Performance Art, LGBTQIA+, Clowning - Queerly 2024

War and Play


War and Play is an interactive, devised show that explores human resilience in the face of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine, rendered through the transformative power of clown.

Our story starts by following the journey of a queer clown couple, Vira (Ania Upstill) and Nadiya (Danielle Levsky), whose peaceful world is shattered after Russia launches its full-scale attack on their homeland.

After escaping the initial bombing of their town, the clowns struggle to rebuild community when they are displaced to an underground shelter, and then as refugees far from home. Throughout the show, the third clown (Mariko Iwasa) transforms to embody different characters that contextualize the many faces impacted by war—street performers, soldiers, aid workers, families separated across borders, and a new friend named Lubo. The clowns trace an emotional arc from fanciful optimism to sudden, wrenching grief.

Our production utilizes clowning's unique capacity for vulnerably expressing universal human experiences to connect deeply with audiences on the very real trauma unfolding in Ukraine now and across the world.

How can moments of friendship, music, and play be restored after watching your city burn? Through clowning, we explore this precarious balance between suffering and celebration.

Directed by SMJ

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    • Performance Art
    • $20.00 + $2.00 fee - $25.00 + $2.00 fee
    • 28-June 29, 2024
    • 50 minutes
    • Under St Marks
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    Under St Marks

    94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

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