top of page


In 1607 Captain John Smith founded Jamestown, the first English settlement in America, but in 1603 he was in Kolomyia

created & performed by 
Bob Holman, Susan Hwang and Julian Kytasty
conceived & directed by Virlana Tkacz
with projections by Waldemart Klyuzko
& Mikhail Shraga 
set & lights by Watoku Ueno
costumes by Keiko Obremski

February - March 2014

La MaMa ETC, New York | photos 
"Yara Crosses Borders: Capt. John Smith..." 

Ukrainian Weekly Nov 24, 2013 see page 8

At International Storytelling Conference in Cape Breton Oct 2014:


Ukraine Sept 2013:
Dzyga, for 20th Lviv Book Fair | GogolFest, Kyiv photos 
Kyiv's Les Kurbas National Theatre Center photos 


What Yara Arts Group accomplishes in Capt. John Smith Goes to Ukraine is to shed light on a lesser-known aspect of Smith's adventuring career: how he became a captain and his travels to Ukraine, before he ever helped found the Virginia colony. This at times extremely delightful musical-experimental work of theater gives its history lessons a much-needed makeover with fun, liveliness, and an accordion… Capt. John Smith Goes to Ukraine" is a fun theatrical experience. The ending, in particular, is worth the price of admission. So set sail with Captain John Smith at La MaMa; he and this production will take you to a brand new world, one you'll be glad to have visited.

“A New World” by Kelly Aliano, New York Theatre Wire, March 4, 2014


Bob Holman represents Smith, transitioning nimbly from history to humor. He performs a beautiful love poem as Smith woos that Turkish mistress. Julian Kytasty plays an instrument beautiful to hear and to look at – bandura, a sort of lute with no fewer than of 34 open strings. It sounds like a harp, and it graces the evening even as the audience enters. Throughout, the show projects graphics on the back wall, and they’re usually marvelous, particularly the detailed maps.

Steven Capra, New York Critic, March 12, 2014


In Captain John Smith Goes to Ukraine,

a multimedia performance piece, the explorer John Smith's

pre-Pocahontas years receive a comical, musical,

dreamlike treatment worthy of an August Strindberg play.

Pete Hempstead, Theatre Mania, Feb 28, 2014

bottom of page