The Asylum Theatre in Vegas sends electric hope to ProEnglish Theatre in Kyiv
On February 24th, 2022 the world watched in horror as Putin ordered Russia's military to launch an overthrow of Ukraine's democracy and relentless attacks on the innocent citizens of Kyiv and other places. The Asylum Theatre exists to serve contemporary voices in the theatre, particularly marginalized ones; our mission called us to act in defense of humanity, cultural heritage, and the artists of the ProEnglish Theatre of Ukraine in Kyiv in their venue turned War Art Shelter.
On March 24th, 2022, one month later, the Asylum sent this message, in part, to The ProEnglish Theatre after learning of them through a former Asylum playwright:
It was a relief to get an answer from the other side. It meant some folks were holding on:
On June 4th., 2022 at 7PM Las Vegas time, and June 5th 5AM in Kyiv, the ProEnglish Theatre performed via livestream to The Asylum Theatre audience in the Winchester Dondero Theatre for their event ASYLUM: Reflections On Refuge.
It was at this moment, as they were singing "Viva Las Vegas" and a rewritten "Yesterday" to The Asylum audience that Putin resumed his previously stalled bombing of Kyiv at 5AM their time. ProEnglish has continued to defend their people and their culture heritage by creating work in every way possible and organizing an association of artists across the globe, WEST: World of English Speaking Theatres, of which The Asylum is a founding member.
In July 2022, Gigi Guizado traveled to London for the annual Out of the Wings Festival where she met fellow WEST Association members from the Barons Court Theatre. The meeting paved the way for The Asylum Theatre's upcoming Las Vegas world premiere and London tour of The Therapist by Gabriela Yepes as translated by Gigi Guizado in June 2023
One year later ProEnglish, like the rest of Ukraine has defied expectations and created victory for humanity amid unspeakable heartbreak traveling for goodwill tours to neighboring countries, offering art therapy training for the public, organizing festivals, training artists, and telling stories. On January 16th, 2023 they needed consistent electricity like the rest of the country to keep their shelter warm, and their artists connected. They needed $5K for a portable EcoFlow Power Station.
The Asylum Theatre immediately began organizing support from private donors to send amount needed to the artists and civilians in their care.
On January 23rd, 2023, The Asylum Theatre sent the remaining funds to Kyiv, mere days later.
On February 8th, 2023, the EcoFlow Power Station arrived sending some Love and Light from the neon glow of The Asylum Theatre in Las Vegas to the ProEnglish Theatre of Ukraine in Kyiv.
The fighting continues, but so does the creating. Artists and writers across our country and around the world suffer violence rather than be silenced. Our culture is the reflection and legacy of humanity. The Asylum Theatre stands with oppressed voices everywhere and their peaceful attempts to be heard and is proud to serve as a global ambassador for creative collaboration and free expression. If you want to support the civilians in the War Art Shelter you can find your favorite way here: proenglishtheatre.com/support-us