Arlekin Players Theatre
State vs. Natasha Banina
“Critic’s Pick! A bracing trial by Zoom…Riveting!” - Maya Phillips, The New York Times
From Boston's award-winning Arlekin Players Theatre, this interactive digital production is set inside a live "ZOOM courtroom," where the virtual audience serves as the jury. Performer Darya Denisova gives a “mesmerizing portrayal” (The Boston Globe) of Natasha Banina, a teen orphan on trial for a crime of passion, whose alluring testimony reveals her dreams for love, family, and freedom.
This inventive digital production that began in May 2020 as a living room experiment and went on to earn critical acclaim from The New York Times is based on Natasha’s Dream by the Russian playwright Yaroslava Pulinovich. Says director Igor Golyak, “We are creating a new art form to overcome social distancing, the pandemic, and ultimately unite people in one virtual space by merging theater, cinematography, and video games.” A leading example of innovation in virtual theater, State vs. Natasha Banina is evidence that live performance can engage audiences even when experienced at home.
State vs. Natasha Banina is followed by a discussion with the artists and audience.
Based on Natasha’s Dream by Yaroslava Pulinovich
Performer: Darya Denisova
Translator: John Freedman
Director and Video Design: Igor Golyak
Production Associate: Marianna Golyak
Animator: Anton Iakhontov
Music Composor: Vadim Khrapatchev
Produced by Igor Golyak & Sara Stackhouse
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IGOR GOLYAK AND DARYA DENISOVA OF STATE vs. NATASHA BANINA
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Arlekin Players Theatre
Arlekin Players Theatre was created in Boston in 2009 and has since toured to New York, Chicago, and Hartford, as well as to international festivals in Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, and Monaco.
Arlekin takes strong pride in their emphasis on self-identity; they are a company of immigrants performing works that play on the ideas of cross-culture, home, and traditions, challenging the idea of nationality, and finding common themes that unite us all. The company makes its home in Needham, MA. For more information, visit www.arlekinplayers.com.
Darya Denisova received the 2020 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for Arlekin’s The Stone. She has performed as the lead actress in various Arlekin Players’ productions, including “Memorial Prayer” in 2014, “Natasha’s Dream” in 2015, “Tales of the Last Wednesday” in 2016, “Dead Man’s Diary” in 2017, “МЫ-US” in 2018, “The Stone” in 2019 and “The Seagull” in 2019.
She has also traveled to several international theatre festivals to perform with Arlekin Players Theatre, including the United SOLO festival, off Broadway, New York; SOLO Festival in Moscow, Russia; HighFest theatre festival, Yerevan, Armenia with her award-winning solo performance “Natasha’s Dream.” Darya has been recognized by Boston critics and leading reviewers for her roles at Arlekin Players. She studied acting at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Moscow, graduating in 2016. After she received her degree, she moved back to Boston to continue performing in Boston with Arlekin Players Theatre, which she joined in 2013. She has taught documentary theatre at the Startalk School at Harvard University and the Stanislavsky method at the Igor Golyak acting studio.
Igor Golyak received the 2020 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for Arlekin’s The Stone and was also nominated in the same year for his direction of Arlekin’s The Seagull.
He is an Associate Professor at the Boston Conservatory, and has spent over a decade teaching the art of theatre. He is the founder of the Igor Golyak Acting Studio and Artistic Director of Arlekin Players Theatre which has won numerous awards in the United States and internationally and most recently an Elliot Norton award for his production of Dead Man’s Diary at Arts Emerson. Arlekin Players Theatre is a multicultural, multi-national collaborative that is growing year to year in the number of audience members, company actors, and volunteers. His theatre has been invited to perform on famous stages and at world-renowned festivals all over the world, including Moscow Art Theatre, and festivals in Yerevan, Armenia, New York City, Chicago, Lviv, Ukraine, Monaco, and many others.