Zishan Ugurlu and Larisa Polonsky for PURGE
February 9, 2011, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Activism, Literature, Theater | Tags:

When Zishan and Larissa walked into the studio they were perfectly pleasant, but both possessed a quiet intensity about them.  As our interview proceeded, I came to understand why.  For the past few weeks,  Zishan and Larissa have been vicariously living in the world of Purge, a play set in 1992 Estonia which was then newly freed from Soviet occupation.  The play, first a novel by Finland’s Sofi Oksanen, explores the themes of freedom, memory, and the past, which concurrently binds yet distances those who’ve survived.

Purge follows the story of two strangers, Aliide Tru and  Zara, played by Larisa. Zara, a sex-trafficking victim, comes to Aliide’s home on the run from her captors.  Through a series of waltz-like dialogue, the women discover their pasts share more similarities than not.  Purge shows us a world damaged by physical and mental occupation.  Zishan, who directs, and Larisa have embarked on a brave feat unsilencing the silenced, for which we can only thank them by sharing Purge’s message.

Purge will be running at La Mama‘s first floor theater on E. 4th Street between Bowery and 2nd Ave from February 10-20.

Zoe Rosenberg