Russia is proud of its theatrical art and today I will tell you about it.
Stanislavsky developed the system to measure the skill of the actor and improve it and now this system is known all over the world. His famous words “I do not believe” are still heard on various repetitions. Why is Russian theater so special?
Plays for the theater have always been created by the best writers, and certain performances convey the nature of their respective eras so well – that you can practically witness 18 or 19 century yourself. Russian theater is quite serious – you can rarely find inappropriate things in performances. The theatre, as Russians believe, should not only serve as a source of entertainment, but also a source of truth, a certain spiritual revelation – that enlightens people with its plays.
There are, obviously, more shocking and “raw”, profane performances – that focus on nudity, bad language or mindless modernization of the popular plays – but they are rarely popular in the eyes of the general public. Generally speaking, Russian theater tends to preserve traditions and leans more to the conservative ideals and topics. To this day, getting a ticket to a famous actor’s performance is quite difficult and should be done 2 or 3 months before the play.
The repertoire of the Russian theaters is wide – you can find both European and Russian authors here. Of the most notable Russian ones are the plays of Pushkin, Gogol, Saltykov – Shchedrin and Ostrovsky. Even though they are classic, there still exists a school of “careful innovation” amongst the theater directors – such interpretations do not include obscene language, but try to cautiously innovate and modernize the language of the play. Plays like this are popular and are slowly becoming more and more famous each year. There is also a rising number of modern plays – that have been first played in 1980 and even 2015!
Why is the theater so popular now? If you ignore its quality and prestigious properties the main factor of the popularity of theater in Russia are its themes – always important and quite philosophical in their nature. The conflict of generations, faith, love, death, nobility, reality. Themes like this will never be forgotten and they raise questions in their audience that films simply cannot provide them with.
But Russian theater is not only made for plays – opera and operettas are widely popular among Muscovites. Most of the operas that you can see today in Russian theaters were written by Glinka, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov – great composers with an incredible sense of rhythm and acute knowledge of human soul.
The theatre has always been a mirror for the society – and Russian theater is no exception. In the times of Soviet Union, the performances were centered around regular people – their moral ideals, dreams and routine life. Rozova, Arbuzov, Zorina, Vampilova – plays of these famous soviet authors are rare guests in the repertoire of modern theaters – but still can be seen, and should be seen to witness first-hand the lives of people, whose ideals and society are so distant from us right now.
So, have you understood Russian theater a little bit more? Come visit one of these plays personally!