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March 2011

Scene4 Magazine: Theatre of Russia - Anna Yablonskaya - Terra Incognito | Grigor Atanesyan March 2011

by Grigor Atanesyan

жизнь оказалась не очень длинной.
зато забавной. она запомнится[1].

On 24 January 2011 Anna Yablonskaya was killed by a bomb blast in the "Domodedovo" Moscow airport.

Anna Yablonskaya was born in 1981 in Odessa (USSR at that time, Ukraine nowadays). The first book of her poems was published in 1995, when she was only fourteen. yablonskaya1-crDuring next fifteen years, Anna won many literary and drama awards and became a member of the Southern Russian union of writers. During this past decade, she published many poems, essays, critical articles, but first of all she was a playwright. Anna was married and had a three-year-old daughter at the time of the tragedy. She came to Moscow to receive the "Cinema art" magazine award for her new play "Pagans".

Anna Yablosnkaya lived in the Ukraine but she actively participated in the Russian theatre. She was of the generation of new talented Russian playwrights forming the notion of Russian "new drama". Her plays were widely staged, but never in famous state theatres. In fact, Yablosnkaya had a truly democratic style of work, releasing her writings on the Internet for free. She never had fame comparable to some other playwrights of the "new drama"(all approximately her age). She had a quiet talent, if only the word "quiet" is applicable to her emotional and full-of-suffering texts. For all her life she remained the heroine of her play the "Bermuda Square" - just a girl in theatre, who was noticed by little people. yablonskaya2-crOne of the theatres appreciating her works is the studio theatre of Saint-PetersburgStateUniversity. Director Anton Milochkin  staged two of her plays: "Monodialogues" (2007) and "The Video Camera" (2008). The last play is written in blank verse and, to my mind, is the best of Yablonskaya. There one can feel the art of the writer making her original narrative from the quotes, allusions and notes from real life. The author was a brilliant master in reproducing colloquial speech and every shop-assistant in her play is always true and absolutely adequate to the speech and manner of real shop-assistants. Many plays by Yablonskaya contain a character such as a disappointed or unhappy man or woman falling in love, yet there is no touch of a light-minded 'romance novel' style. Yablonskaya wrote decisively and paradoxically, so that no reader or viewer could relax while reading the play or viewing the stagings.

Many Russian theatres made a show or just gathered people in memory of Anna Yablonskaya.

On April, 7th at the Royal Court theatre (London) the Eastern European readings take place with the new play of Anna Yablosnkaya "Pagans" (translated by Rory Mullarkey) on the agenda.



[1]The literal translation of this verse is: The life turned out to be not that long, but funny enough. It will remain in the memory


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©2011 Grigor Atanesyan
©2011 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Grigor Atanesyan is a writer and journalist in St. Petersburg, Russia. He writes for Moscow's Free Access magazine as a cultural observer. Some of his short stories are published in various Russian literary magazines.



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March 2011

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