Turkmenistan Theatre Arts

theater simple performs "Caravan Chronicles" at Turkemnistan's National Drama Theatre


From November 15 – November 27, 2019, American theatre group “theater simple” traveled to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan for a cultural exchange residency focused on theatre arts and community outreach. In collaboration with the Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture, the American delegation participated in the International Festival "Theatrical Art of the Epoch of Happiness," which featured performers from around the globe skilled in drama, musical theatre, and puppetry. Members from theater simple included producers Llysa Holland and Andrew Litzky, director K. Brian Neel, lighting director and designer Jason Meininger, and performer Shermona Mitchell.

The residency involved daily performances and workshops, including a masterclass by theater simple attended by over 60 students from Turkmenistan’s National Theatre Institute. Students were inspired by the group and told the American performers that they “gave them hope to not give up [their] dreams.” Local media outlets were also enthralled by theater simple, and the Americans gave a multitude of statements and interviews to television, radio, and newspaper outlets after every performance.

Other highlights include a performance at the Festival’s Opening Ceremony, presentations at the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, and speeches to the public at different events. theater simple concluded their residency in Turkmenistan with a production of “Caravan Chronicles” at the National Drama Theatre. Over 700 people attended the event and it was a great success not only for the Festival, but for the American performers as well.

Project summary

Turkmenistan Theatre Arts
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Turkmenistan
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy
Program Areas: Culture
Partners: Diplomatic Corps