The cancellation brings together the two very different stories the 38-year-old Urnov has been watching develop across the Atlantic. One follows Putin, first as prime minister and then president, as he solidified his grip on power, instituted strict media laws, intimidated opposing parties, stirred up a wave of nationalism, and imprisoned protestors like the punk band Pussy Riot. But, Urnov is quick to add, there is a second story too: the emergence of a young, vital Russian theater. Over the last decade or so, the young theater community in Russia has established a collaborative dialogue with American and European artists on a grassroots independent-theater level. Through the CITD, Baltimore has played a major role in facilitating that. But recently those theater artists have become more progressive and more visible. What was once an underground clique of DIY hipsters has begun to go mainstream.