The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

by  Meg Miroshnik

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  6f

The eighth winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition is set amongst the swirling domes of the church in Red Square.

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The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

by  Meg Miroshnik

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy, Fables/Folktales
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    KCACTF: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival New Play, Kendeda
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Once upon a time – in 2005 – a twenty-year-old girl named Annie returned to her native Russia to brush up on the language and lose her American accent. Underneath a glamorous Post-Soviet Moscow studded with dangerously high heels, designer bags, and luxe fur coats, she discovers an enchanted motherland teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears. Annie must learn how to become the heroine of a story more mysterious and treacherous than any childhood fairy tale: her own. This subversive story haunts the audience and carries a powerful message for young women living in a world where not everything ends up happily ever after. 


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Accolades

  • Winner! 2011-2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award
    Finalist! 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

    Meg Miroshnik is the 2012 recipient of the Whiting Award for Drama

Reviews

REVIEWS

"Russian culture is rife with myth and magic. The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls takes place in a similar kind of dreamland. In this dreamland, people sleep with one eye open." - The New York Times, Read More

"The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls [...] is to be admired and appreciated for its energy, eclectic imaginative drive, and powerful message to and for young women. This is anything but a tame, graceful one hour and forty minute journey. Instead, it jolts one’s sensibilities." - Talkin' Broadway, Read More 

"Like the fairytales it incorporates, [The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls is] ambiguous but haunting, a surreal romp that leaves you more than a bit shaken." - The Santa Barbara Independent, Read More

"An evil stepmother. A wicked witch. A ravenous bear. Separated siblings. Young girls in peril. Meg Miroshnik's inventively comic The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls plugs these mythological figures into post-Soviet Russia and adroitly subverts them." - The Seattle Times, Read More

 

Videos

  • Interview with Meg Miroshnik
  • Yale Rep Trailer
  • Behind the Scenes at Yale Rep
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Keywords

Fairy Tales, Feminism

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Moscow 2005: the thrice-nine tsardom in the thrice-ten country.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes

Casting

6f
ANNIE - 20, the American
MASHA - 19, the Girlfriend
KATYA - 19, the Mistress
THE OTHER KATYA / THE DAUGHTER / NASTYA / THE WHORE - played by one actress around 19/20 years old
OLGA / PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER / PROFESSOR / VALENTINA - played by one actress in her 40s
BABA YAGA / AUNTIE YAROSLAVA - played by one older actress
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Cast Attributes

  • All Female
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Olga is the only character who speaks with an accent; everyone else is communicating in their native language. Transliterations of Russian words into English don’t always correspond with the Library of Congress’s Romanization system.

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Authors

Meg Miroshnik

Meg Miroshnik's plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Droll {A Stage-Play about the END of Theatre}, The Tall Girls, Old Actress, and an adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki. She is the recipient of a 2012 Whiting Award.Her work has been developed or produced ...

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Meg Miroshnik on The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls
How do you hope this show will affect audiences, and what do you want them to take away from it?

The No. 1 thing for me about the play is that, since it is a fairy tale and we are literally beginning with “once upon a time,” I think there is an expectation as an audience member that it is going to be a really great story. So I hope people go away feeling like they have had a satisfying evening of storytelling, firstly. In terms of thematic or emotional reactions, I think the play is asking what role fairy tales have in adult life. I hope that it will be funny, exciting, scary and provocative — a really fun evening in the theatre.

Excerpt from Life is but a Dream: Playwright Meg Miroshnik on her prize-winning play, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls by Encore Atlanta


The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls opened at Yale Repertory Theatre in February 2014 (Artistic Director, James Bundy). The production was directed by Rachel Chavkin and dramaturged by Amy Boratko.

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