“…From childhood we’re crazy about the fact that art isn’t simply work. The history of Russian theatre is such, that we believe our work to be holy. We worship it. We are raised on the books of Stanislavsky and Vakhtangov. But they didn’t simply work in the theatre – they created it, they lived in it, they raised their children in it. They built themselves a church…”
In 1953, Anatoly Efros married Natalia Krymova, and on 10 October 1954, they gave birth to a son, Dmitriy Krymov.
In 1953, M. O. Knebel and K. Y. Shakh-Azizov invite Efros as a director to the Central Children’s Theatre.
“…The best day of my life was, of course, the day when I was accepted into the Central Children’s Theatre.
Before that, I worked in Ryazan, and all of a sudden – Sverdlov Square, the Bolshoi Theatre visible through the windows. A huge auditorium, beautiful rehearsal rooms, famous actors. The whole year, looking the theatre over as I walked by, I thought: Is it really possible that I’m working here? How beautiful was that surprise at and pride in the place where you work…”
Anatoly Efros’ ten-year tenure at the Central Children’s Theatre was a turning point in the history of our country’s theatre: the appearance of V. S. Rozov’s plays ushered in the appearance of an absolutely new subject matter on the stage for its time – the voice of the younger generation, the voice of youth, demanding and asking questions – resounding for the first time in Soviet theatre. And it was the particular incarnation of this dramaturgy in Anatoly Efros’ shows that raised this subject to an all-time height.
Efros directed four of Rozov’s plays during this period: “Good Luck!”, “In Search of Happiness,” “Unequal Battle,” and “Before Supper;” he also worked with other contemporary authors: “Borrowed Part,” by S. V. Mikhailkov, “The Three of Us Went to the Virgin Lands,” by N. F. Pogodin; “A Tale about Tales” by A. Zak and I. Kuznetsov; “Free Masters,” by Z. Danovskaya; “Kolka, My Friend!” by A. Khmelik; “Former Boys” by N. Ivanter; “The Wishing Flower” by V. Kataev; and “Them and Us,” by N. Dolinina. He then turned to the classics, having directed “Boris Godunov,” by A. S. Pushkin, and “Marriage,” by N. V. Gogol.
He began teaching in a studio at the Central Children’s Theatre. He actively took part in the creation of the Studio for Young Actors, later to become the studio-theatre “Sovremennik,” and there in 1958 he directed “Anyone,” by E. de Filippo.
Apart from this, he directed “Hedda Gabler,” by H. Ibsen, in the Film Actors’ Studio-Theatre, and two shows in the Ermolova Theatre: “The Visions of Simone Machard,” by L. Feikhtvanger and B. Brecht, and “Away and at Home” by A. M. Volodin.
In 1961, the film “Noisy Day,” directed by Anatoly Efros and Grigoriy Natanson, came out, based on the Rozov play “In Search of Happiness.”
In 1962 Efros worked on the film “Leap Year,” and then in 1963 both worked on “Twins on the Steppe” and wrote a screenplay based on the A. P. Chekhov play, “The Seagull,” in the hopes of filming it.
“…When the Rozov shows were playing, we were often told in the Central Children’s Theatre that their form was amorphous, that we were imitating MXAT. We got angry: what “form?” There is spontaneity and naturalness, there is nature. The natural psychological immediacy; the cult of the living, the often accidental; improvisation; freedom of movement onstage – and no magic…