Ferdinand Vanek Award 2017 > A Breathing Exercise
Varvara Faer

A Breathing Exercise

Varvara Faer

(Дыхательные упражнения)

8m, 4w
(It is possible to double the characters)

A young couple from Moscow, 25-year-old Dima and 20-year-old Tanya, are appalled by the way people around them behave. The lack of refinement and the rudeness of society is reflected mostly in the way people drive. Very often somebody causes a traffic collapse and the others have to face the consequences, both material and psychical. Dima tells Tanya that he found a way the negative effects around them could be ignored and thus positive outlook of the world can be maintained: a yoga breathing exercise that helps him to clear his mind every day. Tanya is very enthusiastic and Dima promises to teach her the breathing exercise.
They leave together for their cottage, away from the noise of the city into the countryside. But even there they cannot escape rude behaviour: at first they are told off by their neighbour, later they witness a dismal marital quarrel. Their journey to the harmony of mind changes rather into romantic dating which is terminated by a desperate phone call from Dima’s boss. The boss asks Dima to return immediately because he had just learnt that their office building should be torn down in a couple of days.  Dima and Tanya head back to Moscow. Yet the traffic on the roads presents such ruthless and emotionally tense environment that even the optimistic youth of Dima and Tanya is not spared. There is an accident, where Tanya and other people die. Dima, out of his senses, comes to Moscow with Tanya’s dead body. His boss refuses to excuse Dima’s late arrival and Dima kills him in his chair. Dima runs outside of the building and sees the police inspecting Tanya’s dead body in the car. Together with his office colleague, Dima kills the police officers and continues with his revenge. Dima’s act of revenge gradually changes into a mass movement – everybody who went out in the streets starts to do Dima’s breathing exercise. The play finishes with Dima’s monologue about the futility of human existence with total destruction of the city and an atomic explosion in the background.