W&K > >

Ielizaveta Oliinyk, M.A. BA


Dokumentarisches Theater und gesellschaftliche Transformation: Zeitgenössisches Theater in der Ukraine

Erstbetreuer: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Deutschmann, Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg, Fachbereich Slawistik

Zweitbetreuerin: Univ.-Prof.in Ulrike Hatzer, Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, Schauspiel/Regie – Thomas Bernhard Institut



Documentray theater and social transformation in Ukraine since Maidanrevolution

It is noticed that political upheavals cause an increase in public interest to and therefore popularity of various forms of documentary theater. Times of dramatic socio-political context are the  times when  political engagement in the art, especially in cinema and theater, is on the rise.

In my doctoral thesis I will analyze the most relevant Ukrainian documentary theater productions of 2014 – 2020 (since the beginning of the Euromaidan revolution and the war in the Eastern Ukraine)  specializing in the influx of refugees, the war, social rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers, the culture of dialogue  between different parts of the society etc.

I analyze different theater formats that can be referred to the genre of documentary theater: verbatim plays, theater of witnesses, interactive performances and mixed formats which combine fiction and personal biographies.

The research question is to find out how the narrative on Ukrainian political upheavals of 2014-2020 is construed in selected documentary theater productions. Thereby it is essential to examine the sustainability and ethical dimension of these theater projects, and analyze their potential risks of contributing to an even more severe social crisis, by highlighting  divisions and prejudices or parasitizing on the vulnerability and traumatic experiences of the performers.

Empirical methods, in particular in-depth interviews, performance analysis and narrative analysis of stories in selected performances are intended to be main methods of this research. I will also describe political and cultural context in which these theater projects were realized and apply my own experience as director of performances with the theater of witnesses.


Short biography

Ielizaveta Oliinyk studied journalism and theater. She worked as a journalist in Ukrainian mass media and NGO sector. In Germany she made an internship at Cologne opera and worked as an assistant of theater director at Ballhaus Ost, Maxim Gorki Theater and Badischen Staatstheater Karlsruhe. In Ukraine she directed documentary theater productions, some of them with internally displaced persons and a soldier who had his military service as a paramedic in war zone in Eastern Ukraine. She is also a director of cinema projects.