From Stanislavsky to Gorbachev: The Theater-Studios of Leningrad

From Stanislavsky to Gorbachev: The Theater-Studios of Leningrad

From Stanislavsky to Gorbachev: The Theater-Studios of Leningrad

From Stanislavsky to Gorbachev: The Theater-Studios of Leningrad

Synopsis

"This book represents work conducted on Leningrad's theatre-studios from 1989-1990. Part I is comprised of thirteen interviews with actors, directors, critics, and scholars familiar with the studio movement. Part II contains results from the city-wide distribution of a six-page questionnaire for individual theater-studios. Finally, a comprehensive list of theater-studios is presented in English and Russian. The work is supplemented with photographs of those interviewed. All the interviews and questionnaires are translated from Russian to English." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Stenberg: Does Leningrad need the theater-studios?

Dmitrievskaia: of course. of course Leningrad needs the studios. in general, our theater situation was suffocating because we had no normal, organic process for the birth and death of theaters. Everything was stable here. the building of the Aleksandrinskii Theater has been standing since 1832, but it is still standing even though there is no art there. the stability, of course, was terrible . . . Leningrad is a very unfortunate city, because for many years it was a city with one theater--the Bol'shoi dramaticheskii. Tovstonogov was the great director, and in the sixties it was a great theater. Then he wanted to hold on to his students and these positions; everything capable of competition was gradually thrown out of Leningrad. People were leaving. There was a very large emigration to other cities. and there existed such a strange official theater situation. and at the moment when the theater-studios arose in the city, realistically the artistic strengths [people] did not exist which would have been able to lead this new movement. That is, the most talented directors like Ginkas, Ianovskaia, Dvorkin--an entire generation, which at the end of the sixties was able somehow to revive the theater picture, was out of Leningrad, in Moscow, with world famous names and so on and so on. Basically, a lot of people left. That is, the place was trampled down and paved over. and it was understood that the grass would not immediately sprout, that is, organizationally, the moment of the studios' rise coincided with a situation [characteristic] of an artistic hole in Leningrad. and thus, this process began in difficulty and in an unhealthy way. That is, those who went into the studios were not the ones who had some kind of artistic programs, but rather the ones who had the possibility to receive work, though they were not gifted, and not because of their artistic non-conformity with set standards. They somehow physically survived in this city. Besides that, the studio movement suggests the development of some kinds of avant- garde forms, among which, for example . . . well, when the avant-garde arose in the beginning of the century, it was understood that it was on the very stable positions of the Moscow Art Theater system, Russian psychological realism, and so forth. and the avant-garde arose as an alternative to the Malyi Theater, which was the king of the nineteenth century.

Now, in the last decade and a half an extremely crumpled theater picture has formed. We do not have any clear directions, some kinds of . . .

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