If you need help click I Need Help.

World premiere production by award-winning Ukrainian playwright opens in Victoria

A Dictionary of Emotions in Wartime by Olena Astasieva details the true experience of a woman from Kherson, in the first days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The world-premiere production features original music by Borys Koniukhov and Julia Frait of Lado Strings.

The story begins February 24, 2022. Russia invades the city of Kherson, in southeastern Ukraine. Olena and her adult nephew Matvei, like many other people in Ukraine, have to decide how to survive the war.

Over the next few months, Olena undergoes a journey as she learns about herself, her friends, and her family members, as they all struggle to come to terms with their new reality.

Eventually, Olena makes the difficult decision to evacuate Kherson and flee to Ireland. Once in Ireland, she struggles to adapt to life in a new land, safe from the threat of war, but now consumed with the guilt of having abandoned her city and those she loves.

The show is a co-production by Help Ukraine Vancouver Island Society and Langham Court Theatre. All proceeds from the production will go to supporting Ukrainians on Vancouver Island. The play is co-directed by Diana Budiachenko, a theatre director from Odesa, Ukraine, and Karmen McNamara, a local theatre director of Ukrainian descent. 

“When a local refugee brought me Olena’s script in the summer of 2023, I knew this was a story that needed to be told. The story is not an easy story to hear – nor should it be,” explains McNamara. “The more true stories we tell, the less power propaganda and disinformation have.”

A Dictionary of Emotions in Wartime runs at Langham Court Theatre January 18-20, 2024 at 7:30pm and January 21, 2024 at 2:00pm. 


  • Langham Court Theatre is at 805 Langham Court
  • The show runs approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.
  • Tickets are on sale now for $19-$26 and available on the Langham Court Theatre website, by phone at 250-384-2142, email, or in person via the Box Office.   
Scroll to Top