In 1858 the Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko, was set free after 10 years' imprisonment. He met the great African American actor Ira Aldridge and drew his portrait. Yara Arts Group started working on Dark Night Bright Stars in the spring of 2014. The US Embassy brought the project to Odessa, Ukraine during Taras Shevchenko's anniversary celebrations where it performed several days before the tragic fire in the city. The show also traveled to Lviv and Kiev, which were on high alert. Dark Night Bright Stars is conceived and Directed by Virlana Tkacz.