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Maria Morevna
An Adventure of Pagan Russia

May 8 - June 15, 2003
Gascon Center Theatre
8737 Washington Blvd. Culver City

Directed by Stephen Legawiec
Costumes: Robert Velasquez
Lights: Leif Gantvoort
Masks: Beckie Kravetz
Music: Susan Christiansen
Set design: Stephen Legawiec
Music Director: Mary Kate Karr
Fight director: Roberta Brown
Russian Translations: Mylla Nova
Publicity by Long Pine Communications

Cast
Priestess: AnnaLisa Erickson
Ivan Tsarevich: Gregory B. Giles
Anna Tsarevna: Michelle Tenazas
Olga Tsarevna: Nicole Wessel
Elena Tsarevna: Adriana Roze
Falcon Prince: Douglas Bilitch
Eagle Prince: Julio Hanson
Raven Prince: Alex Stone
Loskoot: Matthew Smith
Vava: Lorin Eric Salm
Maria Morevna: Dana Wieluns
Koshchey Bessmertny: Mark Conley
The Sibyl: Naila Azad
Baba Yaga: Jenny Woo
Irina/Dancer: Alice Alyse
Girl: Te Te Benn / Meisha Lamb-Bell

Maria Morevna belongs to that great subset of myths known as initiation myths. It is the dawn of Christianity in Russia. The Christian prince Ivan marries the Pagan warrior princess Maria; and before she goes to war she gives him a sacred charge: Do release the convict in the basement; he is the most dangerous prisoner alive. Ivan does, of course, and unleashed is Koshchey the Deathless ­ a man of great evil who cannot be killed. Koshchey captures Maria and Ivan must atone for his transgression and prove his worth by saving her.

Among other things this play is about the death of magic. To help Ivan right the wrongs and contain evil, the enchanted pagans must employ a sacred rite that does wondrous things but robs them of their powers. The final ritual the seals the fate of the play occurs just as the bells ring out ­ signifying the consecration of Russia as Christian. In the blink of an eye the magic of the old ways has vanished and made way for the holy faith of Christendom.


 
 

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