Burning Doors

October 12 - October 22, 2017


Ellen Stewart Theatre | 66 E 4th Street; 2nd Floor

Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes; No Intermission

"The astonishment of 'Burning Doors' is its ability to translate
political rage and impotence into an art of indirection that is often as complex as it is powerful."

- Ben Brantley, New York Times

New York Premiere
Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre

Directed by Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada
With Maria Alyokhina from Pussy Riot

Where do you belong when your government suppresses your basic right to expression? What do you do when your government imprisons you for making art? How would you survive one of the most brutal prison systems in the world? Performed in Russian with English supertitles.
Belarus Free Theatre combines forces with Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina, who makes her New York stage debut, in a searing performance on how art persists under oppression. Through the prism of persecuted artists who will not be silenced, Burning Doors reveals how artists living under dictatorship illuminate the knife-edge of complacency in democratic societies reminding us of the true cost of freedom and dangers of inertia.
Help La MaMa present the US premiere of Burning Doors, the latest in evocative, political drama from Belarus Free Theatre.


Post-Show Talk Backs

Please join us for post-show Q&A events with the cast & creative team

October 15th following the 4pm performance

October 18th following the 8pm performance

Press for Burning Doors

"Provides vital context of the deep courage and belief in freedom of artists."
– Guardian
"Prison doors might, and will, be set ablaze, but Burning Doors is itself a potent expression of that other, most famous line from The Master and Margarita: 'Manuscripts don’t burn.'"
-Sara Holdren, Vulture

Maria Alyokhina Interview
"Politics is not something that exists in one or another White House. It is our lives."

"Visceral. A brutally physical production. An analogue for the ritualised humiliation by Russian authorities."
Time Out

"Savage political satire. Performed with blazing energy and commitment."
Financial Times

"An extraordinary show. Noisy, taboo-busting and brutal to behold."
A Younger Theatre

"A fiery work of protest theatre that fuses brutality and poetry, philosophy and irreverent satire."
~The Age (Australia)

Praise for Belarus Free Theatre

"The world’s most visible and lionized underground theatre…the company has a visceral power, a thrilling necessity-born inventiveness and an urgent topicality that is rare in theater today."
– Ben Brantley, New York Times
-Michael Billington, Guardian
“They’re bringing back the essence meaning of the theatre”
- Harold Pinter
"Art matters. And it's hard to think of a theatre company that has proved that more than Belarus Free Theatre."
– Huffington Post

About the Artists

Founded in Minsk in 2005, Belarus Free Theatre is the leading refugee-led theatre company in the UK and the only theatre in Europe banned by its own government on political grounds. Burning Doors draws on the company’s own experience of political oppression and continues their campaign to stand up for artistic freedom and human rights across the globe.