On stage, witches and Cossacks come into contact with Ukrainians – generic English

But the Ukrainian theater recovered. In 2023, 350 new plays were staged across Ukraine, according to theater critic Serhiy Vynnychenko, founder of an online platform that analyzes theater-related data. This is double the number recorded in the first year of the large-scale invasion, although it is still well below the number of shows staged before the Covid pandemic and the invasion.

“The Witch of Konotop” debuted last spring and word of mouth around it has continued to grow, as has demand for tickets this year. The show is now part of the theater’s repertoire and is not currently expected to end.

Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko’s novel and play tell the story of Mykyta Zabroha, a Cossack city administrator who falls in love with a beautiful woman who refuses to marry him. Zabroha’s anguish over abandonment is intensified by a terrible drought that has struck his town and, angry at women in general and under the influence of his devious, selfish employee, he decides that it is all the witches’ fault.

The play is set during a time in the 1600s, when Tsarist Russia was trying to extend its control over the lands that are now Ukraine. While Zabroha searches for the witches, his superiors order him to send soldiers to fight the Russians.