Meadows Theatre serves up SLAVS! Oct. 23-27, 2013

SMU Meadows main stage production of SLAVS, Oct. 2013
L to R: SMU students Russell Jonas, Andrew Gonzales (on ground), Brandon Potter (facing front), Tom Gelo and Joshua Kumler (on ground) star in the 2013 Meadows Theatre production of SLAVS! by Tony Kushner, directed by Rhonda Blair. Photo: Linda Blase.

For its latest Main Stage production, Meadows Theatre takes on a Pulitzer Prize winner’s darkly comic exploration of the last days of the U.S.S.R., from perestroika to its ultimate collapse.

Tony Kushner’s SLAVS! Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness is “a rambunctiously funny, seriously moving stage piece that is part buffoonish burlesque and part tragic satire,” wrote New York Times theatre critic Vincent Canby.

Kushner, a 2013 Academy Award nominee for his Lincoln screenplay, wrote SLAVS! in 1994, shortly after he received the 1993 Pulitzer for his epic Angels in America.

“A lesser writer would have followed [Angels] with something smug and sweeping. As though Kushner feared such a fate, he instead has returned to where he started: a place of healthy confusion,” wrote Marc Robinson of The Village Voice. “Kushner’s humor buoys his political anguish, his lyricism draws dry ideas into rhapsodies and elegies, his interest in character won’t let even the most vaudevillian individual conform to type.”

The Meadows production is directed by Rhonda Blair, professor of theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, and runs Wednesday, Oct. 23-Sunday, Oct. 27 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets online at Vendini or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Find a full cast and crew list below the cut.

Cast and Crew List
SLAVS! Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness
Meadows Theatre, SMU — Fall 2013


  • First Babushka – KAYSY OSTROM (BFA ’15)
  • Second Babushka – NINA DRAMER (BFA ’14)
  • Vassily Vorovilich Smukov – BRANDON POTTER (MFA ’14)
  • Serge Esmereldovich Upgobkin – ANDREW GONZALES (BFA ’14)
  • Aleksii Antedeluvianovich Prelapsarianov – JOSHUA KUMLER (BFA ’14)
  • Ippolite Ippovolitovich Popolitipov – RUSSELL JONAS (MFA ’14)
  • Yegor Tremens Rodent – TOM GELO (BFA ’14)
  • Katherina Serafima Gleb – BARBIE WU (MFA ’14)
  • Bonfila Bezhukhovna Bonch-Bruevich – KELSEY SMITH (BFA ’14)
  • Big Babushka – SUSANA BATRES (MFA ’14)
  • Mrs. Shastlivyi-Domik – LAUREN MISHOE (BFA ’14)
  • Vodya Domik, an eight-year-old girl – ALYSSA HAMEDI (BFA ’14)


  • Director – Rhonda Blair
  • Scenic Designer – Tim Rothwell (MFA ’14)
  • Costume Designer – Ella Rose Haag (MFA ’14)
  • Lighting Designer – Fred Uebele (MFA ’14)
  • Sound Designer – Jason Biggs
  • Vocal Coach – Jack Greenman
  • Movement Coach – Bill Lengfelder
  • Stage Manager – Derek George (BFA ’15)