Welcome to this second version of the website detailing the work of John Freedman, an American writer, translator, critic and scholar of theater and drama who lived and worked in Moscow from 1988 to 2018, and in Greece from then on. The first site crashed and burned. This one reflects the remains pulled from the ashes, sometimes, but not always, tweaked and improved. Here you can find information about my - for I am John Freedman - books, plays, translations, articles and other writings; information about international theater and drama projects in which I have been, involved. I also include information about the work of other translators and scholars in my field. This is meant to be an open space. Feel free to contact me (Contact page) if you know of sources I do not link to here.

In other spaces I maintain a blog about Russian culture as it is revealed in landmarks, architecture and street art, and another drawn from my archive. I also maintain a blog about Crete, where I now live. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

Photo by Olympia Orlova

BOOKS

 

A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War: 20 Short Works by Ukrainian Playwrights, compiled, edited, and largely translated by John Freedman, with assistance from John Farndon and Natalia Bratus. This collection, when published in 2022 or 2023, will present works by the 20 founding members of the Theater of Playwrights in Kyiv, Ukraine. To be published by Laertes Books.

God's Gift, my translation and adaptation of a Christmas poem for children by Fyodor Dostoevsky, published in a limited, non-commercial run by the Kyoto Church in Japan, 2017.

Drillalians, an opera libretto by Boris Yukhananov, published in a dual-language book along with DVDs and CDs of the entire, five-day opera series. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre Foundation, 2016.  

Real and Phantom Pains: An Anthology of New Russian Drama, compiled and edited by John Freedman. New Academia Publishers, 2014. Supported by a generous grant from the Prokhorov Foundation. May be ordered through amazon.com or directly from the publisher New Academia Publishing. Ebooks are available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. It is also available through ibookstore, Kobo, Baker and Taylor, Google, Ingram and others.

Provoking Theater: Kama Ginkas Directs, co-authored with Ginkas. Smith and Kraus. 2003.  Go here to order. Published in Romanian as Teatrul Provocator: Kama Ginkas regizeaza, Editura Unitext, 2008. Translated by Andrei Luca Popescu and Marian Popescu. To be published in Bulgarian in 2020/2021, translated by Roumen Yanovski, and with an introduction by Javor Gardev.

Moscow Performances II: The 1996-1997 Season. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Go here to order
 

Moscow Performances: The New Russian Theater 1991-1996. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Go here to order.
 

Silence's Roar: The Life and Drama of Nikolai Erdman. Mosaic Press, 1992. 

 

The Simpleton by Sergei Kokovkin. A play translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here.

Two Plays by Olga Mukhina: Tanya-Tanya and YoU. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here
 

Two Plays from the New Russia. Bald/Brunet by Daniil Gink and Nijinsky by Alexei Burykin. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here
 

A Meeting About Laughter: Sketches, Interludes and Theatrical Parodies by Nikolai Erdman, Vladimir Mass and Others. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. (Now distributed by Routledge.) Order here
 

The Major Plays of Nikolai Erdman. Translated, edited and introduced by John Freedman. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. (Now distributed by Routledge.)  Order here.

 

 

DRAMATIC TEXTS

 

Around the Globe Chain Play, one scene in an experimental piece composed by 16 authors working consecutively over a period that ran from Feb. 23 to March 19, 2013. The full list of playwrights included Dominique Morisseau (US), Bekah Brunstetter (US), Van Badham (Australia), Mixkaela Villalon (Philippines), Janice Poon (Hong Kong), Abdelrahem Alawji (Lebanon), Jeton Neziraj (Kosovo),  John Freedman (Russia), Ulrike Syha (Germany),  Enver Husicic (Netherlands), Zainabu Jallo (Nigeria), Beatriz Cabur (Spain), Sarah Grochala (England), Sigtryggur Magnason (Iceland), Caridad Svich (US). 

Dancing, Not Dead. Translated into Russian by Alexei Burykin. Translated into Romanian by Bogdan Budes. Winner of The Internationalists' Global Playwright Contest, June 2011.

The Firebird, performance script w/ Double Edge Theatre ensemble and Jennifer Johnson. 2010.

Five Funny Tales from the Heart of Buenos Aires, a ten-minute monologue. 2013.

Scorched Earth, a full-length play. 2018. Semi-finalist in the New Works Festival, Garry Marshall Theater, March 2018.

Texts for the Devil in the new version (2018) of Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya, music and libretto by Alexander Bakshi, puppets and direction by Amy Trompetter.

FILM SCRIPTS

Nikolai Erdman: A Shot of Suicide, documentary w/ Viktor Korkiya (Russian ORT, aired Sept. 16, 2004).

Provoking Theatre: The Playwright and Director Center and American Students at the Moscow Art Theater. Documentary film produced by FilmPROM (Moscow), originally aired on Russia Today TV, 2007.

Provoking Theatre: Anton Chekhov. Documentary film produced by FilmPROM (Moscow), originally aired on Russia Today TV, 2007.


 

Allegro moderato, screenplay for a Russian-language feature film w/ Yevgeny Lungin (unpublished, unproduced).
 

PLAY TRANSLATIONS (From Russian unless otherwise noted)

Arie, Pavlo

  • Diary of Survival. Translated from the Ukrainian with Natalia Bratus. 
     

Astaseva, Elena

  • A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War (short). 

  • A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War II (short). 
     

Batalov, Talgat and Yekaterina Bondarenko

  • Uzbek.

Bilyts, Ihor

  • The Russian Soldier (short). 
     

Blok, Natalia

  • Our Children (short). Translated from the Ukrainian with Natalia Bratus. 
     

Bondarenko, Andrii

  • The Survivor's Syndrome. Translated from the Ukrainian with Natalia Bratus. 

  • What is War? (short). Translated from the Ukrainian with Natalia Bratus. 


Bogaev, Oleg

  • The Russian National Postal Service. 

Bugadze, Lasha

  • Political Play. Translated from the Georgian with Maya Mamaladze.

  • Shocked Tatyana. A miniature. Translated from the Georgian with Maya Mamaladze.

  • The Tragedy of Aunt Tsitso. A miniature. Translated from the Georgian with Maya Mamaladze.

Bulgakov, Mikhail

  • Theatrical Novel. (Subtitles for the Fomenko Workshop Theater.) 

  • The Master and Margarita (Subtitles for the Fomenko Workshop Theateer.)

Burykin, Alexei

Chekhov, Anton.  (See also Kama Ginkas below.)

  • The Cherry Orchard.

  • Uncle Vanya.

Chenskiy, Vitaliy

  • Robinson (short)
     

Chichkanova, Alexandra

Durnenkov, Mikhail

Durnenkov, Vyacheslav

Edlis, Yuliu

  • Where is Abel Thy Brother? 

Erdman, Nikolai

  • The Destruction of Europe on Holy Square (three-act sketch).Available here

  • The Hypnotist (two play fragments). Available here

  • Interludes for Lev Gurych Sinichkin, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pugachyov, Princess Turandot [w/ Vladimir Mass] and Hamlet [w/ Vladimir Mass]). Available here.

  • A Meeting About Laughter (one-act sketch w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

  • Moscow From a Point of View (two scenes). Available here

  • New People, New Songs (parody w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here

  • On Laughter (sketch w/ Yakov Ziskind). Available here

  • Private Schulz (sketch w/ Mikhail Volpin). Available here.

  • The Qualification Exams (sketch). Available here

  • The Suicide (published version, 1995). Available here

  • The Suicide (new version, 2009). 

  • Three Circus SketchesAvailable here.

  • Two Music Hall numbers (sketches for emcee w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

  • The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of the Danes (parody in one scene w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

  • The WarrantAvailable here

  • The Work Whistle, or the Stomach Incision (parody in one scene w/ Vladimir Mass). Available here.

 

Epelbaum, Ilya.

  • The Emperor's Naked Suit. A script for puppet show.

Gink, Daniil

  • Bald/Brunet. Available here

  • K.I. from 'Crime' (after scenes from Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment.) Available here (Issue No. 23).

 

Ginkas, Kama

  • The Black Monk (after Anton Chekhov.)

  • A Ridiculous Poem (after Fyodor Dostoevsky's 'The Grand Inquisitor' from The Brothers Karamazov).

  • Rothschild's Fiddle (after Anton Chekhov). Available here (Issue No. 25).

  • The Theater of Nikita: Ward No. 6 (after Anton Chekhov).

 

Gladilin, Pyotr

  • The Moth.

  • Someone Else.

Grytsenko, Oksana.

  • The Peed-upon Personnel Carrier (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.

  • The Sailor (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Hapieieva, Olena

  • In the Bowels of the Earth (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.

  • I Don't Know (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Harets, Iryna

  • Planting an Apple Tree (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Kazachkov, Yevgeny

  • Winter War

Kosodii, Anastasiia

  • How to Talk to the Dead (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Kirov, Semyon

  • Ilya's Day. Russian winner in the New Baltic Drama 2011 competition featuring works from Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Russia. Presented at the Turku City Theater in November 2011 as part of the Turku 2011 Cultural Capital program.

Klavdiev, Yury

Klim

  • The Cabaret Buchenwald. In progress.

Kokovkin, Sergei

Korkiya, Viktor

Kosodii, Anastasiia

  • How to Talk to the Dead (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Kourliandskaya, Nastya.

  • Eurydice. A libretto for opera. In progress.

 

Koval, Viktoria

  • One Half of One Year. 

Kureichik, Andrei

  • Insulted. Belarus. Available here (Plays International) in the Winter 2020 issue.

  • Voices of the New Belarus.
     

Kurochkin, Maksym

  • Almost Aivazov (a dramaticule).

  • A Bad Councilor One Winter Evening Drinks and Waits for Oleinikova (A dramaticule). 

  • Circuit Breaker (a dramaticule).

  • Common Values (a dramaticule).

  • Dreaming of an All-Inclusive Globe (short). 

  • Dulcey and Roxy at City Hall.

  • The Hanged Man (a dramaticule).

  • KitchenAvailable here. Three scenes are published in the internet magazine Asymptote. 

  • The Market From Above (a dramaticule).

  • The Mirror of Carlos Santos.

  • The Monastery of the Caves. Translated from Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.

  • The Red Swallow (short).

  • Religion as Grounds for Pragmatism, or, The Pocket Mahatma (a dramaticule).

  • Relocation (short).

  • Repress and ExciteAvailable here (Issue No. 34).

  • Russiaphobia. Translated from Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.

  • The Schooling of Bento BonchevAvailable here.

  • Style (short). 

  • The Vorskies are Near, but not Near Enough.

Kytsenko, Tetiana

  • Call Things by their Names (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.

  • Metrosexuals (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Lagushonkova, Lena

  • Topol-M (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Mai, Andriy

  • 23.24.25. (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Matsiupa, Olga

  • Fragments and Puzzles (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Metelkov, Andrei

  • Powder Keg. An entry in the Prix Europa broadcasting festival, Berlin, Oct. 22 to 29, 2011.

 

Minchyonok, Dmitry

  • Mozart's Last MistakeAvailable here (Plays International, Spring 2007, Vol. 22, Nos. 5 & 6).
     

Mukhina, Olga

Osipov, Maxim

  • Scapegoats. An entry in the Prix Europa broadcasting festival, Berlin, Oct. 19-26, 2013. Available here

Ostrovsky, Alexander

  • The Wise Fool (Enough Simplicity in Every Wise Man). In progress.

  • Without a Dowry. (Subtitles for the Fomenko Workshop Theater.)

Penkova, Tetiana.

  • Hotel Great Britain. Translated from Ukrainian by John Freedman with Vladyslav Hetmanenko, in progress.
     

Pryazhko, Pavel

Pulinovich, Yaroslava

 

Pushkin, Alexander.

  • Egyptian Nights. (Subtitles for the Fomenko Workshop Theater).

Savchenko, Oksana

  • I Want to Go Home (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus. 
     

Tarasenko, Oleksiy.

  • Dantean Journey. Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Ternoviy, Dmytro.

  • One the Eve, or, Everything Will be All Right. Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Tymoshenko, Liudmyla

  • My Tara (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Ugarov, Mikhail. 

  • Masquerade, Masquerade. 

Vampilov, Alexander

  • The Elder Son.

Vishnevsky, Andrei

  • Pinocchio.
     

Vorozhbyt, Natalka

  • Three Rendezvous (short). Translated from the Ukrainian by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus.
     

Yakimov, Igor. 

  • North Wind. An entry in the Italy Prize international radio play competition, September 2012 in Turin.

Yukhananov, Boris

  • Drillalians. A libretto for an experimental romance-opera.

  • Octavia. Trepanation. A libretto based on texts by Seneca and Lev Trotsky.

Zhanaidarov, Olzhas

  • The Store.

PLAY TRANSLATION INTO RUSSIAN

Adam Rapp. 

  • Nocturne, translated by John Freedman, adapted by Maksym Kurochkin, 2011.

SUBTITLE PROJECTS

FILM

The Admirer, a film by Vitaly Melnikov. Lenfilm and KinoMelnitsa Productions (Russia), 2012.


The Blue Bird, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2016. 

The Constant Principle, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2016. 

Drillalians, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2016.  

Gloss, a film by Andrei Konchalovsky. Andrei Konchalovsky Productions (Russia) and Canal+ (France), 2007.

Das Gold, a film by Alexander Belousov and Andrei Yemelyanov. Russia, 2021. 
 

The Golden Ass, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2018.  

Golem, a film by Alexander Belousov, based on Boris Yukhananov's theater production Golem: LaboraTORIAH. 2017.

Insulted. Belarus(sia), a film by Oksana Mysina, based on a play by Andrei Kureichik. Free Flight Films, 2020.

Ivan Petrovich, a short by Oksana Mysina, Free Flight Films, 2021.

Nazidanie: A Cautionary Tale, a documentary film by Boris Yukhananov about the 2006 FIFA World Cup. 2017.

Orphic Games, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in association with Cine Fantom (Russia), 2018/9.  

Oxygen, a film by Ivan Vyrypaev. Kislorod Productions (Russia), 2008.

Pinocchio, a film by Boris Yukhananov. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre (Russia), 2020.

Red, Blue and Asya, a short by Oksana Mysina, Free Flight Films, 2021.

The Road to Antigone, a semi-documentary film by Oksana Mysina, Free Flight Films, in progress.

The Suicide, a film of Sergei Zhenovach's production at Moscow's Studio of Theatrical Art, produced for viewing in worldwide cinemas by Stage Russia. Screenings began October 2017. 


Tractor Drivers 2, a film by the Aleinikov brothers, made in the 1980s, prepared anew and subtitled in 2022.

Voices of the New Belarus, a film by Oksana Mysina, based on a play by Andrei Kureichik. Free Flight Films, 2021.

Whisper: The Silver Age, an auteur documentary film by Konstantin Olonovsky. Independent production (Russia). 2014-15.


 

THEATER

Supervisor of English for the Fomenko Workshop Theater's program of subtitles provided in numerous languages on electronic tablets for non-Russian speakers. Edited texts include: Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (trans. by Everett Dickson), Tolstoy's Family Happiness (trans. by Regina Kazakova) Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters (trans. by Tatyana Oskolkova), Alexander Ostrovsky's Wolves and Sheep. My own translations (or compilations, if back-translations from Russian into English) for the project are: Ostrovsky's Without a Dowry, Mikhail Bulgakov's A Theatrical Novel and The Master and Margarita, Ivan Turgenev's Spring Freshets (as A Russian on a Rendezvous), George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros, Vladimir Nabokov's The Gift, Olga Mukhina's Olympia, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear, Ivan Bunin's Last Meetings, Egyptian Nights after Alexander Pushkin. 2013 to approximately 2019.

Supervisor of English for the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, including supertitles, website, booklets, promotional materials, films, etc. Supervision of supertitles for Heiner Goebbels' Max Black, or, 62 Ways of Supporting the Head with a Hand; Boris Yukhananov's The Constant Principle, based on Calderon's The Constant Prince (translated by Rick Davis) and Alexander Pushkin's Feast in a Time of Plague (translated by Matvei Yankelevich). I have done full translations of Boris Yukhananov's compilation of Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird, which includes excerpts of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, The Stone Guest, and long interpolations of actors' memoirs; Boris Yukhananov's Drillalians, a five-day opera libretto; Octavia. Trepanation, an opera libretto based on the writings of Seneca and Lev Trotsky; Prose, an opera libretto by Vladimir Rannev based on stories by Anton Chekhov and Yury Mamleev; The Golden Ass. The Open-Circuited Workspace, after Apuleius; Idiotology, based in part on Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot; Galileo. Opera for Violin and Scientist; The Shining, based on the songs of Yegor Letov and Yanka Dyagileva; Orphic Games. Punk-macrame, after Jean Anouilh and Jean Genet, Pinocchio by Andrei Vishnevsky; Calderon's Life Is a Dream as translated into Russian by Natalya Vankhanen. 2015 to present.

Rothschild's Fiddle, by Kama Ginkas after Anton Chekhov, for the world premiere run at Yale Repertory Theatre, 2004.  

The Ideal Husband, by Konstantin Bogomolov, based on writings by Oscar Wilde, Anton Chekhov, Goethe and others, Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre, 2015.

The Karamazovs, by Konstantin Bogomolov after Fyodor Dostoevsky, Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre, 2019. 

MISCELLANEOUS TRANSLATIONS

Icaria, a screenplay by Sergei Kaluzhanov and Javor Gardev. Third Rome Studio (Moscow), 2016. (In production.)

Bogatyryova, Irina. Short story, "The Exit," for Portal 9, a literary journal (2013). Read here

Erdman, Nikolai. "The Suicide at the Vakhtangov Theater," an historical document. Available here.

Korkiya, Viktor. "The Posthumous Letters of Napoleon Bonaparte to Count Lev Tolstoy," fiction. Read here

Korolyov, Anatoly. "Stop - Model," a short story.

Kureichik, Andrei, "The Taking of Roman Protasevich," Counterpunch (May 31, 2021). Read here

Kureichik, Andrei, "Theater in Belarus: We Will Never be the Same," American Theater (Aug. 24, 2020). Read here

Russian Folk Tale "The Old Crone,"  Threepenny Review (No. 17, 1984). 


Smith, Oksana, "Life, Love, Death & Disability in Russia," New Mobility (Jan.-Feb. 2022). Read here


 

WEBSITES

(I have created several websites, aside from this one, that dovetail with my work in several fields: writer, researcher, photographer, cameraman, producer.)

Blogs and Stray Articles, a collection of my writings from the mid-1980s to the present. This is my small attempt to put in one accessible place a lot of work that otherwise might have been lost.  

Contemplating Crete, a photo-and-text blog about what catches my eye on the Greek island of Crete, where my wife and I have lived since 2018.

Insulted. Belarus(sia), the "official" website for Oksana Mysina's 2020 film of Andrei Kureichik's play about the 2020 revolution in Belarus.  

Ivan Petrovich, the "official" website for Oksana Mysina's 2020 short film based in part on a monologue from Nikolai Erdman's play The Suicide, and a song by Oksana's rock band Oxy Rocks. 

Ken Reynolds, a memorial site in honor of the great English photographer who chronicled the best of East-European theatre.

Red, Blue, and Asya, the "official" website for Oksana Mysina's 2020 short film based on O. Henry's story, "The Purple Dress."

The Road to Antigone, the "official" website for Oksana Mysina's 2021 short film that mixes fiction and documentary styles. It features the women of a theater group in Chania, Crete, who are asked to think and talk about the topic of Antigone in any way, shape or form that they choose.

Russian Culture in Landmarks, a blogsite that features my photos and texts about architecture, monuments, memorial plaques and other landmarks around the world that are connected to Russian art and culture in some way.

Voices of the New Belarus, the "official" website for Oksana Mysina's 2021 film of Andrei Kureichik's play based on documentary texts about the 2020 revolution in Minsk, Belarus.