We in ISACS are delighted to introduce Elena Astasyeva, a Ukrainian playwright to our community.

Dear Irish Friends!

I am very grateful to Lucy Medlycott who has welcomed me into her home. I had to leave my hometown Kherson, at the beginning of May because of the war in Ukraine. In Kherson, I had my own apartment, friends, and work: I wrote plays and taught courses in dramaturgy.

When my city was occupied by Russian troops, I was forced to leave. I didn’t know what to do next, so I made contact with the Artists at Risk Network. Through them, I met Lucy Medlycott. She suggested that I use her home as a residence. So I ended up in Ireland, in the town of Wexford.

I am impressed by the friendliness of the Irish and the support they give to the Ukrainians. It is quiet and safe, and you can take a break from the sounds of shells.

I really hope that I can write new texts here and tell the people of Ireland the truth about the war in Ukraine. I look forward to working with the ISACS Network and the creative people of Wexford.

Elena was born in the city of Kherson (Ukraine), where she lived until April 2022. She studied at the Kyiv Institute of Culture and went on to work as a librarian, bookseller, and copywriter. She subsequently has written Screenplays for TV, and taught many courses in dramaturgy.

She is the author of several stories and a number of plays that were repeatedly shortlisted for the Ukrainian festival “Actual Play Week” and were staged in the theatres of Ukraine and abroad. She is also one of the founders of the Theatre of Dramatists in Kyiv.

She arrived in Ireland in early May 2022, and is being hosted by ISACS Director Lucy Medlycott in her family home. Her residency is facilitated by the Artists at Risk (AR)-Ukraine Solidarity Group.

Lucy is glad to be able to support Elena, and says:

We are so pleased to be able to offer Elena a safe space while war rages in her country. We are very happy to have made this possible with the support of the ‘Artists at Risk’ organisation and will endeavour to always keep our doors open to artists in need from all over the world at times of great crisis.