Nicole Kontolefa bridges the gap between audience and performer. She is the bridge between two worlds, a cultural ambassador of sorts, creating a unique theatrical experience with public space and the people existing within it. It has been performed indoors and out but always in public. Nicole has performed I Am Me in English and in Russian, in New York and abroad. As part of festivals, the play has been performed in parks, courtyards and even in a massive soviet era cultural center for the Golden Mask Festival. Nicole’s performance won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Kolyada New Plays Festival in Ekaterinburg.
Nicole Kontolefa was born and raised in NYC and is a graduate of the only American Class of the Moscow Art Theater. She is the managing director and a founding member of Studio Six Theater Company - the sixth studio to be born out of the Moscow Art Theater School. Nicole also performs with other theater companies, performance artists and is developing new solo performances.
Written by Alexandra Chichkanova, a young playwright from Ekaterinburg, the play found life only after her death.
Alexandra Chichkanova was born in the tough, dirty, industrial city of Nizhny Tagil - famous for its metal works and its playwrights. In the late 1990s she migrated to Yekaterinburg, the capital of Russia’s Ural Mountains region, to study playwriting under Kolyada. She graduated from his course at the Yekaterinburg State Theater Institute in 2004 and was immediately hired to work at his theater. What can we know about another person? A Russian phrase states it well, “Another person’s soul is but murk and shadows.” Alexandra Chichkanova took her own life on December 6, 2012. She hung herself. Eleven days before her 30th birthday.
“I Am Me,” for all its superficial aimlessness, is a play of great intensity and drive. She is compelled deeply, from within, to move onward, to look, to see, to draw conclusions, to make sense of what she encounters. It doesn’t matter if or when such attempts fail. It is in the act of trying that a human life - one, single, individual human life - comes into sharp relief.
Nicole Kontolefa’s performance of “I Am Me” is a milestone. It is the first performance of any of Alexandra Chichkanova’
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE & LOCATIONS:
September 27th & 28th at Madison Square Park
October 4th & 5th at Central Park
October 11th & 12th at Prospect Park
October 13th (Columbus Day) at Brighton Beach (in Russian)
2pm and 4pm
Visit www.youmeandyourfriend.com for more information.
Visit www.theatrebeyondbroadway.com for additional information.
Malini Singh McDonald
Malini Singh McDonald