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Andrey Maksimov: Is it good or bad for a director to be at the head of the theater? – russian newspaper

Date: April 12, 2024 Time: 17:10:27

The main thing, of course, is the recent appointment of Alexei Dubrovsky as chief director of the Maly Theater. It was sad to say goodbye to Yuri Methodievich Solomin, a great artist and a very good person. But I am glad that Dubrovsky became the main director. He is about a man whose deep roots are in the Maly Theater. But the most important thing is that he is a very good director (Rossiyskaya Gazeta has written about his performances more than once).

The problem is that he did not run the Maly Theater, as many happily wrote. Because the main director is not a leader. Let’s figure it out.

Under Soviet rule the position of “artistic director” did not exist. Therefore, all great theaters were headed by great chief directors. Lyubimov, Tovstonogov, Goncharov, Zakharov, Pluchek, Vladimirov, Efremov, Volchek, Zavadsky… The list goes on. All of these people were called chief directors, they ran their theaters and determined their identity.

All great theaters have been directed by great directors. Lyubimov, Tovstonogov, Goncharov, Zakharov, Pluchek, Vladimirov…

We must understand that the situation has now changed. The founder, or the Ministry of Culture or the Department of Culture, works according to two schemes.

First. The direction of the theater is in charge of the artistic director, who reaches an agreement with the director. Basically, the artistic director is what the chief director used to be. Second. The management of the theater is carried out by the director, who, in turn, reaches an agreement with the chief director.

Did you feel the difference?

In theory, this means that the director will deal with financial issues and the chief director with artistic issues, but, first of all, in the theater these issues are closely related. And, secondly, in fact, we know very well: there are theaters that are run by directors, and although there are chief directors, it is they who determine the policy and life of their team.

Everyone will argue with me, but, in essence, the chief director is the deputy director for artistic affairs. If, for example, I, as a director, want to stage a play at Lenkom or at the Vakhtangov Theater, I will, of course, go to the director’s office, understanding that the director has the final say. Anyone in my place would do the same.

Now the question is: what will it be like at the Maly Theater? Maybe there are some special arrangements? This is unknown. But the surprising thing is that if you go to the theater’s website, in the “Direction” section, the first thing you will see is a portrait of the theater director Tamara Anatolyevna Mikhailova. She is followed by Alexey Vladimirovich Dubrovsky. Behind him are the deputy artistic directors and deputy directors. But it is not written that Dubrovsky is the main director! Let’s hope this is some kind of unfortunate accident. Personally (but who will ask me?) I don’t understand why Dubrovsky was not appointed artistic director, but like everyone who loves the Maly Theater, I hope that the director and the chief director managed to reach an agreement and everything. It will be OK.

It would be absurd to think that our cinema will be produced by producers and theater will not be directed by directors. Is it good or bad for a director to be in charge of the theater? In the theater everything is determined by success and the box office.

The Vakhtangov Theater, in my opinion, is the only one in Moscow that limits sales for some performances: no more than two tickets per order. Let me point out: we are not talking about comedies, but about very serious works, even with a tragic plot. If the theater is sold out and there is a lot of demand, it means there is a good director.

Is it good or bad for a director to be in charge of the theater? In the theater everything is determined by success and the box office.

We recently said goodbye to Viktor Novikov, long-time director and artistic director of the Komissarzhevskaya Theater in St. Petersburg. He was a wonderful, intelligent, kind person and a wonderful director. So it all depends on the person, not the position. But you have to understand that directorial theater is, as they used to say, “the call of the times.” It does not cancel out the Soviet version of the theater, directed by an outstanding theater director, but complements it.

There is tension with prominent theater leaders. What determines the success of any performance? Word of mouth, what today I would call “Internet”. Whether they’re talking about the performance or not, that’s the question.

Yuri Grymov, for example, has just directed Coelho’s novel, but there is already talk about the work. They talk, argue, about almost any premiere of the Moscow Art Theater. It seems to me that Konstantin Khabensky steers his ship with confidence. There is an endless debate about the Mossovet Theater; It seems that theater is at the epicenter of controversy and discussion. About Sovremennik they are silent. I haven’t heard much about the School of Modern Play theater, but there is clearly some kind of life there: premiere after premiere.

However, I’m sorry. There is no longer such a theater as the “School of Modern Play”, there is the “Trubnaya Theater”. Because? Because the new artistic director didn’t like the old name. For the same reason, the “Theater of the Moon” will be renamed “Theater of Malaya Ordynka”.

I don’t like the Teatro de la Luna, but I like the School of Modern Play. But it’s not that. Isn’t it nonsense to change the name of a theater based on the tastes of its new director? What if the next one also wants to change the name? Of course, it’s not about the quality of the performances, but about respect for predecessors, especially if they are the founders. It is also important.

Snowstorms in Moscow will subside – spring will come. And theaters will only get busier. All the more interesting. We will keep an eye on them.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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