prior to performance.
Running Time: 90 minutes
SPECIAL NOTEWORTHY EVENT NIGHTS:
MONDAY MAY 23RD AT 6 P.M. - a screening of a documentary film about the shady works of the former KGB, now FSB, 'Blowing up Russia'. The film is banned in Russia and will be followed by a Q & A with the author of the book on which the film is based, professor Yuri Felshtinsky.
TUESDAY MAY 24TH AT 6 P.M.
Playwright/director Natalia Pelevine will host Q & A on the topic of the Moscow theatre siege, where guests will include Anastasia Kurbatova, who lost her sister in the theatre siege, famous dissident and author Alex Goldfarb and Human Rights Watch representatives.
NATALIA PELEVINE (Director/Playwright) was born in Moscow and moved to London at the age of eleven. With Russian and Polish blood she is the granddaughter of prominent Russian capitalist Stepan Pelevine, who escaped the new regime and immigrated to the United States in the 1920s. On her mother?s side she is a descendent of the aristocratic Poniatowski dynasty and the great granddaughter of a leader of anticommunist uprising in central Russia killed by NKVD (later KGB) in 1932.
Having escaped the closed off reality of the Soviet Union she soon began to feel the exciting enormity of such a diverse world. In 2004 she founded (UK based) First Act Productions. Her play In Your Hands, written with support of the victim?s families, premiered in London in 2006. In 2007 the Russian version of the play opened in Dagestan, Russia, but the performances were abruptly stopped. She just completed the screen adaptation of Alex Smukler?s novel Tetrada Fallow and is currently working on a feature film based on Anna Politkovskaya?s life. She is a regular commentator on a number or radio and TV channels.
Natalia Pelevine is an active member of the opposition to the current Russian government and is
the founder of Democratic Russia Committee.
DANA PELEVINE (actor) grew up in London, England, a theatrical playground and become involved in theatre at a young age, traveling to drama festivals in Brussels and Rome. In 2005 she embarked on a two-month theatrical tour in Europe, performing in Shakespeare?s Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet and soon after relocated to New York City to pursue acting training. Dana is now a 2008 graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she was the recipient of the prestigious Charles Jehlinger award for excellence in acting. She was also selected to be part of the 2008-09 Academy repertory company.
Recent film credits include the role of Sandra in La Mancha's feature film Weary Sun, independent feature film Silver Sling (directed by award winning director Tze Chun) and opposite Anne Heche in ?That?s What She Said?, directed by Carrie Preston. Dana?s recent theatre credits include her controversial performance in the production of Quiet Bed at the Sonnet theatre as well as Babes in Toyland at the legendary Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Centre and the lead role in the award-winning comedy A Night in Vegas.