The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls


The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  6w

The eighth winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition is set amongst the swirling domes of the church in Red Square.

Image: 2014 Yale Repertory Theatre Production (Joan Marcus)

The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • SubGenre
    Fantasy, Fables/Folktales
  • Audience
    Target Audience
  • WINNER! 2011-2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award
    FINALIST! 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize


Award winning playwright, Meg Miroshnik casts a spell with The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls.

Once upon a time—in 2005—a twenty-year-old girl named Annie returned to her native Russia to brush up on the language and lose her American accent. Underneath a glamorous Post-Soviet Moscow studded with dangerously high heels, designer bags, and luxe fur coats, she discovers an enchanted motherland teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears.

Annie must learn how to become the heroine of a story more mysterious and treacherous than any childhood fairy tale: her own. This subversive story haunts the audience, and carries a powerful message for young women living in a world where not everything ends up happily ever after.
The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls opened at Yale Repertory Theatre in February 2014 (Artistic Director, James Bundy). The production was directed by Rachel Chavkin and dramaturged by Amy Boratko.
ANNIE - 20, the American
MASHA - 19, the Girlfriend
KATYA - 19, the Mistress
THE OTHER KATYA / THE DAUGHTER / NASTYA / THE WHORE - played by one actress around 19/20 years old
OLGA / PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER / PROFESSOR / VALENTINA - played by one actress in her 40s
BABA YAGA / AUNTIE YAROSLAVA - played by one older actress

Olga is the only character who speaks with an accent; everyone else is communicating in their native language. Transliterations of Russian words into English don’t always correspond with the Library of Congress’s Romanization system.

  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Setting Moscow 2005: the thrice-nine tsardom in the thrice-ten country.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes
  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes


"Russian culture is rife with myth and magic. 'The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls' takes place in a similar kind of dreamland. But in this dreamland, people sleep with one eye open." - New York Times, Read More

"The Fairytale Lives of Russian to be admired and appreciated for its energy, eclectic imaginative drive, and powerful message to and for young women. This is anything but a tame, graceful one hour and forty minute journey. Instead, it jolts one's sensibilities." - Talkin Broadway, Read More  

"Like the fairytales it incorporates, [The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls is] ambiguous but haunting, a surreal romp that leaves you more than a bit shaken." -Santa Barbara Independent, Read More

"An evil stepmother. A wicked witch. A ravenous bear. Separated siblings. Young girls in peril. Meg Miroshnik's inventively comic 'The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls' plugs these mythological figures into post-Soviet Russia and adroitly subverts them." - Seattle Times, Read More


  • Interview with Meg Miroshnik youtube thumbnail

    Interview with Meg Miroshnik

  • Yale Rep Trailer youtube thumbnail

    Yale Rep Trailer

  • Behind the Scenes at Yale Rep youtube thumbnail

    Behind the Scenes at Yale Rep


  • The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

    Image: 2014 Yale Repertory Theatre Production (Joan Marcus)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.
    This title may have restrictions in place for London based productions. Please submit a licence request to confirm specific availability.


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Meg Miroshnik

Meg Miroshnik's plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Droll {A Stage-Play about the END of Theatre}, The Tall Girls, Old Actress, and an adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki. She is the recipient of a 2012 Whiting Award.

Her work ...
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