We're excited to announce a new work produced in partnership with Yara Arts: Undesirable Elements: Ukraine. Directed by Artistic Director Emeritus Ping Chong and Yara Arts Group Artistic Director Virlana Tkacz, this latest piece in the Undesirable Elements series explores the experiences of Ukrainian American New Yorkers: Ukrainian identity, immigration, intergenerational connections, the history of Ukrainians in the U.S., and the disastrous effect of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Performances take place May 5-14 at the Ukrainian Museum, located at 222 East 6th Street, New York.
This project is the result of a three-decade relationship between Ping Chong and Virlana Tkacz, who first worked together in the early 1990s, when Ping first created the series. Last year, Ping invited Virlana to collaborate on a new production about the experiences of Ukrainian Americans. She identified the people who form the cast, and whose stories comprise the script.
Undesirable Elements: Ukraine features Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American performers, musicians, and activists: George Drance, whose grandparents arrived in New York before World War I; Julian Kytasty, whose father arrived with his bandura-playing family after World War II; Lesya Verba, who arrived in New York from Odesa just two years ago; Nariman Asanov, a Crimean Tatar who came to U.S. in the 1990s; and Daria Kolomiec, who was in Kyiv for Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The production interweaves their personal stories and Ukrainian history with traditional Ukrainian music and songs.
Performances of Undesirable Elements: Ukraine are Friday, May 5 - Sunday, May 14 on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7pm, and Sundays at 2pm. The Sunday, May 7th performance includes a post-performance Q&A.