The Black Cat Committee

On the evening of September 25, a rowdy procession of black cats, ambulatory windows, and ghostly projections emerged from the dark corners of Kiev's historic Andreivsky Descent, conjuring the spirit of Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece, "The Master and Margarita". Completed in 1940, but suppressed by Soviet censors until 1967, "The Master and Margarita" recounts the arrival of the Devil in Moscow of the 1930s.  As encounters between the Devil's retinue and Soviet-era officialdom descend into darkly comic mayhem, the novel revels in the anxieties and incapacities of a society stifled by bureaucratic conformity. In collaboration with the Les Kurbas Centre, PAW led a series of public workshops with students and local residents at the Kyiv--Mohyla Academy, exploring the contemporary relevance Bulgakov's multi-layered allegory in post-Soviet Ukraine. Integrating windows from Bulgakov's house on the Descent with hand-held projections and improvisational performances, the meandering night procession evoked the novel's anarchic collision of the banal and the fantastic, drawing passers-by into a spontaneous and immersive experience.  This project was made possible in part with funds from CEC Artslink, and in partnership with the Les Kurbas Centre and the Kyiv-Mohyla Theatre Centre "Pasika".