Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina on Trump, Putin: ‘I don’t think you want a future like this’

Maria Alyokhina, a member of the famously imprisoned Russian band Pussy Riot, will perform in “Burning Doors,” a play about her life that she produced with The Belarus Free Theatre. It runs at On the Boards from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.

I wasn’t sure what I expected when Maria “Masha” Alyokhina answered her phone, but it sure wasn’t a soft voice and easy laugh.

In my mind, she will forever be jumping around on the altar of a Moscow cathedral in a brightly colored balaclava with her fellow members of Pussy Riot, performing a “punk prayer” in protest of Orthodox Church leaders’ support for President Vladimir Putin, and urging the Virgin Mary to become a feminist.

Alyokhina and her bandmates Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted in 2012 of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Samutsevich was freed on probation, but Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sent to prison, where Alyokhina endured humiliating gynecological exams, went on a hunger strike and was put in solitary confinement for five months.

Once released after 21 months, she continued resisting.

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During the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Alyokhina and her bandmates were attacked by Cossacks with horsewhips. And earlier this month, she and bandmate Olga Borisova were detained outside a prison east of Moscow after hanging a banner urging the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.

On the phone from Moscow, Alyokhina was happy to talk about her next act — this one on an actual stage. She will perform in “Burning Doors,” a play about her life that she produced with The Belarus Free Theatre. It runs at On the Boards from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1. (This fall she is also releasing a memoir called “Riot Days,” about her time in prison.)

The play not only covers Alyokhina’s story, but those of Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky and Sentsov, who was convicted…

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