Last April I visited Moscow as part of an American theatre group, attending the Russian Case Theatre festival. All the talk was of the public protests in November, where a few thousand brave people marched in the freezing cold, against the repressive Putin regime.

Now spring has come and the protests are gaining momentum as tens of thousands openly marched in the pouring rain in Moscow  defying a government who is rapidly trying to pass a law that says protesters will be fined $9000, more than a year’s annual average salary for taking part in a protest march.

Theatre companies in Russia particularly feel the heavy weight of censorship, as the majority of them are state run, meaning they rely on government subsidies. Inspired by current politics and the creativity and tradition of Russian theatre, this year’s Telluride Playwrights Festival is pleased to announce Russian director Yury Urnov from Wooly Mammoth Theatre in Washington D.C. will be joining us in town for the season. Urnov is scheduled to direct a staged reading and present a contemporary Russian play reading. He also plans to give a lunchtime talk on Russian theatre and how it is impacted by government policies.

It all fits in with this year’s festival emphasis on “theatre politicos.”   We’ve chosen smart, funny and imaginative plays to illustrate “the bigger picture,” including Robert Dubac’s comedic one-man slant on politics in the new show he will workshop “Free Range Thinking.” Following the Playwrights Festival tradition all readings including Dubac’s program, will include a talkback session.

New this year for the Festival are festival passes.

For nine theatre events, a limited number of regular passes can be purchased for $40 online at More information and patron passes that include reserve seating and a vodka pre-reading cocktail passes can be bought for $150.

Passes are limited so advance purchase is advisable. Individual tickets can be bought for $10 on the night if the events are not sold out.

The Telluride Playwrights Festival runs July 9 – July 15.

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