An honorable Russian officer sympathetic to Ukraine is to be executed for treason against the government he has served all his life. In his last moments, he visualizes his life's saga in fragmentary visions. These include a tragic romance in which the love of his life abandons him for a Putin-like character to attain power.

December 22, 2022 to January 8, 2023
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
(no shows 12/25, 1/1)
Runs :90 including intermission.
$15 general admission, $12 seniors and students
Box office: 212-254-1109
Buy tickets:
Critics are invited on or after December 23.
Photos are available at:

NEW YORK, December 7 -- From December 22 to January 8, Theater for the New City (TNC) will present the world premiere of "Darkness After Night: Ukraine," a play written and directed by Stephan Morrow that is set in the contemporary war between Russia and Ukraine.

In this totally fictional drama, a Russian logistics officer is so conflicted by his country's invasion that he goes over to the Ukrainian side, but is re-captured by Russian forces and executed. In his last moments, he visualizes his life's saga in fragmentary visions. These include a tragic romance in which the love of his life abandons him for a Putin-like character to attain power.

A first draft of the play in development was presented in Theater for the New City's 2022 Dream Up Festival and was perceived as an appropriate and anguished outcry against the current war, whose present phase had begun seven months before. TNC believes the significance of the play's theme has only increased and the unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine is a more of a tragedy now than even before.

In the play, a prominent Russian logistics commander named Yuri Dubashin has been traumatized by the bombing of a Ukrainian children's hospital, so he has defected to the other side. He is quickly captured by Russian forces, condemned as a traitor and destined for execution. In his cell, he revisits his life and career, including his successes as a logistics officer and his romance with a young woman, Andreyeva, a femme fatale who is assigned to his office and with whom he falls desperately in love. He introduces her to an old friend who has risen to become 'Number One.' Despite being Dubashin's fiancee, she accedes to her unrelenting ambition and leaves Dubashin for the menacing dictator.

Further intrigue ensues as Andreyeva's brother, a KGB officer, is captured in Yemen. To free him, Andreyeva arranges through Number One to have Dubashin exchanged for her brother in a prisoner swap. The ensuing action, a kaleidoscope of the last moments of Dubashin's life, is his fantasy as in his cell, he awaits the inevitable bullet.

Ultimately, Number One causes his own downfall. The play offers this wish-fulfillment as a gift to the brave Ukrainian people while also sympathizing with young Russian conscripts who are being fed into the meat grinder. Its flashback scenes have eerie music, mystical cosmic sounds, narration by imaginary Ukrainian newscasters and costume changes to signal their other worldliness. Dramatically, they are intended to resemble a 40's film noir thriller, but with more depth in the characters.

Stephan Morrow explains, "I wrote this play to draw attention to the horrible loss of life going on in Ukraine. IMHO it's unconscionable that we are not doing more to stop the unprovoked aggression of Putin and company. Hope you agree. One side is fighting for their lifelong homes while the other is the aggressor under the delusion of resurrecting the grandiosity of the ancient Motherland."

Stephan Morrow plays Yuri Dubashin. Joe Marshall plays the Putinesque Number One. Josh Allan Alter plays Anwar Ono, a political operative from Yemen. Emilie Bienne plays Andreyeva Ouspenskaya, the red-headed femme fatale. Carl Ellis Grant plays John Kane, a Black CIA operative who is unable to save Dubashin. George Lugo plays Sgt. Lopahin, Dubashin's guard in the jail. Liam McGowan plays Valery Myshkin, a survivor who by necessity has joined the system. Natalia Volkodaeva plays a Ukrainian Anchorwoman and Marusya, a painter who creates a portrait of Andreyeva.

Lighting Design is by Alexander Bartenieff. Sound Design is by Joy Linscheid. Stage Manager is Mathew Seepersad.

Stephan Morrow's TNC directing credits include plays by Mario Fratti and John Steppling. He is also an active member of The Playwright Directing Unit of the Actors Studio and founding Artistic Director of The Great American Play Series. He was mentored into the Playwright Directing Unit of the Actor's Studio by Elia Kazan. Morrow is both a prolific actor in theater and film and a director of indie films. He directed and acted in two indie films that grew out of productions he directed in TNC's Dream Up Festival, "Dogmouth" by John Steppling and his own play, "The Assasination of J. Kaisar." "Dogmouth" won three awards in The Bergenfield Film Festival, including Best Actor for Morrow. Last season at TNC, he directed and played the leading role in "Sometime Child" by Richard Bruce.

Mr. Morrow writes, "Crystal Field is a NYC gem and I am so lucky to have found a home at TNC. She is dedicated to giving artists free reign to pursue their artistic vision. In this age of institutional theaters dominating the Off Off Broadway arena with their deep pockets and huge amounts of funding, TNC is a gold mine of opportunity for independent theater artists and the only theater where you can go in, pitch an idea and get it up without waiting years to get into the pipeline. God bless Crystal."

# # #

CRITICS ARE INVITED on or after December 23.