Each performance will be followed by a panel discussion, which will have a different theme each night.  Here is a list of the people who have graciously volunteered their time to discuss the play, Irvanets’ work, and the historical and cultural issues in the Ukraine at the time this play was written:

Thursday, June 6th (Historical, Political and Cultural Aspects):

leo-rudnytskyLeonid Rudnytzky is a linguist, professor of German, Slavic and Ukrainian Studies, co-editor of numerous American and Ukrainian encyclopedias, and scholar of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.  Rudnytzky is the acting director of the Central/Eastern European studies program at La Salle University (see the program) and is a professor of Ukrainian studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has taught at the University of  Munich, Germany, the University of Vienna, Austria, and served as President of the Ukrainian Free University of Munich from 1998 – 2004.

For more information and a full list of scholarly works, please see the following pages:

La Salle Profile           University of Pennsylvania Profile             Wikipedia

 Mr. Mykola Riabchuk is a senior research fellow at the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Studies in Kyiv and co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Krytyka, a leading Ukrainian intellectual magazine. An activist in the underground movement of the 1970s, he gained prominence as a literary critic and publicist during the perestroika period in the 1980s. He has published six books and numerous articles on civil society, national identity, and political transition in the post-Soviet states, primarily in Ukraine. He was awarded an Antonovych Prize in 2003 for outstanding achievements in the humanities and a Polish-Ukrainian Capitula Award in 2002 for his contribution to Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation.

Friday, June 7th (Behind the Scenes of the Production):

On the Friday night talkback, members of the production team will illuminate the process of bringing Irvanets’ work to life.  The design team will talk about why they made certain production decisions, and the actress and director will discuss the process of getting to know Ona and unpacking her personality for the stage.  For more information on the production team, see our talent page.

Saturday, June 8th (The Literary Perspective):

After our final performance, two prominent scholars of Ukrainian literature will come to discuss the literary aspects of the play, and of Irvanets’ work overall.  Dr. Leonid Rudnytzky (see June 6th, above) returns for this talkback to contribute to an exciting discussion of Ukrainian literature style.

Mark Andryczyk

Mark Andryczyk is the administrator of the Ukrainian Studies Program and lecturer in Ukrainian literature at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Columbia University. He has a PhD in Ukrainian Literature from the University of Toronto (2005), and a Masters in Central and Eastern European Studies from La Salle University. At Columbia, he has taught several courses on Ukrainian literature and culture. His monograph The Intellectual as Hero in 1990s Ukrainian Fiction (purchase here) was published by the University of Toronto Press in March 2012.

The Intellectual as Hero in 1990s Ukranian Fiction

Since 2007 he has organized the Contemporary Ukrainian Literature Series (cosponsored by the Harriman and Kennan Institutes) which has brought leading Ukrainian literary figures (including Taras Prokhasko,Yuri Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan, Mariana Savka, Andriy Bondar, Taras Chubai, Ivan Malkovych, Viktor Neborak and Vasyl Gabor) to audiences in North America. He is an active translator of contemporary Ukrainian literature into English and a musician who, under the name Yeezhak, has recorded three studio albums in Ukraine (1996, 1998, 2006) and has performed a series of concerts in support of these recordings.