Hanlon, John J.

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Set in a gritty, bellicose future, the action of this unique play wends its way from the swagger and intimate banter of a combat unit to a total deconstruction of gender. A world war has erupted between men and women. As the women raze New York, an anti-aircraft battery, composed of an international team of male soldiers, fights to defend itself – and escape the threat of domestic slavery. The first act charts the strange preparations the Russian, American, and Ukrainian unit must make to attract and destroy a “Medea” pilot. The second act is a cautious dance between the downed pilot and the sole survivor of her attack, a Russian private who, we gradually realize, is not what s/he seemed. Combining ingenious science fiction elements and a brutal pre-apocalyptic landscape with revelatory philosophical considerations and a rich linguistic soundscape, the play is by turns darkly comic and profoundly tender.

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1 male, 3 females (2 of whom must be able to play men convincingly). One exterior. Two short acts. Workshop and public reading at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City (2004). Featured in “The Soviet Arts Experience,” a year-long showcase of Russian art created during the Soviet period, in the city of Chicago (2011).


Copyright © 2004, John J. Hanlon. Original language version copyright © 1994, Maksym Kurochkin.