Buried Words, Seeds of Hope

Presented by Cleveland Public Theatre, Directed by Nadia Tarnawsky

December 15, 2023

7:00pm—Come early to walk through a photo exhibit and meet some of our partnering Ukrainian organizations. 7:30pm― Performance of Buried Words, Seeds of Hope: play readings by Ukrainian playwrights.

EVERY TICKET is “Choose What You Pay” and will be offered online, over the phone, and at the Box Office.
Proceeds will go to U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Cleveland (USCRI) to resettle refugees in Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Maidan Association to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine.


Buried Words, Seeds of Hope is a benefit for Ukraine which will feature readings of short plays, poetry and songs that bring forth experiences of playwrights and artists from Ukraine since the war began.

The plays will be read in English.


Your ticket to the event includes entry into a special pre-show display in the lobby of the Gordon Square Theatre beginning at 7pm. The display was devised by Buried Words, Seeds of Hope Director Nadia Tarnawsky and includes a presentation by one of the event’s donor recipients Cleveland Maidan Association, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Cleveland (USCRI), and five images from Ukrainian Museum Archives.

The Gordon Square Theatre is ADA-compliant featuring a ramped entrance and an all-gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

The Creative Production Team Includes:

Directed by Nadia Tarnawsky
Co-produced by Raymond Bobgan
Performers: Zyrece Montgomery, Liz Huff, Eric Wloszek, Amiee Collier, Nnamdi Okpala
Stage manager: Angela Warholic
Technical Director: Joshua Smith
Running projection and sound: Catherine Anne Pace
Co-produced by RusalKazka
Line Producer: Anastasía Urozhaeva

PARTNERING WITH: John Freedman, Maksym Kurochkin, & Philip Arnoult’s CITD.
FEATURING WORK BY: Pavlo Arie, Iryna Harets and Anastasiia Kosodii. Additional texts by Serhiy Zhadan, Vira Hanchar & Nadia Tarnawsky.

The Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings (WUPR) emerged immediately after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. John Freedman reached out to Maksym Kurochkin, the artistic director of the THEATRE OF PLAYWRIGHTS in Kyiv, with a proposal to share contemporary Ukrainian writing with the world that would offer a first draft of history through the lens of the playwright. Philip Arnoult and the Center for International Theatre Development (CITD) gave a huge kick-start to the program, providing generous $1000 commission grants to over 20 Ukrainian playwrights. These monologues, tales, diaries and experimental texts formed the backbone of WUPR and have helped to raise $500,000 for Ukrainian-based organizations. Events have taken place in the U.S., the U.K., Hong Kong, Finland, Germany, Austria and 25 other countries. WUPR now represents approximately 60 writers and over 160 texts, having curated over 475 readings, productions, films, and videos. The original works written by the members of the Theater of Playwrights are published by Laertes Press in A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War: 20 Short Works by Ukrainian Playwrights.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) Cleveland’s staff and volunteers rebuild the lives of refugees with a focus on dignity. From the refugee family’s arrival at Cleveland’s airport, to their first day at their new jobs, USCRI’s comprehensive social services ensure refugees have the resources they need to become healthy, secure, and self-sufficient members of our community.

Cleveland Maidan Association is a humanitarian aid organization that has been organizing aid to Ukraine for nearly 10 years. Their efforts have supported those impacted by the war in Ukraine through medical, financial, and other in-kind donations such as clothing, vehicles, and generators. With volunteers both in the US and on the ground in Ukraine, they work to make sure that aid is delivered to where it is most needed quickly and effectively.

Production image is Acquaintance by Ukrainian Artist Khrystyna Bodnaruk.

We thank our partners: