“In a quarter-century, an entire generation was born and raised without the chance to see Efros’ shows, to feel his living presence, to be witnesses to his arduous and surprising life. What do they know about him?”
The A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum is bringing together eras of the theatre and generations of its people anew. From 19 May through 10 June, 2015, we will hear about Anatoly Efros’ theatre and bear witness to the distinguished director’s creative laboratory. The Museum, along with the Moscow Cultural Center “ART MIF,” invites the very widest audience – those who love theatre – to the events of the program, “Anatoly Efros. The Space of the Master-Class,” coinciding with the 90th anniversary of the “Master’s” birth.
The official opening ceremony will take place on 18 May, International Museum Day, in the A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum’s 120th anniversary season. This is no accident. Theatre was the passion of the Museum’s founder, Aleksey Bakhrushin (1865-1929). For Anatoly Efros, theatre was life itself. He directed more than 80 theatrical productions. His innovative work was filmed for television and broadcast on radio. Efros even worked in film.
“I would like to put together my own theatre,” he dreamed, “my own workmanship – which would be the fruit of my observations and my own judgments. But it’s so hard. It’s almost impossible. It seems to me that truth needs to exist in art, the actual and real truth, and complete freedom of stylistic, genre, scenic, and directorial techniques.”
The heart of the program will be the master-classes by leading theatre critics and directors, which will occur every week from 20 May through 10 June, in Karetnyy Saray (on the grounds of the Museum’s Main Building on ulitsa Bakhrushina). You will be able to listen to, ask, and study with Aleksey Bartoshevich, Inna Solovyeva, Aleksey Borodin, Yuriy Butusov, Rimas Tuminas, Sergey Zhenovach, Evgeniy Kamenkovich, and Dmitry Krymov. The master-class space in Karetnyy Saray is a free, creative, friendly space of dialogue on theatre. “Innovation and mastery – let it be new, so long it’s masterful! –” wrote Anatoly Efros, “should live in harmony.”
All master-classes will take place in the context of the exhibit, opening on 19 May and continuing through 10 June. According to project curator Maria Chernova, exhibition designers Valentina Ostankovich and Filipp Vinogradov didn’t aim to recreate the director’s “chronicles of life and art,” given the artistic preference for the Master’s theatre and his “living word.” Presented in the exhibition are rare video recordings of Anatoly Efros’ rehearsals while directing shows in the U.S., Japan, and Finland; unique audio recordings of his master-classes; video clips of performances and interviews; texts written by Efros himself; photographs from personal archives… Quotes by the director will be projected on the walls of Karetnyy Saray: “He who loves theatre goes even on New Year’s, in the snow, the rain, the heat…”; or, “To ‘progress’ is a very serious word!”, together with brief anecdotes on the nature of the theatre and its people.
In celebration of the Master’s birthday, the A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum and the Moscow Cultural Center “ART MIF” have published the next book on the director’s legacy, “Anatoly Efros’ ‘A Month in the Country.’” The book’s compiler is Efros’ friend and assistant of many years, his permanent literary manager Nonna Skegina. The book is devoted to the creation of a production based on I.S. Turgenev’s play, “A Month in the Country,” by the director and the actors of the Theatre on Malaya Bronnaya. It is a detailed research of the work on a production which cardinally changed the theatrical life of Turgenev’s play. In the book are included the director’s personal and work notes, rehearsal materials (October 1976 – April 1977), iconographic material, a timeline of the production’s life on stage, and other documents of interest, both for specialists and wider audiences.
Another unique publication by the A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum and the Moscow Cultural Center “ART MIF” is a CD and DVD set, featuring recordings of television and radio programs by the famous theatre critic and lecturer Natalya Krymova (1930-2003). Her guests included Georgiy Tovstonogov and Faina Ranevskaya, Oleg Efremov and Iya Savvina, Viktor Rozov and Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy… The set is not intended for sale – it will be given as a gift to the country’s theatre institutions.
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