Moscow Nights

Moscow Nights is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of the best of Russian culture.
Moscow Nights is a dynamic force bringing the riches of Russian culture to Louisiana audiences.

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Kathy Randels, a native Orleanian, founded ArtSpot Productions in 1995 and remains its Artistic Director today.  She has written, performed in, and directed numerous original solo and group works for professional, student and incarcerated ensembles in Louisiana and beyond.

Her work has been presented in four continents and over 20 U.S. States.  She received a B.S. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University in 1991, and she worked in Serbia’s Dah Theater from 1997 ~ 2003, as both Performer and Music Director.  Since 2003, she has inspired an Artistic Renaissance in the city of New Orleans through her work with ArtSpot. 

Her experience at using theater to spark healing and social justice has been deeply informed by an 11-year relationship with Alternate ROOTS.  She founded the Drama Club of Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women.

Awards include New Orleans Magazine’s “Top 10 Female Achievers 2009”, the 2007 – 2009 “NEA / TCG Career Development Program for Directors”, the 2008 “V-Day Leadership Award”, a 2003 “OBIE Award” for her performance in “Nita & Zita”, and numerous New Orleans Theatre Awards. 

Recent collaborations include: “Go Ye Therefore…”, “Loup Garou”, “Flight”, “Lakeviews: A Sunset Bus Tour”, Even Ensler / Ashe Cultural Arts Center’s “Swimming Upstream”, and Alternate Roots’ “UPROOTED: Katrina Project”.

 She is currently working on a new solo performance with Dijana Milosevic entitled, “Small Acts of Apocalypse”, which will premiere November 2011 in New Orleans, and her large scale vision of Louisiana’s 1811 Slave Revolt, “Rumours of War”, will be reimagined in New Orleans in 2011.  She is thrilled to be collaborating with Natasha, Scott and the Moscow Nights family on this project.

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Scott M. Jefferson has performed in several Chekhov plays including as Vasily Vasilyich Svetlovidov in Swan Song, as Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov in The Bear, and as Stepan Stepanovich Chubukov in The Marriage Proposal. 

His Shakespeare roles include Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Lear in King Lear, Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, and Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream.  

At the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans he has portrayed John Buchanan Jr. in Williams’ Summer and Smoke, Boss Finley in Sweet Bird of Youth, Dr. Cukrowicz in Suddenly Last Summer and other roles.   

Jefferson won the Big Easy Award for his portrayal of Hickey in O’Neil’s The Iceman Cometh. He was also in Three Hotels as Kenneth Hoyle, A Walk in the Woods as Honeyman (Big Easy Award for Best Drama) and Captain Ahab in the stage adaptation of Moby Dick.  He has performed in numerous other plays as well.  

No stranger to historical roles Jefferson has portrayed Tennessee Williams in David Cuthbert’s A More Congenial Climate and Lyle Saxon in Robert Kornfeld’s Father New Orleans

He has also appeared in a number of commercial and independent films.

Scott is a Member of The
Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers


Natasha O. Ramer earned her Masters of Fine Arts at the Russian Academy of the Performing Arts (GITIS) in Moscow, where she studied with the renowned actress and director Maria Knebel from Moscow Arts Theater, and later with Anatoly Efros and Yuri Liubimov. She directed plays throughout Russia and Lithuania and was Artistic Director of Lithuania’s Siauliai Drama Theater.

Since coming to New Orleans, Ramer has brought numerous theatrical productions, concerts, poetry readings, lectures, and festivals to the area to foster an awareness and celebration of Russian culture. In 1999, she established Moscow Nights Inc., which is dedicated to preserving Russian culture in Louisiana. She continues to serve as the artistic director of Moscow Nights and is a driving force behind The Russian Winter Festival, which takes place every other year. It has become a favorite among New Orleans festival goers.

Ramer’s directing record in the United States includes

  • The Water Nymph by Alexander Pushkin

  • The Shadow by Evgeny Shvarts

  • Hunting Cockroaches by Janusz Glowacki

  • The Paper Gramophone by Alexander Chervinsky

  • The Inspector General by Nikolai Gogol

  • The Marriage Proposal and The Bear by Anton Chekhov.

Ramer is also an actress and cabaret singer. Her cabaret show, Natasha O. Ramer – Twenty Years in America, took place at New Orleans’ Le Chat Noir in 2003. In 2004, she presented this cabaret and a special program of poetry and songs at the National Actors’ Club in Moscow. There she also appeared on Central Moscow television in an interview and concert on The Poetry Theater with Roman Viktiuk, which was broadcast in Russia, Europe, Israel, and the United States.

Natasha was recently invited to direct a play at the Lithuania’s Siauliai Drama Theater on the occasion of the theater’s 18th anniversary.


The musical score for the play includes excerpts from: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto, Peter Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6, Souvenir de Florence and Serenade in C Major, and Faina Lushtak’s Prelude

The Russian song “Dark Eyes” is performed by Fyodor Chaliapin with a gypsy chorus. 

Tchaikovsky’s “Romance” is performed on piano by Faina Lushtak

The German rendering of the same “Romance” is sung by Zarah Leander

The musical arrangement of the well-known Russian gypsy romance “Don’t Go Away, O My Golubchik” is by Faina Lushtak, with translation by Alexandra Raskina.


Alexandre Vassiliev

Dr. Betty Oseid, M.D.
(New Orleans)


Anatoly Smeliansky
(Moscow Art Theater)

Dr. William C. Brumfield
Tulane University)


Dr. John Joyce
(Tulane University)

Dr. Samuel C. Ramer
(Tulane University)


Russian Cultural Center

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