Among these diverse acts is a piece titled “TseSho?” or in English, “What's That?” produced by Kyiv, Ukraine's Teatr-Pralnia in collaboration with CCA Dakh, directed by Vlad Troitsky. The play uses the dreamy lens of childhood, as well as many puppets as props to explore humanity's points of connections and the quest to understand the truth within.
Ahead of Teatr-Pralnia's premiere performance in Albuquerque on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 at Tricklock (110 Gold Ave. SW) at 7pm, members of the troupe exchanged some emails with us about the meaning of “TseSho?” and what it feels like to share it with the world.
Alibi: What inspired the creation of this piece?
Teatr-Pralnia: Daily life. Actions happening in our country and in our world. It’s our reflections on this time [and] thoughts about our generation.
Did you see a need for this story?
Of course. We believe that art [is] called to bring changes, to ask questions. And now is really a time of need for this (especially in our country).
What's with the choice of using puppets to help tell the story?
Our director Vlad Troitsky proposed [that we] create puppets similar to us—like small copies of ourselves. But at the same time this copy can be anything (your inside child, your inner self, your future child). Of course, the puppet is a good [form] of expressiveness and it gives us a lot of opportunities on the stage. I would love to say that puppets helped to make the story magical.
What was the initial reception of this piece? Have you toured it previously? And how do you expect it might resonate differently in Albuquerque?
[The] first performance was so exciting. It was magic. People were so open … [and] we had a great discussion after. … It’s our first tour. (Thank you Center Stage!) We try not to expect anything, because then we do not really want to be disappointed. We just believe that it will be different and brilliant each time.
Have you visited this part of the world before? Are you excited to visit Albuquerque?
Never! We are so excited to visit Albuquerque, … [especially] because of “Breaking Bad.” Some of us are very big fans.
How has the play evolved and changed since its creation?
The music has changed. At first it was very simple because we are not professional musicians. We have changed some theatrical elements, including sketches with puppets. We [even] created two different programs—one for the big stage and one for smaller theaters.
What do you hope others might learn from seeing the performance?
We hope people can learn more about modern Ukraine. That Ukraine is not only about borscht, dumplings and crowns of flowers. … They can see that we have the same problems [as many other places]. And it’s not about nationality, it’s about how the human is always human.
Why is childhood a good perspective from which to take on these concepts?
Because children are always free. They have this naïve opportunity to say the truth. They aren't scared to say something. There are small children inside us who always know truth.
What have you all learned through creating and performing this piece of theater?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions for yourself. Be open to the world. Be interested in what is going on around you. Have your own position, but at the same time respect others' opinions.