29th July 2017
Today No One Was Born by Olga Prusak, winner of the VII International Contest of Contemporary Drama originated by BFT, is a semi-autobiographical work, based on the playwright’s experience of giving birth in Belarus.
With astonishing honesty, Prusak exposes prevalent attitudes towards women in maternity hospitals in Minsk – women reduced solely to their reproductive role, treated an “incubator for producing new citizens” in a scandalous depiction of the “sterility of hospitals verging on violence and disrespect”.
Further inspiration came in the form of the March 2017 protests in Belarus, on which Prusak reflected: “I observed the arrest and the actions of the riot police, and I reflected that even these brutal agents of the state have a mother waiting for them at home”. Shining a light on women at their most vulnerable yet most powerful, this is quietly devastating theatre.
“It shows that every woman is a mother first and foremost, and once you get pregnant, give birth, your personality fades into insignificance. You’ve done your work in the eyes of society, ticked that box. And who are you? What do you feel? How are you supposed to deal with it? Those are questions which every second woman who has given birth asks herself, however it’s not acceptable to question. I am grateful to Belarus Free Theatre. You are very brave and you allow others to become brave as well. And me too”
Audience member, 2017