The Soviet Union of Iowa places at AFF 2022!

Dr. Marianna Staroselsky's darkly comedic teleplay, the Soviet Union of Iowa, placed as a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival! Series Logline: A Russian Jewish family emigrates from the Soviet Union in the early '90's to the holy land that is no other than Iowa. The protagonist is a little girl with a talking American fashionista doll who helps her navigate the strange world that is the Midwestern United States in the 90's.

In Other News feat. Dr. Marianna Staroselsky on her PhD work June 17, 2022

Theatre as Therapy for the Stage Fright of Everyday life This episodes' main story features Dr. Staroselky's doctoral research on strategies of using theater, improv, and clown training for therapeutic purposes and strategies for interacting in the world in a more authentic way. We are joined by local Chicago actor Logan Conner. And for the second half of the show, we are joined by Kevin Sparrow and Ji Yang.

Review of Marianna Staroselsky's Cry Baby Meets Audrey Hepburn

The adjectives “charming” and “confessional” may seem like an odd pairing, but somehow they both apply to Cry Baby Meets Audrey Hepburn at the Cornservatory. As narrator and protagonist Olya (Shaina Schrooten) recounts her Russian-Jewish upbringing, we see the birth of an inferiority complex. She's never good enough for her merciless Russian immigrant mother, Lena (Kristina Guzikova). She keeps falling in and out of love at the wrong times with various men. In a very real-seeming meeting...

Play about Russian Jewish refugee's experience opens March 24

‘Cry Baby Meets Audrey Hepburn’ explores how Russian Jewish refugee experience shaped its author's identity. Marianna Staroselsky was confused when her family moved to the United States from Russia when she was just over 6 years old. "My mother told me we were going to my favorite beach vacation spot on the Crimean Sea," she said. "Instead, we found ourselves in the midst of a Midwestern suburb, welcomed by synagogue-affiliated volunteers."


Nora Sørena Casey, Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich, Sari Caine, Veronica Cooper, Alex Hersler, Mateo Moreno, Lia Romeo, Kenzie Ross, Marianna Staroselsky, and Xavier Toby each debuted a short work at Symphony Space on Tuesday night, all based on a common theme: AN UNSEEN VISITOR (also the name of the evening). It was apparent watching these that Athena Theatre excels in their mission to create “contemporary, off-beat and irreverent psychological dramas and dark comedies that challenge traditional stereotypes.”

New Play Festival — NWAC

Nothing Without a Company is kicking off season 13 with our second annual New Play Festival. This year's festival uses Berger Park Cultural Center and Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood as a backdrop to explore nine new worlds created by playwrights. Writers have responded to the location by writing one-act plays that are workshopped and rehearsed with actors leading up to their world premieres. Featuring new work by Shae Boyd, Dolores Diaz, Ray Goldberg, Duff Norris, Priyankar Patra, Ellan Read, Aalisha Sheth, Kevin Sparrow, Marianna Staroselsky, and B.J. Tindal.

Columbia University School Of The Arts Presents New Plays Festival 2019

Columbia University School of the Arts presents seven new plays written by the Columbia MFA Playwriting Students of 2019. The esteemed faculty who have nurtured these students, including Tony©, Pulitzer, and Obie Award winners such as Charles Mee, Lynn Nottage, and David Henry Hwang invite you to experience these innovative new playwrights. From Head of Playwriting, David Henry Hwang, "These thesis productions from a remarkable group of young dramatists..."

Meet the Playwrights: Marianna Staroselsky '19

What is your process for beginning a new play? I don’t think there’s any one way but like any writer I have to care about the topic a lot, I have to have a lot of feelings about it to want to invest the amount of time and effort a play requires. I also have to be interested in something weird or complex that doesn’t quite make sense … something I want to explore through scenario and character and what if. Then I try to understand what the play is about… I sketch it out, maybe write a poem about

How I Married Myself and Other Misadventures

Levana, a young Hassidic Jewish woman from modern-day Brooklyn wasn't too excited to marry Omer--a young man chosen for her by her community. She decides to marry herself instead, leaving Omer at the alter, all in front of shocked family and Hassidic community members. Levana goes off on a series of (mis)adventures with herself from a cabin in Utah to a polygamous commune in Louisiana to a hippy nunnery in California. She finds that sologamy, an answer to confinement, places her in an ever-more intensifying journey of questions like: Who is she? How do you make it work with yourself? What to do once the self-honeymoon period is over? What do you do with all this seemingly endless freedom? In an accelerating spiral of characters and questions, the story examines what it means to be a woman in the conflicting pulls of gender norms and community traditions, group belonging, and the modern American drive towards autonomy for all.
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