Theaters of Ukraine

Totem Centre Theatre Lab

The Totem Center Theatre Lab (T.C.T.L.) was created in 2012 as an artistic group working at the combination of performing arts, journalism and social sciences in such spheres as documentary theatre, oral history and public activities. The Laboratory specifics of work imply a project approach. We do not conduct separately researches, we do not write just plays, we do not only stage performances, we are not engaged just in work with space and public. We realize projects which include all these stages – from search of a problem to its decision in the following chain: research-text-performance-presentation-discussion. Therefore we have no repertoire. Therefore we are a laboratory, but not theater.

Art director: Mykola Homanyuk


Makaroni with sugar

“Macaroni with Sugar” explores the social realities of Ukraine’s largely overlooked grey economy.The play captures the difficulties facing people who move into big cities hoping improve their lives. Often disrespected and forced into the lowest echelons of society, this class (precariat) operates on the margins without many legal the protections of the states. Each has their own unique challenges dealing with language, discrimination, and economic insecurity. Despite their differences, however, a common theme of struggle within a social landscape clearly not built with them in mind. The structure of the play strings together a series of vignettes featuring the troupe’s talented cast presenting a dramatized retelling of real stories that playwright collected from workers themselves. These include tales of seasonal workers, illegal laborers, and the women who make a living on the internet conversing with foreign men. The discrete skits are punctuated by video excerpts of the original interviews, allowing the audience to see and compare the original inspiration and the cast’s creative interpretation. The skillful actors in the troupe tell these stories with grace and compassion, balancing the harsh realities of their characters’ struggle with an underlying humanity and sweetness

Main roles:

O.Kolbasin, A.Sarkisov, O.Smyrna, Ye.Markovski, O.Afanasieva, M.Homanyuk, A. Sumarokov, R.Krasnovyd, T.Andreeva

By: Yevhen Markovski
Director: Maksym Afanasiev
Premiere: 26.09.2017

The Elefant

The plot of the performance is developing in two directions. Surrealistic love story of unemployed Ukrainian zoologist Petro and circus she-elephant Masha is unraveling against the background of agonizing search for a new brand of Moscow City by a few fashion designers. At the same time Petro’s wife Galina works in Moscow as a cleaner.

Main roles:

O.Kolbasin, A.Sarkisov, Ye.Markovski, M.Homanyuk, R.Krasnovyd, K.Rudenko, Ya.Lebedeva, Yu.Danylevska, S.Bruderov

By: Mykola Homanyuk, Stas Volazlovski
Director: Maksym Afanasiev
Premiere: 13.03.2016

Aliens. Afterword

Combining science fiction, comedic surrealism, and philosophical nihilism, “Aliens: Afterward” reimagines the ending of Ridley Scott’s classic Alien movie franchise. Lost on a ship in outer space, Lieutenant Ellen Ripley interacts with the remaining aliens on board to discuss the greater questions of existence. Featuring a lively cast of characters including disembodied heads, anthropomorphized androids, and the aliens themselves, the play presents a series of conversations striving to find meaning and value amidst our existential struggles to persist. Providing a lively backdrop to the dark tone of these conversations, rock-and-roll guitar solos and periodic cracks in the fourth wall keep the audience on its feet. In its own way, “Aliens” ask the audience to question its assumptions about the society we live in. How do we understand and value those around us? What kind of world is worth building together? While clear answers are not laid out for us, these plays force us to begin asking the right questions 

Main roles:

A.Sarkisov, Ju.Danylevska, Ye.Markovski, Ja.Lebedeva, M.Homanyuk, A.Sumarokov, R.Krasnovyd, T.Andreeva

By: Olena Astasieva
Director: Maksym Afanasiev
Premiere: nd