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Arts | State of Wonder

The Natasha Plays Bridge Moscow, Portland

Boom Arts is a non-profit dedicated to producing contemporary theater works — often with an eye to social issues. This weekend, Boom’s latest project, The Natasha Plays, hits the stage in Portland. It’s the story of two teenagers, told in monologues. Both are 16-year-olds named Natasha. Both are coming of age in modern-day Russia, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Critic John Freedman translated Yaroslava Puliovich's Natasha Plays for American audiences. We spoke to him via Skype.

Critic John Freedman translated Yaroslava Puliovich’s Natasha Plays for American audiences. We spoke to him via Skype.

April Baer/Oregon Public Broadcasting

One has grown up in an orphanage and the other enjoys the protections and privileges of a middle class life. But both their lives are taking unexpected turns, revealing the tenuous grip both girls hold on their social position. We talk to four people involved in bringing the show to life.


  • Ruth Wikler-Luker, curator and founder, Boom Arts
  • Karin Magaldi, associate professor at Portland State University’s School of Theater and Film
  • John Freedman, theater critic, Moscow Times
  • Anneke Wisner, student and actress at Portland State University

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