Groundbreaking Russian playwrights and journalists join American artists, athletes and activists in presenting staged readings and panels that spotlight Russia's recent anti-propaganda law in relation to sport, performance, and LGBT and Olympic history.

Festival Information

Spread Propaganda. #PropFest2014


"This is a unique opportunity for artists, athletes and politicians to discuss common core issues that are inherent to each of our fields, to further discourse about Russia’s recent anti-propaganda law in relation to the Olympics, and to prove to Russia that the world is watching them on this issue." —Producing Artistic Director Lauren Keating

Hosted by Cooper Union January 18-19th 2014, Propaganda: A Festival Celebrating Russian Voices will spotlight Russia’s recent anti-propaganda law in relation to sport, performance, and LGBT and Olympic history.

On January 18th at 3pm in Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium, Propaganda: A Festival Celebrating Russian Voiceswill feature the first ever presentation of Daria Wilke’s acclaimed 2013 LGBT Young Adult Novel The Jester’s Cap, in a new theatrical adaptation. On January 18th at 7pm, the first English translation of celebrated playwright Oleg Mikhailov’s drama Pelmeny, as well as a reading of Vladimir Nabokov’s seminal work on sport, Breitenstrater-Paolino, will be presented. Both readings will be followed by panel discussions.

On January 19th at 5pm in Cooper Union’s Great Hall, Tess Berry-Hart’s acclaimed docu-drama SOCHI 2014 will be presented for the first time in the US, and read simultaneously in cities around the globe. Following the reading, at 6:30pm, Masha Gessen, journalist and NY Times International Opinion contributor, will make her first public appearance since expatriating from Russia, speaking in a panel discussion. The online theater journal HowlRound will air a live stream of this panel on HowlRound TV, as well as publish a series of articles by and about Propaganda’s artists and participants in the week leading up to the festival.

All proceeds from Propaganda will benefit the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance. Spectrum is a leading international organization devoted to human rights advancement on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and former Soviet Union Countries.

Propaganda partnered with The Lark Play Development Center to support the development of these newly translated works in preparation for their presentation at Cooper Union.