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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

Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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