Book Wings

Book Wings

Mar 12, 2013 to Mar 14, 2013
Directed by: 
Alan MacVey, Carol, MacVey, Eric Forsythe, and Saffron Henke
Theatre B


Link to an article in the Daily Iowan.

Link to an article in Iowa Now.

IWP, Moscow Art Theatre, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre Link up to Transport Audiences across Time Zones

IOWA CITY, IA—MOSCOW, RUSSIA—SHANGHAI, CHINA—March 12th and 14th, 2013, the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), in association with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, links up with the Moscow Art Theatre (established by Stanislavsky, home stage of Chekhov) and with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre for two separate collaborative theatre performances. Using the latest videoconferencing technology, theatre arts professionals and new media specialists bring together actors, playwrights, directors, dramaturges, and stages thousands of miles apart to produce two unified performances known as Book Wings China and Book Wings Russia.

Book Wings China

Theme: Migration
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
9pm CST | 10am Shanghai time
Theatre B, Univ. of Iowa Theatre Building & Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center

Book Wings Russia

Theme: Contact
Thursday, March 14, 2013
10:30am CST | 7pm Moscow time
Theatre B, Univ. of Iowa Theatre Building  & Moscow Art Theatre

Both performances are free, open to the public, bilingual (translation provided), and accessible worldwide via live Internet stream at

Videoconferencing technology will enable the audience in Iowa City to see and hear the Moscow and Shanghai stages, and the Moscow and Shanghai audiences to see and hear the Iowa City stage. Audience members and Internet viewers may Tweet comments and questions for the live talk-back sessions following the events using the hashtag #bookw.

Working in conjunction with the UI Department of Theatre Arts, the Virtual Writing University, Information Technology Services, and UITV, these ambitious literary and theatrical events will connect stages 5,000 (Moscow) and 7,000 (Shanghai) miles apart.

In addition to live audiences in Iowa City, Shanghai and Moscow, viewing parties have been organized at Northwestern University, California State University-Long Beach, Bennington College, Whitireia Polytech, Wellington campus (New Zealand), the State Department in Washington DC, at educational centers in Kuwait and elsewhere, and by friends and theatre-lovers around the world.

Building on the success of the Book Wings model for collaborative, digitally-connected theatre pioneered in 2012 by IWP and the Moscow Art Theatre, Book Wings 2013 commissioned 10-minute plays from twelve distinguished young playwrights -- six English-language, three Chinese, and three Russian – who collaborated with translators to refine translations of their counterparts’ work for the stage. Student actors in Iowa City, Moscow, and Shanghai will perform the plays. In the long term, Book Wings aims to provide a model for leveraging new media technologies to increase artistic collaboration internationally. The IWP is actively forming partnerships with arts institutions, theatres, literary organizations, high schools, colleges, and universities to arrange live viewings of the Book Wings 2013 performances, more info at:

Book Wings China English language playwrights include Whiting Award winner Naomi Iizuka, who heads the playwriting program at UC San Diego, Sundance Institute Time Warner Fellow Dan O'Brien, and Singaporean playwright Chay Yew, winner of the London Fringe Award and artistic director of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, and well as Chinese playwrights Wang Haoran, Xu Yaqun, and Qian Jue.

Full bios:

Book Wings RussiaPlaywrights include Americans Sherry Kramer, winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, who teaches playwriting at Bennington College, Ofner Prize-winner Carlos Murillo, who heads the Playwriting Program at DePaul University, and Francesca Primus Award-winning playwright Victoria Stewart, and Russian playwrights Marina Krapivina, Maksym Kurochkin, Natalya Moshina.

Full bios:

Granta Magazine’s John Freeman calls Maksym Kurochkin’s commissioned play, The Vorski are Near, But Not Enough “riveting and powerful.”

The Moscow Art Theatre, founded in 1898 by Stanislavsky and the venue of Chekhov and Gorky premieres, is at the heart of Russian theater. Learn more at

The 12 short plays commissioned for Book Wings 2013 will take audiences from the battlefields of Afghanistan to labor camps for chickens, exploring the tragic and the comic dimensions of searching for common ground.

Made possible by grant funds from the U.S. Department of State, Book Wings is a three-year collaborative exchange and performance initiative designed to bring together writers, actors, directors, and new media professionals in a virtual environment to foster cross-cultural conversation, spark new literary and dramatic ideas, and create an enduring body of work .

In 2014, Book Wings will feature Russian, American, and Iraqi prose writers.

Since 1967, the  IWP has hosted more than 1,400 writers from more than 140 countries, connecting well-established writers from around the globe, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, publishing books and journals, pursuing cultural diplomacy, and organizing tours, conferences, and other events around the world. Learn more at

For a behind-the-scenes look at Book Wings 2012: