Q

Burning Doors: What happens when an anti-Putin Pussy Rioter teams up with a theatre company in exile?

A new stage show based on the experiences of artists who say they've been censored, imprisoned and tortured in Russia makes its Canadian debut at Luminato tonight.
Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina in Burning Doors. (Alex Brenner)

For Maria Alyokhina and Natalia Koliada, making art is a high-stakes job. Alyokhina is a founding member of Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock group. In 2012, she was sentenced to two years in prison after playing a protest song in a cathedral in Moscow. Koliada is the co-founder of Belarus Free Theatre.

Alyokhina and Kaliada's gutsy shows have made them a target for the government in Belarus. Now, the whole theatre company is in exile, avoiding the threat of arrest back home.

Tonight, their collaborative stage show Burning Doors is making its Canadian debut at the Luminato Festival in Toronto. It's based on the experiences of artists who say they've been censored, imprisoned and tortured in Russia. Alyokhina and Kaliada stopped by the q studio to tell guest host Laurie Brown more about the show and how their collaboration started. 

Burning Doors runs from Wednesday, June 20 to Sunday, June 24.

Natalia Kaliada and Maria Alyokhina with q guest host Laurie Brown in Toronto, Ont. (CBC)

— Produced by Vanessa Greco

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