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     Ukrainian Plays Reading Project     

              Alliance for New Music-Theatre        

Joins The Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings Project

Featuring Music by Ken Burns’ collaborator Pianist Jacqueline Schwab

   Directed by Susan Galbraith and Matty Griffiths     

Following the successful presentations in May at Dumbarton UMC and in July at the DC Capital Fringe, Alliance for New Music-Theatre presented two public readings of selected short works by Ukrainian playwrights in September at the Lyceum in  Alexandria, Virginia and

at the Kay Spiritual Life Center on the campus of  American University.

Jacqueline Schwab.jpg

In this project, Alliance for New Music-Theatre joins in solidarity with the Center for International Theatre Development (CITD), which commissioned over several dozen plays since Putin’s army invaded Ukraine, calling their endeavor the Ukrainian Hope Initiative, and with John Freedman, translator and friend of so many of the country’s leading theatre artists. We applaud their efforts to support playwrights in war-torn Ukraine.

Jacqueline Schwab, best known for her work with Ken Burns and featured in several of his television documentaries, joined the project as Lead Collaborator and Musician. She has drawn inspiration for the piano music she has arranged for this presentation from her Ukrainian heritage.

Local composer, musician, and Alliance company member Andrew E Simpson was also featured on the accordion.

Cast members included Gyöngyvér Bognár, film and theater superstar from Hungary, who, newly immigrated with her husband Janos Szász, has made her DC debut in this project, along with their ten-year old son Jakob. Lise Bruneau,  Karina Hilleard, Michael Kevin Darnell, and Matty Griffiths, round out the exceptional cast.

We presented six works, woven together in one seamless evening of shared storytelling, including monologues and plays, all commissioned by CITD and written in 2022 by Ukrainian playwrights.

Artistic Director Susan Galbraith and Matty Griffiths selected and co-directed the six short plays from the series, and that were presented in English translations.

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The project is part of New Music-Theatre’s commitment to cross-cultural collaboration and integrating music with drama as catalyst for discussion on issues of relevance to our community and the world: changing the conversation through the arts.

The reading will include a post-show conversation to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle more than a year into this war of Russian aggression and to keep our Ukrainian friends and allies in our hearts.

All readings of these plays are offered to support Ukrainian artists, and we invite everyone who comes to consider making a generous donation.

If you are interested in other ways you can support Ukrainian artists, including how to host additional public or private Play Readings, please contact us at

Donate directly on Alliance for New Music-Theatre web site HERE.

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