About the Festival

The ArtsLand Festival is introducing the leading theatre directors from Eastern Europe and Eurasia to the American audience. 

Celebrities and great masters of stage in their home countries, but so far with little exposure to the American audiences, directors from Armenia, Russia and Uzbekistan will come to MASS MoCA in August to workshop three projects with American actors.

Distinct in their style and approach to work, Vahan Badalyan, Lev Erenburg and Boris Gafurov are very similar in their commitment to live theatre, and their passion for ensemble acting. 

 
 
 

THE ARTSLAND FESTIVAL

 
 
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THE KARAMAZOV BROTHERS

by fyodor dostoevsky

LEV ERENBURG PROJECT

 
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TWO ARROWS

by alexander volodin

BORIS GAFUROV PROJECT

 
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ARMENIAN TALES

by hovannes tumanyan

VAHAN BADALYAN PROJECT

 

 

Directors

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Vahan badalyan

Artistic Director, Small Theatre
Yerevan, Armenia

GRADUATE OF YEREVAN STATE Institute of Theatre and Cinema Arts, he was also trained in France as part of the Armenian-French theatre project, Prunus Armenica.  In 2001 Mr. Badalyan founded The Small Theatre of the National Centre of Aesthetics, where he remains the Artistic Director, and Head of the training program, the Drama Studio. His productions received numerous awards at the prestigious international festivals, including Fabbrica Europa in Florence, Italy; Tramway in Glasgow, Scotland; The Golden Mask Festival in Moscow, Russia. Producer and director of several Armenian-Italian performing arts projects, Mr. Badalyan has taught acting at Drama and Dance School in Salerno. His other directing credits include productions at the Hakob Paronyan State Musical Comedy Theatre, and the Sundukyan Academic Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia. Mr. Badalyan has directed the first Armenian musical, Bridge of Love. His project Unlimited: Making the Right Move for the first Armenian inclusive dance group, where he is also the Artistic Director, was supported by the British Council in Armenia. He is teaching drama at the Ayb School and Dilijan Cultural Centre.

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lev erenburg

Artistic Director, Nebolshoi Drama Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia

UPON GRADUATING FROM TOMSK State University with a degree in Russian Literature in 1977, he joined Novosibirsk Theater College where he graduated in 1980 with a degree in acting. After serving two years in regional theatres, he was admitted to the Directing Class of Georgi Tovstonogov at the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts in St. Petersburg, and, upon graduation, was offered a directing and teaching apprenticeship under Arkady Katsman at the same school.  Mr. Erenburg directing credits include Evgeny Arye Moscow Studio (currently Gesher Theater) in Tel Aviv, Israel; Finnish Drama Theater in Karelia, Russia (where he has also graduated a class of actors). His 1999 class at the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts became the core of a new theatre company, Nebolshoi Drama Theater, that Mr. Erenburg founded that year. His productions can be seen at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater, and Moscow Mayakovsky Theater in Russia, and at the Russian Drama Theater in Tallinn, Estonia. Mr. Erenburg has taught master classes in Russia and all over Europe. Mr. Erenburg is the recipient of the prestigious Golden Mask and Golden Batten awards.

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boris gafurov

Artistic Director, Mark Weil Ilkhom Theatre
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

BORIS IS HOLDING A DEGREE IN Acting from the Tashkent Institute of Theatre Arts, and has been the company member of the Mark Weil Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent since 1991. In 2000 he started teaching acting at the Ilkhom Studio Program. In 2007 Mr. Gafurov became acting Artistic Director of Ilkhom and was appointed Artistic Director in 2010. As actor and director, he participated in numerous international projects and festivals.  Some of his appearances include Ruhrfestspeilstadt Recklinghausen Festival in Germany; The Baltic House Theater Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Ilkhom Retrospective Project at the Moscow Art Theatre, Russia. As the leading company member he was seen on tours at the Barbican Center in London; at the HighFest in Yerevan, Armenia; as well as in the US (Los Angeles, CA; Seattle, WA; Tucson, AZ), in Czech Republic, Holland, Israel, and Japan.  He participated in Young Directors Lab in Paris, France, and led master classes at the School of Drama, University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Mr. Gafurov is the recipient of the Ilkhom 2007 Best actor of the Year award.

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The Karamazov Brothers

The Karamazov Brothers is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th-century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, judgment, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia. Since its publication, it has been acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in world literature.
Paloma D'Auria

Paloma D'Auria

Sandra Glinka

Sandra Glinka

David Merten

David Merten

Hal Miers

Hal Miers

David Morrissey

David Morrissey

Sebastian Nagpal

Sebastian Nagpal

Matt Raines

Matt Raines

Timothy Sekk

Timothy Sekk

 
Anna Stefanic

Anna Stefanic

Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez

 
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Two Arrows

This is a Stone Age detective. A crime is committed within a tribe: an intellectual who was to speak at the tribal council, is killed. All suspicions fall on a peaceful young man. 
It would seem that everything is clear, but when the accused himself takes the case, the situation dramatically changes.
Doug Chapman

Doug Chapman

Arielle Goldman

Arielle Goldman

Sarah Heywood-Rakhimova

Sarah Heywood-Rakhimova

Ernest Hinnant

Ernest Hinnant

Annelise Lawson

Annelise Lawson

Kate Mack

Kate Mack

Jonathan Phillips

Jonathan Phillips

Akmal Rakhimov

Akmal Rakhimov

 
Vaz Santosham

Vaz Santosham

Stephen Wilde

Stephen Wilde

 
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Armenian Tales

Armenian poet, writer, translator, literary and public activist, he is considered the national poet of Armenia. Tumanyan's work is simple, natural and poetically inspired at the same time.
It is not by mere chance that dozens of phrases and expressions from Tumanyan's works have become a natural part of people's everyday language, their sayings, adages, and maxims.
Sam Balzac

Sam Balzac

Anthony Goss

Anthony Goss

Nicole Kontolefa

Nicole Kontolefa

Kirsten Peacock

Kirsten Peacock

Ben Sargent

Ben Sargent

Tamara Sevunts

Tamara Sevunts

Marisol Soledad

Marisol Soledad

Tim Mele

Tim Mele

 
Aristotle Stamat

Aristotle Stamat

Marlene Villafane

Marlene Villafane

 
 

Festival Leadership

 
 
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ALEXANDER POPOV

President & CEO, The ArtsLand Foundation

Graduate of the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts/GITIS (MFA in Theatre History), he joined the Tabakov Studio Theatre in 1981, and later became its Executive & Literary Director.  He was an intern at the Moscow Art Theatre (1983-1985, under Anatoly Smeliansky), at the Royal National Theatre in London (1989), and at the A.R.T. (1991). In 1990-91 Mr. Popov co-produced The Acting Company/Tabakov Theatre touring exchange of 15 cities in the US and the former Soviet Union. In 1991 he co-founded Stanislavsky Summer School in Cambridge, MA, and remains its President. He served as the Russian coordinator for The Ford Foundation Theatre Management Program, and as the Project Director of the USIA/The Soros Foundation 'Arts in Russia' project.  In 2005 he established ArtsLand Festival in Boston showcasing Eastern European playwrights and directors.  Mr. Popov taught drama history at Carnegie Mellon University (1993-1997), where he was also the Program Manager for the Graduate Acting Program, and at the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard (1997-2000), where he was also the Administrative Director. In 2000-2003 he was the General Manager of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre. His translation credits include Ostrovsky's Diary of a Scoundrel (produced by Studio Six in New York City in 2008), Copenhagen by Michael Frayn and Beast of the Moon by Richard Kalinoski (currently playing at the Moscow Art Theatre). His recent book, The Basement Theatre, was published in Moscow in 2008.  Mr. Popov was Executive Producer at Stage Entertainment in Moscow, where he produced Russian productions of Mamma Mia! (2006) and Beauty and the Beast (2008). In 2010 he co-founded The Moscow Musical Theatre (with Mikhail Shvydkoy), and has produced Thirties Forever and The Embezzlers.  After working in the commercial sector for almost 10 years, he is now an International Producer at the Moscow Art Theatre and Associate Head of Producing and Theatre Management at the Moscow Art Theatre School. 

 
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IRINA PARADNAYA

Executive Producer

Irina received her degree in Theater Producing and Performing Arts Management from the Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT).  During this time Ms. Paradnaya worked as a Program Manager at the American Studio of the Moscow Art Theater School, an exchange program for acting students. She also participated in exchange programs herself in 2006 (University of Kent, UK; and Harvard University, USA). In 2010, she became the Executive Producer at the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, where her portfolio includes producing 15 ballet and opera productions, two international tours, an international ballet festival, and the Grand Re-Opening Concert of the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theater. During her five-year tenure at the Bolshoi, she worked with such internationally acclaimed companies as the Paris Opera, The Israeli Opera, and New York City Ballet and with such dignitaries as Alexei Ratmansky, Pierre Lacotte, Yorma Elo, Francesca Zambello, Wayne McGregor and others.  Ms. Paradnaya received an MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, concentrating on nonprofit marketing and development while holding internships at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, and The Joyce Theater. In 2016, she and fellow New York University graduate Jared G. Lilly launched IJ Group, an organization dedicated to providing a new approach to arts management.