Describe The Night

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - Sunday, February 16, 2020
265 S Broad St,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States

"When we say that something is true, it becomes true. When we say that something is false, it becomes false." 

This 2018 Obie Award Winner explores the blurred lines between lies, history and conspiracy theories, as it tracks back and forth across 90 years of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Rajiv Joseph’s (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) sharp-witted dialogue and historical juxtapositions bring to mind Tom Stoppard’s and Tony Kushner’s best works.

An epic fantasy that weaves historical figures into imagined happenings of the past, featuring a Putin-esque KGB officer, the play deftly incorporates the tension and intrigue of a spy thriller with a touching dive into the realm of magical realism. Another featured character is writer Isaac Babel, who was executed by Stalin after his work was deemed anti-Soviet. Babel was a profound influence on Zizka, who herself defected from her native Czechoslovakia to escape persecution by the Soviet government. Zizka is inspired by the way Describe the Night “touches upon the ambivalent and mysterious nature of art. It is hard to overstate how funny, smart and powerfully engaging it is.”