Play takes audience on journey from disrespect and condemnation to tolerance and friendship

Feb 12, 2018

KRAMATORSK / SEVERODONETSK, 12 February 2018 – The play “He Is My Sister” featuring Ukrainian theatre stars Anatoly Khostikoyev and Volodymyr Horyansky, was performed in in Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk on Feb. 9-10 respectively, giving a fresh perspective on social stereotypes and showing the fundamental essence of human relationships that are masked by incredulity and scandal.

"Tolerance is very important in our times,” says Horyansky. “We need to cultivate it from childhood, and talk about it more. Embracing diversity and a respectful attitude to each other - that's what our performance is about. This play, through the prism of comedy, casts light on serious matters. It was through humour, a sort of lightness and irony, that we got through all the stereotypes and came to the real depths of human feelings. This role is definitely going to become one of the most over-the-top and beloved of my career. Before the play’s premiere, we were a little nervous. We didn’t know how the audience would take such an audacious performance. But then, when we on the stage felt the crazy energy coming from the hall, we felt that we were believed and being empathized with, and we realized that everything would be OK. We weren’t just acting on the stage, we lived with our characters."

Khostikoyev, who plays one of the other main roles in “He Is My Sister,” also shared his opinion on tolerance and the play's message: "These kind of plays should be in the Ukrainian theatre, without a doubt. Ukrainians need them. Our play is about the fact that anyone, in any body, with any views on the question of sex, is still a person. In our world everyone has different views about life. It’s important that at some point people find a common language among themselves, understand each other, and respect otherness. The task of our characters is to break down stereotypes, and to call for tolerance and dialogue."

The performance was organized with financial support from the governments of Sweden and Switzerland under the Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, which is being implemented by UN Development Programme in eastern Ukraine.

“The United Nations and notably UNDP, is fully committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering dialogue for mutual understanding among cultures and people, said Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Ukraine Country Director.

“Tolerance means respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of Ukraine's cultures, its forms of expression and ways of being human. We believe that an inclusive and diverse environment fosters prosperity and peace.”

The event is part of the #ReinventRespect communication campaign to support tolerance and mutual understanding in society. The goal of the project is to reduce the polarization of public opinion and strengthen dialogue among various social groups.

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