“Kleptocracy is the most dangerous play at Arena Stage this season,” shares Artistic Director Molly Smith. “Dangerous because playwright Kenneth Lin has taken us right into the heart of greed, manipulation and the rise of the wealthy and Putin in Russia in the ’90s and ’00s. It’s a fascinating prism through which to examine our relationship with Russia in the United States right now.”
Making their Arena Stage debuts, Max Woertendyke (Broadway’s A View From the Bridge, The Public Theatre’s Illyria) portrays Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the leader of the Oligarchs, and Christopher Geary (Geffen Playhouse’s These Paper Bullets!) plays a young, ladder-climbing Vladimir Putin.
“As a child growing up during the last of the Cold War, Russia, ever-present in our national consciousness, was always the ultimate, dangerous other – the funhouse reflection of everything that happens if you don’t buy into standard Western mores of politics, economics and philosophy. But, what you see in the funhouse mirror is still your own reflection,” explains Lin. “A work of fiction inspired by actual events, Kleptocracy tells the tragedy of how the West and Eurasia were nearly reconciled in the 1990s and the early aughts, but ultimately failed. The wake of that tragedy is the world in which we currently reside.”
He continues, “I cannot think of a theater and a city that are better to receive the first incarnation of this play than Arena Stage and Washington, D.C. Politics has been a central character in so much of my creative life. I am thrilled that it’s all finally coming together in Kleptocracy.”
Kleptocracy runs January 18 – February 24, 2019 in the Kreeger Theater, Washington, DC. For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.