27 October 2023

The premiere of the mono-performance “Nadezhdiny”

On October 25th, the premiere of the mono – performance “Nadezhdiny” took place at the Jewish Community Center in Chisinau.

Such a story can’t be invented. Such stories are only tossed up by life on the cusp of centuries, epochs, and generations. So, it’s no wonder that the Chisinau play is just a part of events that will unfold in our city in the coming days. Not only on the stages of the Jewish Community Theater of the Republic of Moldova, but also on the streets, in the everyday hustle and bustle of old Chisinau.

The intrigue begins with a family heirloom that Vladimir Mashkov somehow passed on to his daughter. It was a diary, the confession of a Kishinev girl – Melanie Sevruk, who became the beloved and wife of the now unknown revolutionary Eugene Zelensky.

The meeting of yesterday’s high school student Melanie and the Kharkov underground figure Eugene happened at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries at the Kishinev printing house “Kashevsky.” Zelensky brought his notes here, and his future companion served as a proofreader. Thus, their joint life unfolded, full of incredible dramas and trials. The business was full of dangers, hopes, and disappointments.

Eugene Zelensky died of tuberculosis in 1905. The stars of the first Russian revolution, which flared up more than a century ago, left Zelensky and his cause in the shadows. But the enthusiasm of Eugene and Melanie’s great-granddaughter, Masha Mashkova, allowed this Kishinev family history of the Mashkova to be presented in a completely different light.

Researchers from Kiev, Moscow, and Chisinau discover unique archival records, books, and articles of the forgotten revolutionary hidden in the farthest corners of libraries around the world. Zelensky suddenly appears in Kishinev in the guise of a famous opponent of Vladimir Lenin, who wrote and acted under the pseudonym Nadezhda. Lenin dedicated many sharp and biting assessments to him. Nadezhda was another revolutionary who gave his life for a different revolution that never materialized.

And now, in Chisinau, in partnership with the Mark Block’s Library, “Stratum” Publishing House a substantial volume of Melanie Sevruk’s memoirs and the first serious analysis of Eugene Zelensky’s ideological legacy has been released.

Simultaneously, inspired by the dramatic circumstances of her family’s biography, Masha Mashkova presents her mono – performance “Nadezhdiny” in Chisinau, 

Chisinau is an amazing place in the world amidst war, conflicts, and mutual misunderstanding. It’s no coincidence that during the premiere of ““Nadezhdiny,” Russian Masha Mashkova and Ukrainian girl Mila from Kharkov, one of the descendants of the Zelensky family, met and embrace.

The performance was presented with the support of the Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova, at the Jewish Community House Theater “Kedem” (5 Eugen Doga str.).

Maria Mashkova also held an author’s meeting with members of the Jewish community of Moldova within the theater a few days before the premiere.

Dear Masha, if we may, we are sincerely grateful to you and the entire project team for choosing the scene of our community house, the walls of which preserve the memory of the times when your ancestors lived!

Starring: Maria Mashkova

Voice of Nadezhda: Anatoly Bely

Director: Egor Baranov

Playwright: Arseny Faryatiev

Music: Anna Drubich

Artist/Graphics Design: Lisa Irshay

Choreographer: Melpomen

Costumes: Katerina Kravtsova

Producers: Sasha Siberg / Alla Dontsu

Duration: 75 minutes

Project partners: Librarius, Mediacor, Youbesc, Mark Blok Library, Stratum Publishing House, Ford, Sano

Media partners: TV8, HIT FM, NewsMaker, Realitatea.md, Rupor.md

The project was supported by: Alexander Bilinkis, Gleb Rudenko, Sergey Shtern, Arkady Tseytlin, Alexander Turkot, Anatoli Socolov, Vasili Chirtoca, Oleg Bakalov.

photo credit @shendlcopitman