Inga and Caelan

Theatre & Performance

Crossing The Quince

Crossing the Quince is an experimental new Australian play, based on an original Russian/English text by Noëlle Janaczewska, telling the story of the Leningrad Siege through performance, dance, and archival projections.

Days Left

Imagine you have a unique fruit in your pocket, perhaps the last of its kind anywhere. You’re starving, desperate. Of course you want to eat it but if you do, you’ll permanently remove its DNA from the world’s botanic lexicon. What do you do?

Winter 1942 and the city of Leningrad is under siege, surrounded by Nazi forces. Vera, a botanist struggles with the consequences of the pact made by herself and her colleagues at the beginning of the blockade: to protect some of the world’s most precious plant genetic resources. This is the story of her struggle with herself, as she’s made fragile by hunger, circumstance and—as we eventually discover, feelings of guilt.

Featuring Russian actress Inga Romantsova and direction from Sally Sussman, Crossing the Quince is a bilingual multi-media theatrical experimentation, combining a combination of archival projections, performance and dance, taking place 17th-27th November at the Rex Cramphorn Studio at University of Sydney.

Crossing the Quince is short, sharp, surprising and topical, and the themes of have considerable resonance in this time of “siege”. Our global community has experienced isolation, fear and death. Our world has shrunk to our house, our room, our psyche. It’s about what happens to the human spirit during an unprecedented human crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we better understand and connect to this historical event.

We are looking for development funding to enable us to bring CTQ to life and share this story

2020 is the 75th Anniversary of the end of WW2 and the 872 day-blockade. The infamous “Siege of Leningrad” was the longest and most destructive siege in history. This project commemorates the end of the siege, both an important historical moment, as well as a lesson from the ‘other side’.

Crossing the Quince also speaks to how politicians legislate to control scientific inquiry and hard-line regimes silence those whose views don’t conform to the prevailing ideology.

Donations will go towards supporting the rehearsal process as well, covering equipment, archival sourcing, running costs, COVID procedures, catering, and distribution. Donations will also pay for the time of five creatives, both emerging and established, who bring a broad sense of experience and excitement about the project. You will be supporting artists through these extraordinarily difficult times with work and ability to express.

By donating, you will also be in the loop with regular updates on our process and performances.

We are a partnership of Inga Romantsova (actor) and Caelan Wieczorski (cinematographer).

Inga with her three Masters degrees in Theatrical Arts is a Russian born Australian, with an extensive teaching /research career spreading from ATYP to University of Newcastle, as well as a well-regarded actor who has worked with some of the key luminaries of Australian theatre, film and TV (Richard Wherrett, Ruth Cracknell, Bell Shakespeare etc.)

Caelan Wieczorski is an emerging cinematographer, trained at AFTRS, who works closely with Inga in her creative endeavours. He has worked on numerous projects in both episodic, long and short form. He creates both drama and documentary works.


Alice Messerer


Di Lightfoot


Eleanore Nina Williams


Andrew Williams