The State

    Link to Buy Tickets

    Give Us Your Email

    We'll keep you updated on new shows.


    Check out our

    OpenForum Blog






    conceived by ALEXANDER MANUILOFF 


    The State tells the story of the last conscious night of Plamen Goranov before he burnt himself in protest in front of the Municipal Council of Varna, Bulgaria. The text consists of fictionalized letters that share intimate moments of the character’s last minutes on Earth and also open space for discussion about our basic rules, principles, and values. The State is an innovative theatrical event based on Manuiloff’s text, but engaging the audience in a unique way. Audience members take part in the performance, becoming players and co-authors, and changing the piece each time it is presented.


    This production was made possible with support from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.





    Alexander Manuiloff (Writer) is a writer who publishes exclusively online in both Bulgarian and English and earns his independence from working on film scripts, theatre performances, and writing articles, as well as from direct contributions from his readers. Two separate Silver Lion prize winners at the Venice Biennale, Rimini Protokoll and Ferran Dordal, chose him to work with on their latest projects. Manuiloff's films and dramaturgy works have been invited to major festivals around the globe.








    *All performances will be at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street, NW, Washington, DC.


    ** ASL interpretation will be provided on Nov. 30th at 8 p.m. and Dec. 3rd at 2:00 pm.





    Our Talk Tank for The State will discuss how citizens shape the state that they hope to live in. Joining us will be:



    Alexander Manuiloff is the creator of The State and will share more with us about the context for the play and why it took the form it did. He is an acclaimed writer, dramatist, and screenwriter from Sophia, Bulgaria. His dramaturgical works have been invited to many prominent venues of Europe, Asia, Africa and North America and his first book, Film, received the Bulgarian Writers’ Guild Award for the best debut book of 2005. 


    Margarita Assenova will be speaking to the context around Plamen Goranov's protest and the legacy of that protest and others like it. She has 25 years of experience as a journalist and political analyst, and has worked on democracy projects in Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, the Institute for New Democracies, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as the Jamestown Foundation's Director of Programs for the Balkans, Caucasus, and Central Asia.


    Jessica Raven will be providing perspective on bringing communities, businesses, and government agencies together to make public spaces safe for people of all identities. She is the Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces and previous managed the communications for local poverty relief agency, Bread for the City, and the individual giving program for global anti-trafficking organization, Polaris. She has also worked in fundraising, community organizing, and volunteer management for several nonprofit organizations in Southern California.