Banned Theatre Troupe Belarus Free Theatre to Stage KS6: Small Forward at La MaMa | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Banned Theatre Troupe Belarus Free Theatre to Stage KS6: Small Forward at La MaMa

The new play is based on the life and career of Belarusian athlete and activist Katsiaryna (Katya) Snytsina, who also stars.

Katsiaryna (Katya) Snytsina Mikalai Kuprych and Darya Andreyanova

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club will open its 63rd season with Belarus Free Theater (BFT)'s KS6: Small Forward, a new play based on Belarusian athlete Katsiaryna (Katya) Snytsina’s life and career. Previews begin September 21, with an official opening September 24. Performances will continue through October 13. 

KS6: Small Forward is based on conversations with Snytsina, and adapted and directed by BFT co-founders Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada. Basketball star Snytsina is an Olympic athlete and the first and only openly gay popular sports figure of Belarus. Snytsina became an outspoken activist against the dictatorship of her native country. 

The cast features Snytsina, Blanka Barbara, Darya Andreyanova, Mikalai Kuprych and Raman Shytsko.

"In basketball my team is 12-strong," Snytsina said in a statement. "Now I'm part of a far bigger team on the front lines of the fight against dictatorship." 

"To be free, you need to be brave," Kaliada added. "This is exactly what we found in Katya’s story: a woman who stood up against the dictatorship and stepped down from the national basketball team in solidarity with the Belarusian people and against violence. On the court, she played ‘small forward,’ defending, scoring, creating open lanes and rebounding for the whole team. Katya’s story helped us realize that ‘small forward’ is a way of being free.”

The production features set design by Nicolai Khalezin, light design by Peter Small, video design by Dmytro Guk, choreography by Joseph Toonga, and sound design and original music by DJ Blanka Barbara. 

Established in 2005, BFT spent years performing only in secret to escape political censorship. The company was exiled from Belarus in 2021 after publicly opposing the regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, and now performs at venues worldwide without a permanent home.


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