How the performance “Mothermotherland” from Kharkiv moved to the US

The tour of the Slovo. Theater group is going on in the US. Artists from Ukraine and the US created a play Mothermotherland, which is based on the novella I (Romance) written by Mykola Khvylovy. The premiere was planned to be in Kharkiv, but after February 24, the project team decided to move it to the US.

The performance’s creation has gained the form of a protest against the Russian attempt to destroy Ukrainian culture.

In the Fall of 2022, the American artist Audrey Rose Dégez, whose ancestors come from Ukraine, wanted to create the performance Mothermotherland in Kharkiv as part of the artistic residency Slovo. On February 24, her plan was destroyed. After finding sponsorship, Audrey invited five artists from Kharkiv to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, within months to participate in a theatre residency.

Screenings of the play have already taken place in the states of New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and also at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington. The recording of the performance is available on the Center’s website.

Five screenings are planned in New York in January during the APAP theatre conference, which brings together many producers, theatre actors, and actresses from New York. The screenings take place in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute.

Each and every one of us knows why we are here in America. This confidence, determination, and fighting spirit, which are inherent to us, give us a lot of strength. I feel that here, even locally, we begin to form a demand for Ukrainian art,” says the actress and PR manager of “Slovo. Theater Group” Yuliia Linnik. 

Project artists also give lectures at universities in the United States. They have already held a lecture on the topic “Artists of Slovo House” as guest lecturers at the University of Pittsburgh and a discussion on the adaptation of a prose work to create a play at Chatham University. In Chicago, an interactive lecture was held on the Executed Renaissance in Ukraine.

After the Spring break, the team plans to continue the project in Europe with performances in Paris, London, and Berlin. Later, “Slovo. Theater group” wishes to return with the tour to Ukraine and show the performance in Kharkiv, as was initially planned.

PHOTOS of the performance (photo – Johanna AustinArt/Joanna AustinArt)