Documentary mini-series «Twelve Ophelias»

The documentary mini-series "Twelve Ophelias" consist of five video-stories about women who are wheelchair users and perform a play at the stage of the M.V. Lysenko Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater (see article about the project on the Pact website). 

The “Twelve Ophelias'' project is a unique case of cooperation between two professional theaters (KhNAOBT and Arabesque Studio Theater) and the Kharkiv Inclusive Theater Studio, where all participants work on equal terms with professional actresses and actors. This is the first staging in Ukraine of the "Twelve Ophelias" play by the American author Caridad Svich. The play is essentially a sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet, a continuation of a story told from the perspective of the modern woman. 

In his works Shakespeare depicted the stereotypes and social roles of his time, when a woman's greatest value was in her virginity before marriage and her reproductive function after marriage. Often Shakespeare's female characters are much smarter and more witty than male ones. American author Caridad Svich makes female roles more important, they engage into a dialogue with Shakespeare's characters, refuting stereotypes and creating a new artistic and, more broadly, cultural canon, putting the issues that used to be unimportant to the center of the story.


The documentary mini-series tell about the process of production of Caridad Svich’s play "Twelve Ophelias": the way images were created, the way professional actresses collaborated with people with disabilities, how participation in an art project turns into a civic-mindedness and a political gesture. 



The Twelve Ophelia Documentary Mini-Series project was implemented in 2020 in partnership with the Arabesque Studio Theater, the Kharkiv Inclusive Theater Studio and the M.V. Lysenko Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater with the support of PACT Ukraine.