War Inspires Greek-American Stephan Morrow’s Drama ‘Darkness After Night: Ukraine’ (Trailer)
January 4, 2023
By Penelope Karageorge
‘Darkness After Night: Ukraine’ by Greek-American Stephan Morrow runs through January 8 at the Theater for the New City. Photo: Theater for the New City Facebook
NEW YORK – Greek-American Stephan Morrow puts all of his talents to work in his new play ‘Darkness After Night: Ukraine’ as he vividly dramatizes the plight of the people in the beleaguered country. Morrow wrote, directed, and stars in the play at the Theater for the New City.
“It’s difficult to imagine or capture the pain and suffering of all those huddled in darkness and cold, their sense of abandonment and despair, but we must try,” Morrow said. “It’s the most horrendous war that has befallen Europe since Nazi Germany surrendered in 1945.”
An award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and actor, Morrow’s dramatic career has included collaborations with Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller.
Morrow recalls how his involvement with the Ukrainian plight came about. “I think at the beginning, like anyone who reads the New York Times, I was disturbed by totalitarianism and laid it on Putin – he invaded the country. I think that Putin hoped to restore the Motherland. I felt the Ukrainians were innocent and it was clear that the West was standing on moral high ground and doing nothing.
“I recalled Darkness at Noon and Sidney Kingsley’s dramatization of the novel. So I wrote a 20 minute excerpt back on Memorial Day,” said Morrow. “The historical facts are that all the original revolutionaries, the Bolsheviks, were accused by Stalin and executed. They were told that their families would pay if they did not confess. Darkness at Noon is about a man who’s an original commander of the Bolsheviks. Will he resist? He can’t give up the dream of the revolution. I used Kingsley’s play as a fountainhead and wrote a long scene but missed the theater festival deadline.”
“Although I was late, they invited me to write the play. I did it in a month,” he continued. “I was able to use my own experience. In a way, Hollywood – where I had lived and struggled – is very totalitarian. The actors are on the lowest rung. I had an experience in LA with a woman who decided to become a player and felt I wanted to write about that experience. I laminated that experience with the Ukrainian experience. I used personal experiences which I felt were strong.”
Morrow said: “As for the war, who knows how it will end? Putin’s unpredictable. I could not condone Putin crossing the border. I consider this play a gift of wish fulfillment to the Ukrainian people, and it has struck a chord. The Voice of America called and interviewed me and some of the actors. Eric Uhfelder of the New York Theater Wire did an in-depth piece on the drama.”
“It gives me satisfaction to step up to the plate and try to shed some light on this terrible invasion created by Putin,” he added. “Thousands of soldiers, Russian and Ukrainian, have died. It reminds me of Americans in 1776 willing to die for their country. If it was not for the French, we would still be saluting the King. If they take Ukraine, they can move on to Norway and Finland. There can be a bitter war if Putin’s not stopped.”
The play will be at the Theater for the New City, First Avenue and 10th Street, through January 8. More information is available by phone: 212-254-1109.
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