21 April 2023

Over the course of three months, Olesia Izuita gathered a team of actors in Kyiv and staged a theatrical performance titled “Wednesday. Continuation”, which she scripted herself. On April 13, the play was staged at a concert hall in Kyiv, with 600 internally displaced persons (IDPs) including children in attendance.

Izuita is an IDP from Kreminna and, before that, from Luhansk. The war forced her to leave her home and business twice. In 2019, with assistance from the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA), Izuita created a children’s entertainment center and a nonprofit organization called “Charivnyi Pendel” in Kreminna where she united teenagers from the local community to implement environmental and educational projects in this small town. In February 2022, Izuita had to leave Kreminna and her business behind, whose current status, she does not know.

At first, she volunteered in Vinnytsia, helping shelters with their humanitarian needs and delivering food kits to IDPs. Later she moved to Kyiv, and there, she visited the Luhansk Oblast Humanitarian Hub, where she saw that many children and teenagers were coming to the center, and there was a need to work with them. An actress by education, Izuita, who had experience working in an entertainment center, then founded a creative studio. Displaced children immediately joined her in this creative space.

“I had an idea to show something large-scale on stage. But I needed a team. So I created it from the children in the studio, and also went to the University of Culture, where I held a casting call among the students and invited several actors to join us,” Izuita says about putting together the cast.

She chose the well-known TV series “Wednesday”, wrote her own script and directed the performance.

While the team was rehearsing for three months, Izuita was looking for partners who could support them through providing the needed space, lights, and sound equipment. And she succeeded. The “Kvartal Concert” team and the NGO “Ukraine’s IDPs” offered the venue, sound and light. Tickets for the performance

were offered for free, and the room was full. Six hundred spectators watched the story of the Adams family, and learned about the incredible Wednesday, communication between teenagers and parents, the generation gap, rescue, and values.

The second performance in Kyiv is booked for after Orthodox Easter. They plan to start selling the tickets for this show, and then go on a tour of Ukraine.

“We had 600 tickets, which we distributed among Kyiv hubs that are working with IDPs. Now after the premiere, we have plans to sell tickets for the next performance. And then we are going to tour Ukraine. I think our show will be in demand. Previously, such performances, especially for children, were often brought by Russians, but now this niche is vacant, and we want to try to fill it,” Izuita shares of her plans for future performances.