Il viaggio nella drammaturgia russa contemporanea (Maksim Kuročkin e Aleksandr Molčanov)
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Contemporary Russian Drama
Maxim Kurochkin
Alexander Molchanov


The journey appears with surprising frequency in contemporary Russian drama. It would seem that the vast spaces of Russia, wich have long been seen in popular songs and classic literary texts, have only now become accessible to playwrights - who explore this territory by means of describing movement through it in what might be defined as a new theatrical genre, the "road drama". In these plays, the journey represents leaving the security of the known, of fixed notions, for new challenges, new problems, and, consequently, embraking on a process of internal personal change. This paper will focus in particular on travel's significance in two recent plays: Maxim Kurochkin's "Zurikov" and Alexander Molchanov's "Ubiitsa". Kurochkin's fantastic version of the road may be compared to that found in both Dante and Tolkien, with echoes of the Russian popular tale; Molchanov's contrastingly concrete road guides urban theatregoers through the precisely indentified, though unfamiliar spaces of rural Russia. While Molchanov's years of experience as a cinema scriptwriter underlie his transformation of the "road movie" into the "road drama", the notion of the journey found in both Kurochkin and Molchanov is also shared by numerous other contemporary playwrights and constitutes a new theatrical phenomenon.

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