“Theater is an art that is born and dies every evening”

“Theater is a unique emotional art that is born and dies every evening”, Andrei Timoshenko, main director, said at the press conference of the Arkhangelsk Drama Theater. These words hooked me up so much that I put them in the title of the article about the 86th theater season that starts this week. And the truth is: the theater is not only the director and the actors that are spoken about at every play. No, the theater is also all the people working in it, so that we can have a look at these performances, and the building of the theater itself.

Everything must be taken care of, especially about the building of the theater. Sergei Samodov, head of the theater, said that it should not be associated with Soviet times. There is a new exposition in the lobby of the second floor, which was already nicknamed “a new photoshooting place of the theater.” One of the expositions is the old mechanisms, which in the Middle Ages created a sound special effects in the theater. Interaction with them before the start of the play or during the intermission only brings the modern spectator closer to the mysterious theater. Also replaced black and white portraits of the troupe and the leadership of the theater on modern panels, which immediately catch your eye.

By the way, the Arkhangelsk Drama Theater is lucky: Petrovsky park is located around it. In the coming years, the theater’s management intends to gather a council that will develop a landscape design project for the park and realise it. And everything will begin with the planting of new adult trees – today, of the 240 “green inhabitants” of the park, only 18 can be left.

It would seem, why do I write about technical or administrative things – it’s boring, let’s talk about the repertoire! – but no, the theater begins with the entrance. In the case of the theater of drama – the gate of the square.

In my opinion, in the last couple of years the Arkhangelsk Drama Theater has significantly changed: the repertoire has become more interesting and diverse, the productions are more complex and contemporary. For example, the theater of drama took part in the All-Russian project “Virtual Concert Hall”, and on October 29 there will be the first concert of “Legends of the North” of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic.

In the 86th season, the theater is going to stage “classical” performances. Everything will begin with “The Inspector General”, continue with the “Casual Fortune of the Militiaman of Peshkin” and the December children’s performances “The Little Humpbacked Horse” and “The Tale of Tsar Saltan”, which I await with special anticipation.

Andrei Timoshenko also hinted at William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, which can be expected closer to the end of the season: “If everything turns out, then Ivan Bratushev will be in the lead role”. William Shakespeare’s plays are ideal for the theater, full of tragedy and comedy, pathos and philosophical meaning, which together complicates the process of their production. Because of this, not every theater decides to work with the works of this author. Here either the pan or gone, the game is not for life, not death. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is well adapted for teenagers’ understanding, but will it be possible to achieve a similar effect with “Hamlet”?

The appeal to foreign classics from the classics is excellent, but we should not forget about the material created in native places. About this broadcast almost all culturologists and art historians, and trends in local production and human resources speak for themselves. The Arkhangelsk Drama Theater is one of the few theaters in Russia that put works by Fyodor Abramov. Unfortunately, the writer from Vercola has not been in fashion for several years, although he never lost his actuality. To the words of the characters he created, you can listen for more than a dozen years. Today, the audience is invited to “Pelagia and Alka”, but by the 2020 season the theater is thinking about a large-scale play based on Abramov’s work, on which several directors will work. Thus, the theater plans to revive interest not only to northern writers, but to the Russian North in general.

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