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|January-11, 2013 UPDATE: Videos of the March 9, 2012 Book Wings event are now available.|
On March 9, 2012 the University of Iowa's International Writing Program (IWP), in association with the University of Iowa’s Theatre Arts Department, and the Moscow Art Theater, presented Book Wings, a 3 year project designed to bring together American and Russian poets, dramatists, and fiction writers, and actors, dramaturges, and directors, in a virtual environment to foster a cross-cultural conversation, spark new literary and dramatic ideas, and create an enduring body of work.
The intent of these encounters is to encourage artists to explore different sides of our shared history—one theme of the Culture Sub-Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission where this idea took shape.
For the first year of Book Wings four American and four Russian poets were commissioned to write 8-10 minutes of new work, to polish translations of their counterparts’ writings, and to collaborate with student actors from the Moscow Art Theater and the UI Theatre Arts Department, dramaturges, and directors to stage readings of these works in a virtual environment using television broadcast technologies combined with high-definition video conferencing and high-speed Internet connection. For more information see "Building Book Wings."
Preparation for Book Wings year two is underway. Eight playwrights have been commissioned to write on the same theme. Due to the success in year one, 2013 Book Wings includes Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, Shanghai, China and Russia's Moscow Arts Theatre School. Eight fiction writers will round off the third year. The project will yield enough literary works for an e-book, three filmed performances of the staged readings, and a new and vital network of connections for American and Russian artists from several disciplines.