For the Love of Ukraine Event, Friday at TWU

This Friday evening, April 22 at 7:00 p.m., theatre students from Tennessee Wesleyan University will present For the Love of Ukraine, a staged reading of excerpts from the Ukrainian drama, Birds from an Invisible Island, by Valerii Shevchuk. A final theatre class project, the hour-long staged reading event will also serve as a fundraiser for those in desperate need of humanitarian relief from the effects of the war raging in the Ukraine. 


The evening will also be accompanied by a bake sale with items provided by students from the chemistry department. The performance will take place in Townsend Auditorium on the TWU campus.


The play explores the dilemmas faced when the central character in the drama, an everyman figure, faces both subtle and overt influences of control, integration, and subjugation by the inhabitants of the “castle.” The play was written in 1992, one year after the Ukraine voted with an overwhelming 92% majority for independence from the former Soviet Union.


Given all that has happened in recent weeks with the invasion by Russian troops, it is not difficult to observe parallels between the play and the reality in the conflict unfolding before our eyes. In thought provoking fashion, Birds from an Invisible Island, is both historical and undeniably allegorical, as all the characters in the play represent something bigger than themselves. 


“Like many of us, I have watched with horror as the people of Ukraine have been bombarded and murdered helplessly by the overwhelming forces of Putin’s Russia,” Theatre Director John Ferguson said.

“I have been inspired by (Ukraine's) courage. As I have sat in my comfortable world, I wanted to do something…but what? How? In discussions with my students, we wanted to show that TWU cares. We decided to bring what talents and abilities we had together to show our support. In the little way that we can, we will present our staged reading for the love of Ukraine.”

-John Ferguson, TWU Theatre Director

At the conclusion of the presentation, a collection will be taken with proceeds going to, a Knoxville-based organization providing relief to the victims of the war. Individuals unable to attend are invited to donate in Tennessee Wesleyan’s name.