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Yury Klavdiev’s I AM THE MACHINE GUNNER

Yury Klavdiev’s

translated by John Freedman

Project History: 

  • November 2010:  I Am the Machine Gunner at New Village Arts (Carlsbad, CA)
    • Best of 2010 in San Diego Gay & Lesbian News and Pat Launer’s Center Stage on Jazz 88.3
    • “…a harrowing glimpse into a soul completely transformed by the violence and spirit of war…powerful, disturbing and it hits a nerve” – San Diego Theatre Scene
    • “…the excellent I am the Machine Gunner . . . closed all too soon.”—Marty Jones Westlin, Words Are Not Enough
  • October 2010:  I Am the Machine Gunner at the Raue Center for the Arts (Crystal Lake, IL)
    • “A darkly fascinating meditation on the allure and reality of extreme violence.” – Time Out Chicago
  • September 2010:  U.S. Premiere at Baltimore Theatre Project
    • “Fresh and startling…Looks and sounds as dangerous as almost anything I’ve seen onstage.”—WYPR, J. Wynn Rousuck, Maryland Morning
    • “An impressive performance…this guy becomes almost too real for comfort.” –  Baltimore Sun
    • “This isn’t a show for the faint of heart.” – Frederick  News Herald
  • May 2010:  Presentation at Martin Segal Center – CUNY as part of Center for International Theatre Development (CITD) Panel on New Russian Drama
  • November – December 2009:  Workshop production at Towson University.
  • October 2009:  New York Rehearsal Retreat (ART/NY) and Creative Team Meeting.
  • June 2009:  Workshop production at WordBRIDGEPlaywrights Laboratory.
    • James Alfred Rose Johnson (Lighting Designer) joins the team.
  • April 2009:  The Center for International Theatre Development, under Philip Arnoult, provided funding for David White and James Knight to travel to Russia joining a larger CITD team to attend the Golden Mask drama festival as well as working and researching Machine Gunner.
  • January 2009:Rehearsal retreat at Towson University and at Generous Company in Baltimore.
    • Rebecca Eastman (costume designer) and Iaeden Hovorka (sound designer) join the team.
  • October 2008: White and Freedman meet at Towson University and finalize details on the
    working translation.
  • August 2008:Rehearsal retreat at Yale University and 78th Street Theatre Lab (NY).
    •  Mike Vandercook (technical director) and P. J. Escobio (producer) join the team.
    • White and Freedman meet in Baltimore for initial talks on translation revisions.
  • June 2008: James Knight (actor) is featured in the first reading of John Freedman’s translation
    of I Am the Machine Gunner at WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory.
  • May 2008: David M. White (director) attends a production of Yury Klavdiev’s I Am the Machine Gunnerat the Nova Drama festival in Bratislava, Slovakia with Philip Arnoult and the Center for International Theatre Development.
    • White meets with Yury Klavdiev and commissions a translation of the script from Russian translator and theatre critic for the Moscow Times, John Freedman.

The Translation:
In a poetic, vulgar, violent and aggressive translation, John Freedman presents Yury Klavdiev’s
I Am the Machine Gunner, a work that transcends time, place and person to capture the struggle
of a young Russian gang member trying to find the same honor in his own battles that his
grandfather found fighting Germany in World War II.

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