Episode #941

Post-Soviet Bloc Party

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Studio 360 Episode 941, Post-Soviet Bloc Party “Zone of Silence” is a dramatic trilogy produced by Belarus Free Theatre that tackles the taboos of Belarussian society. (Nikolai Khalezi)

Russian-American Irina Reyn updates Tolstoy with her novel What Happened to Anna K. Underground theater thrives in Belarus, a country where statues of Stalin still loom over the city. We’ll explore how tiny Georgia became a filmmaking capital of the old Soviet Union, and how freedom and war have threatened the film industry. And we’ll take a trip to Poland, where a Jewish culture festival draws visitors to a land with few Jews.

Irina Reyn

For her first novel, What Happened to Anna K., Irina Reyn took Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and wrote a modern update set among Russian immigrants in Queens. A Soviet émigré who arrived in the U.S. at age seven, Reyn tells Kurt about ...

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Free Theatre Belarus

Belarus is called the last dictatorship in Europe. The government censors the arts, so performance troupe Free Theatre Belarus performs secretly, in converted houses, to avoid arrest. American playwright Aaron Landsman went to visit the group in Minsk, and learned what theater is really all about. Produced ...

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Tbilisi-wood

Georgia used to be something like Russia’s California -- good wine, mild weather, beautiful countryside, and even a vibrant movie industry. Georgian movies were like a breath of fresh air in the ideological Soviet film industry. Pamela Renner reports on how filmmakers today are trying to navigate ...

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Klezmer in Krakow

For 18 years, the historic Jewish quarter of Krakow has been home to a Jewish cultural festival -- nine days of dancing, lectures, and concerts. 25,000 people attend, most of them Poles with no Jewish family. Stephanie Rowden wondered what Jewish culture can mean in ...

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Horseplay

The play "Equus" is about a teenager whose obsession with horses turned violent. Daniel Radcliffe, of “Harry Potter” fame, plays the young man on Broadway. His horse, Nugget, is played by Lorenzo Pisoni. Pisoni grew up in a family of circus performers, but this role is challenging ...

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Dolly Parton

The musical "9 to 5" debuted in Los Angeles last month, and is headed for Broadway this spring. Kurt talked to Dolly Parton in 2005, when she was working on turning that legendary movie into a musical.

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