It left me wanting more...”
– The New York Times
for chekhovOS, 2021
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) Virtual Theater Lab in Boston. A global leader in the virtual theater movement, he is currently directing The Orchard Off-Broadway, a hybrid production (both live and virtual), featuring Jessica Hecht and Mikhail Baryshnikov. During the pandemic 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 Critic’s 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". Golyak's work has received numerous Elliot Norton Awards for 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 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.
"Igor Golyak [has] already come up with one of the virtual era’s most acclaimed productions”
— Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times
"There’s a certain fearlessness to Igor Golyak. This is a director driven to reimagine and deconstruct classic texts, not just stage them."
— Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe
"[Golyak] may have very well pioneered a new form of interactive entertainment.“
— Eric Hauter, GamingNexus
"Golyak’s production fuses film, theater, and video game technology to create a new hybrid platform."
— Shana Nys Dambrot, LA Weekly
"Golyak’s inventive version takes the classic story for a wild ride — and I was thrilled to be on the bus."
— Jacquin Sinclair, WBUR/NPR