Canadian Artists Travel To Ukraine With Aid And Art For International Theater Festival

Two Canadian artists will be featured at the 32nd annual Golden Lion International Theatrical Festival in Lviv- Theaturtle’s Kafka and Son, an award-winning one-man show performed by playwright Alon Nashman, and Balaklava Blues, an electro-folk-noir power trio known for their unwavering support for Ukraine in Canada and internationally.

But they’re not only bringing theater and music to the war-added country, they’re bringing humanitarian and tactical aid funded by a benefit show at the El Mocambo on October 1st, just days before their departure. Dubbed “4U,” the fundraising show will feature Balaklava Blues in their first local show since their headline performance at the prestigious Czech festival Colors of Ostrava to an audience of 60,000 people. It will also feature a slew of DJs including viral cultural activist Daria Kolomiec (tickets are by $50 donation via eventbrite).

In this way, the artists are bringing both physical and spiritual support to the country’s biggest theater festival, which decided not to cancel amid heightened tensions. The festival will feature primarily Ukrainian companies displaced by the war, with the exception of these Canadian troupes of Ukrainian descent, making a strong statement of solidarity, collaboration and creativity to the international community.

Kafka and Son was a sold-0ut sensation at the 2017 & 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe after successful runs in South Africa, Turkey, Prague, London and Off-Broadway. Inspired by a letter from Franz Kafka to his domineering father, Kafka and Son is a blistering dissection of domestic authority, and a revealing visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche.

“This war is about denying Ukrainian heritage and history. We are showing up at the festival to show our solidarity with the brave Artists who are rebuilding the culture and soul of Ukraine.” says performer Alon Nashman. “Kafka and Son resonates as a profound critique of tyranny, in all its forms,”

Mark and Marichka Marczyk are no strangers to that sentiment. They met in Kyiv in 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity and after volunteering on the eastern front during Russia’s first invasion of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, they created and toured their immersive folk opera Counting Sheep to 7 countries on 3 continents and won several Doras, a Fringe First award from the Edinburgh Fringe festival and an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. Since February 24th, they have been tirelessly performing and fundraising with Balaklava Blues, raising over half a million dollars through various creative endeavors.

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