ARE WE THERE YET is the culmination performance piece of the TUT program. TUT, which translates into “here”, is a theatrical laboratory for Marks JCH refugee teens from Ukraine who all found their way to New York City during the last 12 months as a result of the full scale Russian invasion into Ukraine. TUT has engaged Ukrainian teenagers ages 12-17 via workshops in an exploration of their personal stories through Verbatim Theatre technique and educational theater.
ARE WE THERE YET is a multidisciplinary production derived entirely from personal stories of ten teens from Ukraine; displaced and uprooted by war. Some of their families are still in Ukraine beneath the bombs. They feel the dissonance while stuck in a vacuum wanting to go back to the fateful day of February 23rd or to find themselves after the war ends, so they can return home. But where is home, and how can they shelter themselves from this horrific reality? When will the war end? What if? Are we there yet? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg as they relive their traumas, reflecting the experience of thousands of refugees and echoing the voices of those who are still in Ukraine.
This production draws surrealistic and yet vivid images of life broken by the war. Millions of people have left their homes fleeing from bombs…leaving behind broken objects and homes, but their memories continue living, traveling along with them. The stories in the production echo through teens’ personal prism – the impact of the invasion, and what happened in its aftermath.
The TUT project is created, directed and curated by actor and pedagogue Anya Zicer who has developed a unique method of working with teenagers in the field of educational drama as part of her theater company, Lost & Found Project. The award-winning company was founded in 2011 but at the beginning of the war in 2022 refocused its work on raising awareness as well as producing several productions in support of Ukraine. The project is also led by actor/teaching artist Dima Koan and musician/composer Mariya Vasilevskaya.