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It left me wanting more...”
– The New York Times
for chekhovOS, 2021

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Director, Live & Virtual Theater
Founder, Igor Golyak Acting Studio

Igor Golyak is the founder and producing artistic director of Arlekin Players Theatre & Zero Gravity (zero-G) Theater Lab in Boston. He most recently adapted and directed a site-specific US premiere of The Dybbuk at The Vilna Shul in Boston, and the New York premiere of Our Class by Tadeusz Slobodzianek at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), a featured production of the 2024 Under the Radar Festival, which will transfer to Classic Stage Company off-Broadway in Manhattan September 2024, followed directly by his adaptation of The Merchant of Venice with the same cast. His recent acclaimed production of The Dybbuk by Roy Chen starred Andrey Burkovskiy and Yana Gladkikh in its US premiere. In 2022, Golyak conceived and directed The Orchard starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Hecht off-Broadway, which then toured to Boston. 


Golyak received global acclaim during the pandemic as he conceived and directed WITNESS, chekhovOS /an experimental game/ and State vs. Natasha Banina, each of which became international virtual theater sensations, receiving multiple New York Times Critics Picks and garnering a 2022 Special Citation from the Boston Critic's Association for "pushing the boundaries of digital space to create a new genre of theater". In 2023 he directed Just Tell No One, part of the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings/CITD, at Lincoln Center featuring Jessica Hecht, Bill Irwin and David Krumholz, which streamed worldwide, and directed the virtual elements of the Sasha Denisova’s production of The Gaaga (US premiere). 


Golyak is a 2024 Mandel Foundation Fellow. His 2024 Our Class production received a Drama League Awards nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play,  and his work has received numerous Elliot Norton Awards for The Gaaga by Sasha Denisova (Golyak directed the virtual production), The Orchard, The Seagull, The Stone, and Dead Man’s Diary, including an award for Best Director. His work also received This Week In New York Pandemic Awards (WITNESS and chekhovOS) and Broadway World’s Best Director of a Streamed Production Award (chekhovOS). He directed The Merchant of Venice for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, productions at Northeastern University and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and has taught at HB Studios, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Harvard University, Lesley College, Wellesley College, New England Theater Conference, the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts/Middlesex University, Moscow Specialized Institute for the Arts, and the ARBOS Theatre Festival. 

Golyak is from Ukraine, and with his producing partner Sara Stackhouse and company at Arlekin, leads the #Artists4Ukraine initiative, engaging artists to share messages of hope, peace and solidarity, and raising funds for humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Recent speaking engagements have included panels at Ars Electronica Festival, Howlround,The Transmedia Meta Lab/Mahindra Center at Harvard University, and HB Studio New York. His theater, Arlekin, a company of immigrants, has been invited to perform on famous stages and at world-renowned festivals all over the globe, including in Ukraine, Yerevan, Armenia, New York City, Chicago, Lviv, Monaco, Canada and the UK, as well as the Moscow Art Theatre. He is the master teacher at Igor Golyak Acting Studio, which offers acting classes, workshops, and training. Golyak received a master’s degree in directing from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in 2004, as well as an acting degree from Moscow’s Schukin Theatre Institute (Vakhtangov Theater).

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