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Liza Sacheli
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Middlebury College Theatre Presents “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” April 2–4

March 18, 2015

Dark Comedy Mixes Fantasy and Reality in Contemporary Moscow

FairyTale  Lives of Russian Girls

Middlebury, VT—The Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance will present Meg Miroshnik’s dark comedy  “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” on April 2–4 at the Seeler Studio Theatre. This subversive story haunts the audience, and carries a powerful message for young women living in a world where not everything ends up happily ever after. Associate Professor of Theatre Alex Draper ’88 will direct a cast of seven Middlebury students.

FairyTale  Lives of Russian Girls 2

The play follows 20 year old Annie, who returns to her native Russia to brush up on the language and lose her American accent. Underneath a glamorous post-Soviet Moscow studded with dangerously high heels, designer bags, and luxe fur coats, she discovers an enchanted motherland teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears. Annie must learn how to become the heroine of a story more mysterious and treacherous than any childhood fairy tale: her own.

American playwright Meg Miroshnik is known for dramatic works that feature a heightened attention to language. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, where she studied with Paula Vogel. Her work has been developed or produced by the La Jolla Playhouse, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Center Theatre Group, the McCarter Theatre Center, Alliance Theatre, Yale Rep, the Kennedy Center, and others. “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” was a finalist for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn prize and winner of the 2011–2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award.

Alex Draper '88

Why did Draper choose “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” for Middlebury? First and foremost, he valued this fresh, challenging play by a talented new playwright. “I first read it when it was submitted for the Blackburn Prize—it’s filled with fantastic, demanding roles that are fun to dive into.” Also, he was interested in the way the play mixed fantasy and reality, informing each other in unexpected ways. Draper notes, “It requires a very nimble, playful, and challenging acting style—which our excellent cast has embraced fully.” The cast of “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” includes Katie Weatherseed ’16.5, Lana Meyer ’17, Leah Sarbib ’15.5, Caitlyn Meagher ’17, Kathleen Gudas ’16.5, Isabella Alonzo ’18, and Gabrielle Owens ’17.

Mari Tanioka ’18 is the stage manager, with Merri McMahon ’18.5 as the assistant stage manager. The production team includes theatre faculty and staff members Hallie Zieselman (lighting designer); Mark Evancho (set designer); Mira Veikley (costume designer); Allison Rimmer (technical director and sound designer); Marcia Provoncha (costume director); Jim Dougherty (technical support and props master); and Annie Ulrich ’13 (associate costume director).

“The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” will be performed on Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3, 2015 at 7:30 P.M; and Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 2:00 and 7:30 P.M.; in the Seeler Studio Theatre at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts. There will be a post-show discussion with the cast and crew following the Friday night show. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. For tickets or information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

Cast photos by Teddy Anderson '13.5

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax
cfa@middlebury.edu