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Autumn marathon

A preview of the fall season at one of the citys premier theaters.

Published: September 10, 2010 (Issue # 1608)


September is set to be a very busy month at the countrys oldest drama theater, according to Artistic Director Valery Fokin, speaking at a recent press conference. Two major events are taking place simultaneously, setting the theaters autumn marathon on track.

First, there is the opening of the Alexandrinskys 265th season with a new production of Shakespeares Taming of the Shrew, which premieres on Sept. 14 and 15 and promises to be the main show of the year. Then, for the fifth time, it hosts the International Theater Festival with several of Europes leading companies participating.

For The Taming of the Shrew, the theater has invited in Lithuanian director Oskaras Korshunovas. Though this is his first appearance at the Alexandrinsky, Korshunovas is known to Petersburg theater-goers thanks to his participation in the Baltic House Festival. He is based in Vilnius, where he heads the OKT Theater.

At the press conference, Korshunovas noted that during rehearsals he felt everyone was having a good time and laughing, which may not be surprising when staging a comedy. And yet, Shakespeares comedy is not as straight forward as it might appear superficially to be. Although everything ends well, and after a number of challenges the main characters find themselves and unite, fundamental questions remain unanswered questions about understanding yourself and your beloved, about what to do to preserve yourself if you have fallen in love, how to remain free if you are in love, and how to grant the same freedom to your beloved.

Korshunovas commented that he is well aware of the challenges and complexity of Shakespeare plays, finding in them reflections of human nature, the limits of freedom and chances for happiness. As he said at the press conference: I see this comedy as a play about the theater. We use improvisations and actors fantasies.

The production employs the best actors of the Alexandrinsky troupe, including Victor Smirnov, who recently celebrated his 65th birthday, and Semyon Sytnik, who this year was awarded the Golden Sofit for best actor. Original music was composed by Gintaras Sodeika.

Two days after the premiere, the Warsaw Teatr Narodowy opens the International Theater Festival at the Alexandrinsky. Polands principal drama theater will present the play Tango by Mrozek in a staging by the well known Polish director Jerzy Jarocki. In a career spanning over 60 years, Jarocki has staged literally hundreds of shows and has received all of Polands main theater prizes.

The modern Polish classic Tango, written in 1964 and shown in London in an adaptation by Tom Stoppard in 1966, discloses the roots of despotism and shows the way an idealist turns into a dictator. In the concluding scene, the actors perform a tango while the corpse of the lead characters murdered rival remains on the stage.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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