‘Ghost Land’ ­­­­– War’s Horror At City Garage Theatre

By Ernest Kearney  —  Ghost Land opens with the kindly face of a gigantic god staring down upon us, a god that we soon see is as sickly and as wounded as we all are.

From the play by Andriy Bondarenko, translated by John Freedman and Vladyslav Hetmanenko Ghost Land is an episodic piece examining the cost of the Ukrainian war on those suffering from its horror and on those who are inflicting those horrors.  It is reminiscent of Private Life of the Master Race by Bertolt Brecht and somewhat Harold Pinter’s One for the Road.

We are subjected to the Doctor/God (Andy Kallok) trying to heal the war wounded, a torturer (Gifford Irvine) and the tortured (Angela Beyer) exchanging roles, a soldier (David E. Frank) trapped in a personal prism of reflecting images of his death and other horrors of war and the causalities it makes of us all.

Director Frédérique Michel manages to ease her audience over a difficult script while simultaneously enhancing or sharpening a sense of loss or horror with her well-chosen projection of images ranging from a serene snow-bound field to the alien tripods of H.G. Wells attacking Martians devastating the landscape.  

Ghost Land is a stunning production of a gut-wrenching subject.


Ghost Land

A new play about the war in Ukraine

By Andriy Bondarenko

Translated by John Freedman
with Vladyslav Hetmanenko
Directed by Frédérique Michel
Produced by Charles A. Duncombe


Closes: Sunday, October 15, 2023

Tickets General Admission $30; Students/Seniors w/ID $25
Sundays, “Pay-What-You-Can” at the door
(or full price for advance reservations)


Box Office/Information:
(310) 453-9939


Performance Address:
City Garage
2525 Michigan Ave. Building T1
Santa Monica, Ca. 90404


Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.