Anybody can be Pussy Riot, its a movement rather than a band. - Nadya Tolokonnikova
"Anybody can be Pussy Riot, it's a movement rather than a band." - Nadya Tolokonnikova JONAS AKERLUN

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Pussy Riot is gearing up to subvert the powers that be once again - and this time, they're using theater as a tool for political awareness. The punk band made up of radical Russian rebels have started a Kickstarter to raise money for an immersive theater project that documents their arrest and subsequent two-year imprisonment after their 2012 protest against Putin at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

If their Kickstarter campaign is successful, the band plans to work with London theater company Les Enfants Terribles to create Inside Pussy Riot, an immersive theater project that will “recreate Russian courtrooms, a real Russian labour colony, solitary confinement cells, priests who shout about banning abortions and many more absurd, but real-life things that exist in Russia today,” according to Pussy Riot co-founder and activist Nadya Tolokonnikova.

The goal of the performance, says Tolokonnikova, is to combine the potential of immersive theater with political action, and to show the audience what it means to be political prisoners in an age of “strong-man leadership” under Putin (and, she warns, Trump as well):

Here’s more from her interview with Billboard:

I've always been suspicious about the idea of traditional stage. I mean, I get it, I understand it, but I want to see more audience involvement. Brecht's, Godard's attempts to destroy the fourth wall between the audience and performers, seem to me like a right way to go. Pussy Riot's biggest thrill is to break through the traditional binary opposition between the audience who's supposed to be passive and simply receiving and artists who we see as a leading force. I prefer to see an interaction and collaboration between these two forces.

Les Enfants Terribles is known for their ground-breaking production of Alice’s Adventures Underground, a surreal, carnalivalesque journey that puts audience members in the center of the action. Tolokonnikova and the band were also inspired by experiential theater hit Sleep No More, a production that adapted Shakespeare’s Macbeth and turned it into a site-specific, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ experience in New York City’s McKittrick Hotel.

Backers of Inside Pussy Riot can earn honorary “bitch” status, a postcard with their message of choice sent to Putin before his 2018 campaign, “We Are All Pussy Riot” t-shirts, original prints by the band and photographer/video director Jonas Akerlund, tickets to the performance, and more. One lucky $10,000 donor will get an “alternative tour” of Moscow from Pussy Riot members.