Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia

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The captivating account of a young female television producer’s adventures bringing Sesame Street to post-communist Russia.

In the early 1990s, communism had collapsed and Russia was finally awakening, economically and culturally. The timing appeared perfect to bring Sesame Street to millions of children across the country, introducing them to Western liberal values, capitalism, and concepts such as diversity and inclusion. No one had any idea just how challenging this would prove to be.

In Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia, Natasha Lance Rogoff brings this gripping drama to life. Rogoff, a young American television producer fluent in Russian, was chosen to lead a crew of American and Russian artists, producers, educators, writers, and puppeteers to create the Russian adaptation. During the four-year production, against the backdrop of bombings and the assassination of her Russian broadcast partners, Rogoff remained determined to bring humor, entertainment, and democracy to Russian children. With a sharp wit and compassion for her Russian colleagues, Rogoff observes how cultural clashes colored nearly every aspect of the production, from the show’s educational framework to scriptwriting to the new Slavic Muppets themselves, often pitting Sesame Street’s Western values against five centuries of Russian thought. In spite of the challenges, the show would go on to become a major hit, airing for over a decade.

Muppets in Moscow reveals all the amazing, elaborate, behind-the-scenes action and work that goes into the making of a beloved children’s television show—from creating the Muppets and determining their distinct “personalities” to hiring the actors and creating the set—all while ensuring that Russian culture is respected and represented. More than just a story of a children’s show, this book explores Russia’s people, their culture, and their relationship with the West that remains relevant even today.

Product Details

£19.99  £18.99
Rowman & Littlefield
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