SPF 14: The Refuseniks

Tuesday, July 11th @ 8:00 PM PST
Written By Alison Bendix
Directed By Dana Schwartz

A world-class physicist turned heroic freedom-activist leader, Moscow 1978, battles the Soviet regime and his devious KGB handler in his quest for exit visas for dissidents to emigrate from Russia. Refused permission to leave the country, they are known as “refuseniks.” He endangers his family and followers as his bold, courageous scheme leads him to an agonizing choice that causes him to face life-imprisonment and death.

ALISON BENDIX is a descendant of the Bendix family of old Broadway. Her ancestor Theodore Bendix and his brother Max were composers, lyricists, and musical directors before World War One. Academy Award nominee William Bendix, son of Theodore’s and Max’s musician brother Oscar, was a prominent theatrical, motion picture, and television actor during the 1930s,1940s, and 1950s. Alison was a theater major at Boston University. She has been a ballet dancer, a journalist, the author of two books, and a nonprofit executive. The Refuseniks is Alison’s first play.

DANA SCHWARTZ is a Los Angeles director, writer, producer and actress. She is a member of the 2023 cohort with Director’s Lab West. Her newest play “Presto!” was completed while working with The Workshop Theater in New York and is a 2023 Eugene O’Neill Semi-Finalist. “@Playaz” was a 2019 O’Neill Finalist and had its World Premiere in 2021. “Early Birds” premiered in 2019, was presented in the Page to Stage festival at the Curtis Theater, and is published by Next Stage Press. She has written for several productions of the internationally renowned Car Plays, notably at REDcat LA, Disney Hall, Segerstrom Arts and La Jolla Playhouse. She has directed plays across the country, and performed around the world. She is the co-creator of Theater at the Museum at LACMA, and Produces the MADlab New Play Development Program at Moving Arts Theatre.

“The Refuseniks”

Yuri Alexandrov – Gary Barios
Leya Alexandrova – Katherine McEwan*
Ari Alexandrov – Russell Sperberg
Olga Alexandrova – June Sanders Sattler
Viktor Gitelson – Brendan Broms
Riva Gitelson – Tracey Silver*
Natalya Halkin – Brittney Taylor Visser*
Sergei Petrov – John Snow*
Dimitri Melygin – Ross Kramer
Stage Directions – Bruce Katzman*

*Road Company Member