JRL NEWSWATCH: “Washington theaters shine a spotlight on Vladimir Putin” – Washington Post/ Nelson Pressley

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“The Russian president was satirized … in the delirious ‘Putin on Ice (that isn’t the real title …)’ at Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theater. Putin is unnamed but unmistakable in Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph’s ‘Describe the Night,’ an Obie Award winner last year as best American play …. [C]ementing Putin as a stealth theatrical headliner is ‘Kleptocracy,’ a new drama from former ‘House of Cards’ writer Kenneth Lin …. ‘Kleptocracy’ recounts – in mostly fictionalized terms – the story of Russian oil baron and Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky … arrested for fraud … spen[ding] a decade in prison. * * * … The plague of disinformation has become an unarguable fact of daily American life, whether it’s Putin or something else ‘sowing chaos,’ as Joseph puts it. That’s why ‘Kleptocracy,’ Ahrens says, ‘is about thinking, not just taking in information … at face value …’ … [T]he image continues to ascend of Putin as a master manipulator. ‘We are in the process of mythologizing Putin, so he is making it into the art scene,’ Urnov says. With a gallows laugh, he adds, ‘And pure evil – there is always a need to dramatize that.'”

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[featured image is file photo from another occasion]