Belarus Free Theater, who was scheduled to perform at this week's Under the Radar festival in NYC—and whose attendance was put in question by the arrest of its artistic leadership—has arrived safely! The official announcement hasn't gone out yet, but people milling around La MaMa theater are talking about how company members have already uploaded Facebook photos of themselves checking into their hotel. And Facebook is as good as a press release.
BFT has had a hell of a time—its members had to sneak out of Belarus after their husband-and-wife leaders were arrested and threatened with beatings, rape, and prison sentences for participating in protests against a fraudulent election by Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, "Europe's last dictator."
But they made it. And word around the festival is that the U.S. government very graciously said that if BFT could make it to the U.S., it could stay until some solution is worked out regarding its abusive home government.
I can't wait to see their show.