The so-called “New Russian Drama” emerged at the end of the twentieth century, following a long period of decline in dramatic writing in the late Soviet and post-Soviet era. In Performing Violence, Birgit Beumers and Mark Lipovetsky examine the representation of violence in these new dramatic works by young Russian playwrights. Reflecting the disappointment in Yeltsin’s democratic reforms and Putin’s neoconservative politics, the plays focus on political and social representations of violence, its performances, and its justifications.
As the first English-language study of Russian drama and theatre in the twenty-first century, Performing Violence seeks a vantage point for the analysis of brutality in post-Soviet culture. While previous generations had preferred poetry and prose, this new breed of authors—the Presnyakov brothers, Evgeni Grishkovets, and Vasili Sigarev among them—have garnered international recognition for their fierce plays. This book investigates the violent portrayal of the identity crisis of a generation as represented in their theatrical works, and will be a key text for students and scholars of drama, Russian studies, and literature.