The only tallest trees on earth
New play by Ivan Vyrypaev
- number of characters3
- age limit18+
New play by Ivan Vyrypaev
In this play, which takes place during a closed study, three famous scientists, a biologist, a psychologist and a neuroscientist, one at a time answering a variety of questions by two interviewers. As part of their research program, interviewers, asking scientists questions, are trying to answer the most pressing questions that disturb humanity at the moment. In form it is a dialogue, but in essence it is a story about the fact that even the main minds of mankind agree that mankind has little chance of salvation, and that the brain is to blame and the lack of universal understanding. After all, even several famous scientists, answering practically the same questions, eventually realize that they are cheating on each other, but afraid to talk about it with their partner.
Two men and two women come onstage by turns to tell a surprisingly deep story of the relationships of two elderly couples: Denny, Sandra, Albert and Margaret. This play, comprised of touching episodes from the personal lives of married couples, full of warmth and gratitude, serves as a fable about the illusory nature of married life and the lack of any kind of permanence in the world that surrounds us. In spite of its comic elements, the play strikes a sad note and ends in tragedy.
Fourteen characters, from the managing director of a major film festival to an elite prostitute, find themselves in the most absurd of situations in the course of a single night. They are connected not merely by the fact that each of the characters is drop-dead drunk: one was at a bachelor party, another is coming home after a banquet and a third drank their troubles away at home with their friends. This intoxication doesn’t just loosen their tongues, setting in motion a chain of unexpected conversations about true love and the desire to live without fear, but allows them to come face-to-face with an understanding of the idea of the divine in humankind.
A husband and wife are stuck in the kitchen until sunrise, trying to find a way out of a relationship crisis. They lost touch with each other long ago, and only a sincere conversation, combining familiar roles and notions on married life, is capable of giving their relationship new life and helping them cross the line of the sun that symbolically divides the space between them. Ultimately, the play takes a simple family drama and turns it into a conversation about the most relevant question today: the problem of communication between living creatures on this planet.
A woman takes the stage. Her only goal is to perform a thrilling poetic text about a cannibal maniac that finds love in passing through hell. The text’s main character is an aged native of a Russian provincial town whose house burns down with his two dogs inside. The series of tragic events that follows the fire puts him in the Smolensk asylum, where he unexpectedly kills God, finds true love and finds his final resting place.
In this brainteaser of a play, three characters—Sara, Josef and Mark, each tired of the monotony in their lives for their own unique reasons—decide to play with reality and transform into fictional characters in order to discover who Mark’s brother Marcus was visiting last Monday, Sara or Josef. This seemingly strange game leads to a series of clever dialogues about the illusory nature of choice, the fear of living and the rain that has poured and poured for three days straight, washing away all semblance of meaning in the process.
The events of the play take place in Manhattan, in the penthouse apartment of the famous American writer of Polish and German heritage, Ulga Richte. She, a closed and private person, is giving a very important interview to Polish journalist Krzysztof Zalinski. Ulya was nominated for the Nobel Prize, and this interview has enormous significance for her career. Therefore, Ulya’s two other guests, her literary agent Steve and lawyer Natalie are trying with all their might to guide the conversation along the agreed-upon track. However, at one point, all of their agreements with the journalist fly out the window in order to make space for a sincere conversation about the dark side of success, the rejection of one’s own heritage, the bravery of being oneself and the excitement that an author feels when creating a true work of art.
Four young characters — Charlie and his wife Monica, and casual lovers Emmy and Krysztof — discover that their lives are connected by a mysterious alien being. Each of them finds themselves in a difficult situation when the world around them doesn't accept them, while they don’t understand that world at all. Salvation comes in the form of an alien voice that offers each of them the chance to set off for another galaxy after bidding farewell to their mortal coil. The play touches on the socially relevant topic of migration and describes a spiritual experience.
Nine people from all ends of the Earth talk about their experience with alien encounters in a pseudo-documentary format. For that matter, it’s important that each of them is not so much telling the story of their UFO sightings as they are talking about the earth-shattering sacred effect that the experiences had on them.
The play takes place at a scientific conference dedicated to the relationship between “Eastern” and “Western” culture. Nine members of the international intellectual elite take the stage of Copenhagen University’s conference hall one after another. In spite of its scenic conceit of a conference and the seeming difficulty of the subject matter, the characters gradually transition from their prepared reports to more personal and private subjects in order to talk about the most important and eternal there is: mankind’s place in our world and the meaning of life.
The same characters. The same place: a private visitors’ room in a hospital. Seven stories about a curious dance grows out of pain, symbolizing beauty and life. In each of the places, one of the characters loses a loved one, but doesn’t feel a thing about it—much to their surprise. However, they encounter the “Delhi Dance” one way or another, which grows out of that great pain and is capable of swallowing it up entirely. After all, beauty and pain share a beginning and an end.
In this play, recreating the glamorous life of the upper crust of American society, two plots develop in parallel. The first is about the editor-in-chief of a scientific journal who loses his wife and is trying to both accept that fact and figure out what he now wants from life, and the second is about what his friends want: people ranging from a powerful businessman to a Buddhist lama. They are all united by a desire to find meaning in life and a gradual recognition that dreams are our greatest work—and that they must be undertaken with the greatest of care. Structurally, the play is a parody of American films, with characters speaking in the author’s interpretation of a Hollywood idiom.
In this tragedy, written under the name of Antonina Velikanova — a patient in Psychiatric Hospital No. 2 — the main characters, God and Lot’s Old Testament wife, begin an argument about the meaning of all that exists, interspersed from time to time with comical rhymes from John the Baptist. This meandering conversation about everything and nothing, in which the characters are either argument or coming to an agreement about all that exists, surprisingly echoes Antonina’s thought that a consistent plot is by no means necessary to understanding what is taking place onstage. Instead, it is important to live in the moment and feel what’s happening to you. Therefore, the plot here is merely an illusion that any audience and director can fill with a meaning of their own.
A series of piercing poems, structurally bordering on prose, each of which takes on famous poetic forms ranging from classical rhyme to prayer. The key subjects which the author takes on are the salvation of the soul, the discovery of one’s true path, the ability to find contact with loved ones, religious consciousness and the existential fear of the inevitable. However, regardless of the complexity of these poetic forms and the topics they discuss, all of them are defined by a particular sense of rhythm and the ability to tug at an audience’s heartstrings
Two characters, a man and his new girlfriend, come to a theatre to watch a performance that turns out far deeper than they could possibly imagine. They both by turns become characters who take the stage in the performance then turn back into spectators, discussing the deepest feelings of the actors onstage and the rules of engagement for the entertainment at hand. Ultimately, the events onstage and in the auditorium intermingle completely, and our two heroes must figure out for themselves what is real in the world of infinite jest.
10 conversations and commandments on the most pressing issues of today, from the September 11th attacks to the worldwide environmental crisis. Two young protagonists desperately sucking oxygen out of the world around them, a man and a woman—both named Sasha—who have found each other in order to lay out their generational musings on the meaning of life, homeland, impotence and conscience in ten compositions. The motivation for these conversations is a through-line in which Sasha the boy was listening to music when suddenly he heard “Thou shalt not kill” and, not finding any oxygen in his wife, decided to kill her with a shovel in order to build a snowman on her grave—“not having made unto him any graven image”—with Sasha the red-haired girl, who turned out to be the source of oxygen he needed all along.
In 1940, somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a German cargo ship sinks. The only surviving member of the crew, ship doctor Heinrich Walz, reaches the nearest island—which turns out to be deserted. The play is his final letter, written to his son Peter, after 10 years of living on the island. This missive, filled with witty stories about overcoming fear and finding true love for everything living, finds Peter as a 64-year-old man. Yet in spite of his age and stubborn opinions, this becomes a touchstone, read often by its owner to his children and grandchildren.
Six musical numbers, united by a shared rhythm: the rhythm of modern man’s life in the big city. Its main characters, ranging from a simple woman who has left work and lingered on the street a little too long, to a typical American named John, who decides to his own surprise to follow Krishna. Each of their stories, like a complete work of prose encapsulated in music, helps the audience realize that the simplest thing in life—being in the here and now—is simultaneously the hardest task of all.
The heroine of this musical is a young girl named Nancy, freshly arrived in Hollywood to pursue her dreams and having already become a famous movie star. But show business isn’t easy, and in order to reach the heights you dream of, sometimes you need a whole lot more than talent. Sometimes you need the protection of an influential producer with ulterior motives. Still, not even they can stop our pure-hearted heroine from unlocking her spiritual potential and realize the American dream in this exciting story that combines the genres of stand-up comedy and Broadway musicals. The story is based on a parody of “Beauty and the Beast”: ultimately, a repulsive and lascivious producer turns into a handsome prince and leads our star to enlightenment, all thanks to one actress.
Seven dreams and seven meditations on beauty, freedom, love, God and life in search of a way out of hell. The heroes of this play are less characters than embodiments of the flaws of a contemporary city: teenage pregnancy, drug addiction, bullying and vagrancy. Each of them has their own opinion about the reasons that brought them onstage—a black room on which one of the characters draws a door in chalk at the beginning of the play. However, in the final dream, all of these opinions become a single voice because the action of the play is actually taking place inside the audience’s heads. All of these characters, musing upon their unenviable lots in life, understand that the chalked door could very well be their exit out of hell, whether it is in fact hell indeed or whether the door and dreams were never there in the first place.
An android man and android women walk into a typical Hong Kong karaoke bar, where they start singing songs (taking turns or together with the audience) as the words flash past on a big plasma screen. These songs, carefully and slyly performed by the android protagonists, are about perfectly human cares: the acceptance of death, strength of spirit, the reasons for all manner of suffering, fleeting beauty and eternity. Alongside these songs, short videos are projected out of these androids’ chests onto the walls of the karaoke box. These videos show the happiest moments from the lives of several people: a little girl on a boat and a young couple on a picnic. Maybe this is how androids experience life—or maybe they’re just video clips to illustrate the words of the karaoke songs.
Ostensibly a continuation of Mikhail Roschchin’s “Valentine and Valentina,” but at its core a story about the need to know how to wait and find the strength to love even those that you hate. The protagonists of Roshchin’s play have aged; Valentine married Katya, but couldn’t give up his love for Valentina, ultimately resulting in his death. Sometime later, finding themselves alone, Katya and Valentina have become housemates. They either remember the past—moments from their lives with Valentine—or return to the present, empty save for memory and their hatred for each other, leading to a single beautiful moment with unexpected consequences.