By writing this thesis, I wanted to explore the ways in which personal narratives in dramaturgy can be read as political statements on the example of creating and staging my autobiographical play Neptune.  I tried to trace the process of creating an autobiographical play from its creative conception and reasons behind it to turning it into a theatrical production, and by doing so, examine if it succeeded in its initial goal of conveying a certain political message, and if so, how this result was achieved. The main questions that I wanted to explore were: How to convey political messages through an autobiographical narrative? What makes a narrative political\what can be defined as a political statement\narrative? What does ‘being political’ mean specifically for a queer artist\dramaturge?


To be honest, I am not sure if I managed to definitively answer those questions, or if I will ever be able to do so. In the process of thinking about them, what emerged was actually another question, the one I kept asking myself during the whole time I was writing this thesis: what is my actual political statement, why is it so important for me to have one, and why do I want to convey it so much? For me, at this point in time, being political mostly means being openly who I am (which leads back to politics of identity and representation, of course). For me, being political means being a woman, being Russian, being queer, being a pacifist and a dissident. I do understand that in some countries and in some cultures, politics of representation is not considered to be as relevant and as effective anymore. I wish it was true for me, too, but alas, I do not think I am quite in this position yet. In fact, I see the opposite happening – with the war initiated by Russia in 2022, I see a massive regression in all socio-cultural aspects connected to my part of the world, to everything that affects me as an artist. I once believed that protest art, political art can make a change, can influence some shifts if not in the ruling structures then at least in people’s perception of certain social issues. Currently, I do not see this as a possibility anymore, we are too far gone for that. However, it is precisely in this time, when it seems that political art can achieve nothing and thus might be rendered useless, that the only effective weapons are actual weapons and there is no space for art anymore, I fiercely believe that it matters the most, however naïve it might seem.


I am a woman, I am queer, I am Russian – and I dare to love, and I dare to believe that everyone has the right to love, and that love will prevail, that it will not perish from existence even with all the hatred, and violence, and war, and oppression. Naïve, and dramatic, and vulnerable – I do not want to pretend anymore. I want to be openly emotional and honest. I am a queer Russian woman, and as an artist I only want to sing a song of love. This is my political statement.