Mar 7, 2024

Former fellow Oksana Grytsenko receives the first prize for the play »Milkweed Man« in the July Honey drama competition

©Lyana Kareyeva; Liliya Shtekel

»Milkweed Man« is a play about three generations of women who live under Russian occupation in a small village in southern Ukraine. They constantly argue about whether it is safer to stay or leave. The eldest of them, Grandma, teaches her daughter how to grow up a demon from a milkweed that should protect the family from Russian soldiers. But, in the end, it turns out that these women can take care of themselves without any magic.

This play mixes comic and tragic moments. It was inspired by the half-dozen interviews with women who have left the Russian-occupied territories. In 2023, the play received the main prize at the July Honey drama competition, and it was published in a collection of the 10 best Ukrainian plays of 2023 called Drama Panorama.

On February 24, the play was performed on a big stage of the Odesa Youth Theater and was included in the theater’s repertoire for this season. Two more productions are being prepared for this year by the Podil Theater in Kyiv and the Lesia Ukrainka Theater in Lviv.

Oksana Grytsenko is a Ukrainian playwright and screenwriter. In 2023, she received the Jean-Jacques Rousseau fellowship of Akademie Schloss Solitude.