In the last few years, I worked at MXAT already for the third time. I work with the same people that once considered me to be anti-MXAT. It turns out that we can understand each other beautifully. There are some people who, instead of finding something in common between various artists, and enriching one person’s craft with another, enjoy confrontation. They sow discord in one group about another. At least, that’s how I feel that that some have behaved with us.
At MXAT, I worked with the youngest and the “most senior.” They were called “senior” because there was no way you could call them “old.” Such was their training and temperament that these people couldn’t be old. At work, they were disciplined, understanding, concise. Fascinating. Once, I asked Stepanova and Prudkin to speak their minds about one of the scenes in “The Living Corpse.” Then, I proposed my solution. Their reaction was stunning. They both remained silent for a second, having attentively listened to me, and then, without communicating with each other, started laughing. This laughter signified, better than words of any kind, that they understood me. Afterwards, there was no need for a single extraneous question. Their mastery was such that once they understood and agreed on something, it meant that they would do it. And that was hardly more than our first acquaintance. From that time onward, I impatiently awaited the arrival of such people at each of my rehearsals. Curious and fresh eyes, a bright mind. Stepanova was, let’s say, fifty…certainly no older than sixty. But that’s not what matters. What matters is that they were from the MXAT where “Three Sisters” premiered. And that was the stuff they were made of.