After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the timing appeared perfect to bring Sesame Street to post-communist Russia. The Muppets were seen as ambassadors to model idealistic values, but no one anticipated just how challenging and dangerous it would be. Natasha Lance Rogoff, a young Jewish American TV producer, was tasked to produce the series in Moscow and faced bombings, assassinations, the takeover of the production office; heated cultural clashes touched every aspect of the production — from scripting writing to educational content to the design of the Muppets themselves. Sesame Street’s progressive values were pitted against four centuries of Russian thought. And yet, the TV series became a huge hit, broadcasting messages of tolerance and inclusion well into Putin’s era to millions of children across the former USSR. Told with humor and thoughtfulness, Rogoff’s story of collaboration will resonate with Jewish audiences. Her story offers deep insights into the Russian people and their culture while exploring tensions that continue to thwart relations between Russia and the West — themes that remain more relevant than ever.
Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia
- From the Publisher
September 1, 2021
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