Penalty Box Seats: Playwriting MFA’s Hockey-Themed Play Profiled in the New York Times

Examining life experience and personal passions is fundamental to The New School’s educational approach. So although the topic of Drama graduate Victor Lesniewski’s new play, Where Bison Run, American hockey and post-Soviet Eastern European politics, might be unorthodox, it reflects Lesniewski’s interests, making it classic New School.

As reported in a recent New York Times profile, Lesniewski, who earned his playwriting MFA from The New School for Drama in 2010, is an avid hockey fan. His Eastern European heritage gave rise to a natural curiosity about Belarus. Where Bison Run combines these two elements, exploring a Belarusian athlete’s experiences as a pro hockey player in the United States.

The play, which was recently given a reading by the prestigious theater group Ars Nova, featuring actors from Mad Men and The O.C., has an appeal that extends to those who aren’t particularly interested in action on the ice rink or in the eastern bloc. Emily Shooltz, Ars Nova’s associate artistic director, told the New York Times, We said if all of us [on Ars Nova’s board] can get that excited over a play about professional hockey, it must be pretty good.,