Journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow in 2006 after spending the previous seven years exposing suppression by the Russian government and the atrocities of war in Chechnya. Staged at a moment when even the US constitutional protection of a free press feels precarious and growing numbers of journalists are being jailed and even killed for their work worldwide, Intractable Woman: A Theatrical Memo on Anna Politkovskaya is a vital display of the indispensability of journalism.
While Intractable Woman is layered with vivid cultural detail surrounding a life that was taken over a decade ago, Politkovskaya's story also brims with immediacy and universality. In this production, directed by Lee Sunday Evans (Dance Nation), three actors deliver an interpretation of her experiences reporting on and living within the second Chechen war. Theater cannot resurrect the dead, but it can tap into the desires that compelled them in life — and Intractable Woman mines Politkovskaya's uncompromising desire to unveil the truths behind authoritarian power.