Waltzing Mechanics

Chicago's Home for Documentary Theatre

The Romanov Play: Come to This Reading! Also Here's Some Stuff That You Should See

 

You guys! YOU ARE ALL INVITED!

To what you say? To a reading! Of this darn play! It'll be at the Greenhouse Theatre on November 17th at 7pm as part of their Trellis series. You should totally come. It's gonna be fun, and also, by coming and responding to the play, you are helping me make it better which means how nice are you for doing that? The NICEST! 

AND - because I can't resist, here are three other things I want to share. They come under the headline of Some of the Stuff I've Found That Make Me Unable to Not Keep Writing This Play.  (You know.  SSIFTMMUTNKWTP.  It rolls off the tongue.) There will be more. For now, you just have to see - 

1. This photo of the Romanov daughters:

To me this image looks EXACTLY like what it is - a family vacation photo. That special, unavoidable family vacation photo that parents insist on taking when you need to not be doing that anymore. Here is what I imagine the girls saying, going from left to right:

Anastasia: Are they taking our picture again? I- wow. They are, they are taking our picture again.

Tatiana: If I'm very still it will go away, if I'm very still it will go away...

Maria: Wait, where am I supposed to be looking?

Olga: EVERYODY KEEP SMILING AND THEN MAYBE THEY'LL LET US TAKE OFF THESE HATS.

2. This part of a letter from Nicholas to his future wife:

"Oh! do not say 'no' directly, my dearest Alix, do not ruin my life already! Do you think there can exist any happiness in the whole world without you!"

-Tsar Nicholas II, writing in 1893 to Alexandra after she had refused his first proposal.

3. This quote on the tsarina at work during WWI:

"I have seen the empress of Russia assisting in the most difficult operations, taking from the hands of the busy surgeons amputated legs and arms, removing bloody and vermin-ridden field dressings."

-Anna Vyrubova, a lady-in-waiting to Tsarina Alexandra

The tsarina and the two elder girls went through a rigorous training program so they could help as nurses at the hospitals during World War I. Once qualified, spent long days dressing and redressing wounds, keeping soldiers company and helping with even the most gruesome operations. They also turned all available space in the city into wards for the wounded, including all of the major rooms in the Winter Palace. Here is a picture of Olga and Tatiana with a soldier:

Another fact to keep in mind with this image: as the war progressed, the Russians eventually ran so short of supplies that the soldiers were sometimes sent to the front without bullets. I promise I'm not being flippant when I say: WHAT??? HOW IS THAT A THING? 

To be continued. As always.  

PS: Thanks to all of you who suggested titles. ("Crazy Russian Eyes?" Amazing.) It's by no means a closed discussion, so if you feel inspired, don't be shy.