Hi, I am Vlada Belozorenko, a Ukrainian theater director and teacher. In 2017, together with like- minded people, we founded in Kyiv theater- studio “11”. It’s a creative place for adults of various professions, who explore themselves at acting courses, free themselves from constraints, develop a habit of ecological communication and reveal their emotions.

“11” is a place that I love with all my heart, because extraordinary and special people gather there. We have taught about 1,000 students, 8 directors work here; we do not only theatrical, but also many social and charitable projects. But after the start of a full-scale war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, our life as we knew it, ended — we didn’t know what to do tomorrow and whether it would come at all.

Влада Бєлозоренко,

Some of us stayed in Ukraine, some ended up abroad, rescuing children, but all of us lost the main thing – our Home and our Dreams. We felt that the theater no longer exists, because life turned out to be stronger, more tragic and brighter than the theater. And we have to learn to accept this life. This is how our project “War Stories. Monologues” was born. It’s a collection of interviews of Ukrainians who are experiencing the war in different ways: some are at the front line, some volunteer, some are medical workers, and others escaped from Mariupol.

Students of “11” spent a lot of time and effort to find these people – our big and small heroes, interview them and turn this material into texts. Volunteers translated them into English.

I am grateful to every person who participated in the collection of these stories, because this is not just a documentary — it is a real, living, painful and hot life. Life in war. Life in victory. Because every day of a Ukrainian is a battlefield where we lose, where we gain new things, where we never stop believing. The stories you will read are not made up. We express our deepest respect to all who agreed to share them. And thanks to you, our reader, because if it wasn’t for you, our stories would have remained unheard, unexperienced.

Victory is coming. Glory to Ukraine.