Theatre: Week 10

Here we are at the end of Week 10 in our 11 week course. Wow! I’m sure you can imagine that everyone is running around trying to see the shows that they’ve wanted to see for weeks before it’s time to end the semester. On top of that, people are inviting us to more shows than ever. We had six shows scheduled over the last five days and on top of that more shows students chose to see on their own. Obviously it was impossible for everyone to see everything. Often our group was parting ways to collectively see as much theatre as possible.

For the sake of simplicity, this week we’ll just highlight two particularly special shows for the group.

Monday, May 20: “Evgeny Onegin” at Vakhtangov Theatre

Evgeny Onegin is Pushkin’s most famous work. It has been brought to life on stage many times and in very many ways. This production at Vakhtangov Theatre, directed by Rimas Tuminas, is in its premiere. Tuminas is a very well known director and his work is very popular. Earlier in the semester our students saw his “Uncle Vanya.” After seeing “Uncle Vanya,” “Evgeny Onegin” jumped to the top of our student’s must see lists. Why? Tuminas has a way of taking a story his audience knows so well, stripping it to it’s bare bones and pulling out something fresh while managing to keep and highlight the author’s intention.

Wednesday, May 22: “Mayakovsky: Top Secret” at Plum Palm Theatre

Our biomechanics class with our professor Maria at her show “Mayakovsky: Top Secret.”

Plum Palm is a tiny theatre space. A room, that seems to serve as an art gallery by day, with a few lighting instruments and a few chairs for the audience. It’s a great reminder that theatre can happen anywhere. Most of our theatre experiences in Moscow are at the large state theatres. Thanks to the invitation by our Biomechanics professor and director of “Mayakovsky: Top Secret”, Maria Shmevich, we had the great chance to sit in an audience of less than twenty for an intimate and fresh theatre experience. The show was based on the poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky and was rich with movement. Seeing this show was a great way for our students to see the work that they are doing with Maria in class on the stage and to understand how it can be used and how it can develop.