Anna & Kitty, Inc. and The Tank present
THE RUSSIAN & THE JEW
Cowritten by Liba Vaynberg and Emily Louise Perkins
The Russian & The Jew is a political fairy tale that explores anti-Semitism and misogyny through a female friendship in the Soviet Union in 1968. The first public presentation of this play was a 2017-2018 BluePrint project, as part of the Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO) and incubated by the Tank. The play underlines the eternal question of fidelity oneself, to one’s partner and to one’s country. Drawing on autobiographical and historical material, this piece blends and revisits Russian fairy tales, literature and politics through the eyes of two women. Drawing on themes from Anna Karenina alongside ubiquitous Vysotsky bootlegs of the time, the play begins when Jews in the former USSR started to apply for coveted exit visas in the late ‘60s when the first letters from America and Beatles tapes started to break through the borders. This piece investigates what it meant (and what it continues to mean) to be a Jew, a woman and a citizen.
The project was created as a part of the COJECO BluePrint Fellowship, supported by COJECO and Genesis Philanthropy Group.