A Staged Reading of Red Star: A Theatrical Adaptation of Alexander Bogdanov's 1908 Utopia

When and Where

Friday, January 19, 2024 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Playhouse Theatre
UC Union/Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse
79 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2E5


Alexander Bogdanov was a Bolshevik revolutionary, a philosopher, a pioneer of blood transfusions, and a founder of the Proletkult artist movement. But in 1908, he wrote a series of science fiction stories about a socialist utopia on Mars. Red Star was the first of these stories, and it tells of a Russian Bolshevik who is taken by Martians to see a working socialist society on the red planet. The story is notable for its progressive approaches to gender, love, art and childcare in addition to its more orthodox Marxist attitudes toward property and labour. However, Bogdanov's rivalry with Lenin eventually cancelled a planned theatrical presentation in January of 1920, and this adaptation reapproaches this historical production. 

This staged reading will be the first public presentation of this script. Where Bogdanov's novella was innovative in its day, this production will consider his vision alongside the past 104 years of feminism, gender studies, Marxist theory, and cultural studies. At its core, Red Star asks whether a proletarian revolution can succeed without major cultural changes, and this script will continue to carry that question amid the historical changes of the past century.


79 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2E5