Theater Begins Here 


Kira Obolensky

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Core Writers 2009 //  Core Writers 2008 //  Core Writers 2010 //  Core Writers 2011 //  Core Writers 2012 //  Core Writers 2013   

Kira Obolensky is a playwright and writer who lives in Minneapolis. New work includes Force/Matter, with Shawn McConneloug, The Oldest Story in the World, created collaboratively with Theatre Novi Most; Cabinet of Wonder: an impossible history (Open Eye, Minneapolis. Gas and Electric Arts, Philadelphia Barrymore best new play nomination); Raskol (commissioned and produced by Ten Thousand Things Theatre and featured on critics’ end of year lists); and Modern House, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburne Prize. Kira is a Guggenheim Fellow and has also received fellowships and grants from the Henson Foundation, NEA and Irvine Foundations, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Jerome Foundation. She attended Williams College and Juilliard’s Playwriting Program and y completed an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at Warren Wilson’s M.F.A. Program for Writers. She is the author of three published books about architecture and design and is the co-author of the national bestseller The Not So Big House. A Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Kira teaches writing at Spalding University’s low residency M.F.A. program, at Goddard College's MFA Program in Interdisciplinary Arts in Vermont, and also at the University of Minnesota.

Search for published plays by Kira Obolensky...

Lune, pronounced loony

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Description

A comedy about work, dreams and explosives. Produced and commissioned by B Street Theatre in 2006.



Vasa Lisa

Presented in partnership with Ten Thousand Things Theater Company
Description

Created in particular honor of TTT's many all-female audiences and based on a Russian folktale, Vasa Lisa looks at a young woman’s journey to find her strength and to learn to listen to the voices of wisdom inside her as she ventures into the woods to confront Baba Yaga the witch. Characters sing when they need to. The comic talents of Sarah Agnew, Tracey Maloney, Kimberly Richardson, Luverne Seifert and Sally Wingert will help to bring this delightful tale to life.

See this free public reading of VASA LISA in advance of its world premiere production by Ten Thousand Things Theater Company in April and May.

Directed by MICHELLE HENSLEY
Featuring SARAH AGNEW, TRACEY MALONEY, KIMBERLY RICHARDSON, LUVERNE SEIFERT, and SALLY WINGERT

Special thanks to The Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation and The Beim Foundation.



The Adventures of Herculina


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Description

Declared female at birth, Herculina is sent to a convent school where she falls in love with Sara and plans adventures to South America. When Herculina is reclassified as a male (after the rigorous examination of the Doctor), she is banished from the convent school and forced to make her own way in the world. Inspired by the journal of Herculine Barbin, a 19th century French hermaphrodite, translated and discovered by Michel Foucault. This play received the Edith Oliver Award and Honorable Mention, The Kesselring Prize.

 



Lobster Alice

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Description

In 1946, the great Surrealist Salvador Dali, summoned to Hollywood to create a film, interrupted the animators beginning to work on Alice in Wonderland. A comedy about how we animate our own lives. Winner of the Kesselring Prize. Published by Playscripts and anthologized in Best Plays by Women, 2000.



The Whalebone Sonata

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Description

In this lyrical three movement piece, Ann, a simple butcher's maid in London, moves to New York City and soon becomes the wealthiest woman in the city. Her occupation as an abortionist attracts the attention of the puritanical Charles Comstock, who sets out to destroy her.  Commissioned by Steppenwolf's New Play Lab.



Raskol

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Description

Inspired by Dostoyevsky's book Crime and Punishment, Raskol tells the story of a young student who commits a horrific crime under the influence of a dangerous idea—that there are extraordinary people who can commit crime without any fear of punishment. Raskol— in a post-crime delirium— meets Sonya, a religious whore, and Perfidy, a police investigator who befriends the student even as he suspects him of the crime. Set in a timeless world that is connected both to our contemporary times and to the 19th-century St. Petersburg of the novel, the play features songs set to an improvisational jazz "soundtrack" by the Fantastic Merlins.

Inspired by Dostoyevsky's book Crime and Punishment, Raskol tells the story of a young student who commits a horrific crime under the influence of a dangerous idea—that there are extraordinary people who can commit crime without any fear of punishment. Raskol— in a post-crime delirium— meets Sonya, a religious whore, and Perfidy, a police investigator who befriends the student even as he suspects him of the crime. Set in a timeless world that is connected both to our contemporary times and to the 19th-century St. Petersburg of the novel, the play features songs set to an improvisational jazz "soundtrack" by the Fantastic Merlins.



Modern House

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Description

Inspired by the real-life struggle between architect Mies van der Rohe and his client, Elizabeth Farnsworth, Modern House takes place in two shifting time frames and chronicles both the birth and fate of a notable glass house. Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2007. Workshopped and presented at New York Theatre Workshop's Dartmouth residency; Michael Greif directed.



Quicksilver

a play for puppets and actors
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Description

This play for actors and puppets was commissioned by 3 Legged Race and has been produced in Prague (2006), Minneapolis (2003) and Philadelphia (2008), garnering awards for the top experimental production of 2003 from Minneapolis critics.

Meet Gregor Stark and his faithful wife, Lily. Mr. Stark is dying and on this day of his death, his son--an aspiring poet--meets the rich daughter of the hat factory owner.  Lily tries to save the world, to no avail, and the town, filled with madness, threatens to float away on its own effervescent insanity. But wait--Reporter Schwartz has come to town with a scoop. Will words save the day? Or will change require a small revolution?



Laugh With Us

Description

Workshop December 9-13
Public Reading December 13, 7PM

This cabaret, originally created by prisoners in the Theresienstadt ghetto during the Holocaust, receives a new adaptation by Playwrights' Center Core Writer Kira Obolensky, based on translation and research by theater historian and project dramaturg Dr. Lisa Peschel.

This project is made possible in part with the support of Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.



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