Glas Spiritual TheatreRussian: duhovnyi teatr «Glas» or духовный театр «Глас» is the only theatre in Moscow that has received the blessing of the Russian Orthodox ChurchRussian: Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov or Русская Православная Церковь and the Patriarch’s “For Diligent Work to the glory of the Russian Orthodox Church” award. Its founders believe that their project bridges the gap between the Church and dramatic art. The word “spiritual” reflects the aims of the theatre. The stage director Nikita Astakhov’s idea behind the creation of the theatre was to “introduce the church to the mind of theatre goers”. Excerpts from the Gospels, canons and prayers have all become part of the performances, a novelty after the fall of the Soviet Union. “The theatre does not replace the Church, and it will never do so,” said Astakhov, “but its objective is to help Russians to find the road towards the temple”.
The founders and directors of the theatre, Honoured Artist of Russia Nikita Astakhov and Honoured Actress of Russian theatre Tatyana Belevich, founded the theatre in 1989, in the years of perestroika when people were able to speak openly about their religious beliefs. In the several decades of its existence, the theatre has formed its own highly professional and like-minded theatre company that now stages productions which are truly unique. The Glas Theatre’s first performance, staged on Easter 1989 was ‘Easter SundayRussian: Svetloe Voskresenie or Светлое Воскресение’.
The theatre puts on performances based on the works by classical Russian writers, such as Alexander Ostrovsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Sergei Yesenin, Mikhail Lermontov, Sergei Nilus and Ivan Shmelyov, along with plays by Nikita Astakhov and Tatyana Belevich (Grand Duchess E. F. Romanova. The ReturnRussian: Velikaya Knyaginya E.F. Romanova. (Vozvraschenie) or Великая Княгиня Е.Ф. Романова. (Возвращение), That is Infant Jesus HimselfRussian: Eto sam Hristos-malyutka or Это сам Христос-малютка, For Holy Russia!Russian: Za Rus Svyatuyu or За Русь Святую, Thank You, Grandpa, for the VictoryRussian: Spasibo Dedu za Pobedu or Спасибо Деду за Победу, etc.). The theatre has also staged productions based on the works of modern writers, including Vasily Shukshin (Vanka, Keep Your Eyes OpenRussian: Vanka, ne zevay or Ванька, не зевай!, We’ll Live, We Won’t DieRussian: Zhivy budem - ne pomryom or Живы будем - не помрём!), pope Andrey Kononov (Easter at Vyatskiye UvalyRussian: Pasha na Vyatskih uvalah or Пасха на Вятских увалах) and Vladimir Krupin (Love Me As I Love YouRussian: Lyubi menya, kak ya tebya or Люби меня, как я тебя!). Konstantin Leontyev’s The Soul’s ChildRussian: Ditya dushi or Дитя души» and Pyotr Gnedich’s Burning LettersRussian: Goryaschie pisma or Горящие письма were staged for the first time in the theatre.
In staging these classical works, the founders of the theatre address eternal themes and attempt to encourage their viewers reconsider their lives. The Lord’s Servant NikolaiRussian: Rab Bozhiy Nikolay or Раб Божий Николай is particularly effective in this regard. The first part of this production draws on Nikolai Gogol’s The Old World LandownersRussian: Starosvetskie pomeschiki or Старосветские помещики, and the second is based on The Ordeals of St. TheodoraRussian: Myitarstva Prepodobnoy Feodory or Мытарства Преподобной Феодоры. In the second part, Afanasiy Ivanovich and Pulkheriya Ivanovna die, and spectators are subjected to the ordeals of their souls in the afterlife. A total of twenty ordeals are explored in just 15 minutes, and this never fails to awaken deep interest in viewers.
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The Korsun’s LegendRussian: Korsunskaya legenda or Корсунская легенда draws on two Old Russian literary sources, The Primary ChronicleRussian: Povest vremennyh let or Повесть временных лет by Nestor the Chronicler and The Sermon on Law and GraceRussian: Slovo o zakone i blagodati or Слово о законе и благодати by the Kievan Metropolitan Hilarion. The latter work was staged for the first time in history, and, interestingly, the canons and all the scenes are in Old Russian. This theatrical performance emerged from a project conceived by the Patriarchate on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of the death of Vladimir the Greatthe ruler from 980 to 1015 , who Christianized Kievan Rus. Stage director Nikita Astakhov decided to keep this production, adapting it to the stage of the Glas Theatre. The theatre’s target audience is adults, therefore theatre pillows and boosters supports are not provided. Administrative directors suggest that parents seat their children in the first rows so that they can see the stage well, and that they themselves be seated in the last rows.
The theatre has also staged numerous productions for the youngest spectators (3+). To date, these include Korney Chukovsky’s Fairy-Tale WorldRussian: Skazochnyi mir Korneya Chukovskogo or Сказочный мир Корнея Чуковского, the Christmas story That is Infant Jesus Himself and the Easter performance Easter at Vyatskiye Uvaly.
The Glas Spiritual Theatre is located in the centre of Moscow, near a metro station. The theatre hall is chamber-like. A few steps from the entrance, visitors walk down a small staircase and get to the cloakroom; the box office is next to it. The auditorium is on the second floor, preceded by a vast room looking more like a cozy living room with flowerpots on windowsills and curtains. An icon-case stands in the middle of the room next to the window, and portraits of theatre artists and numerous certificates of appreciation hang on the walls.
Instead of a snack bar, there is a slot machine selling various beverages. The 73-seat auditorium is very cozy, with the stage being level with spectators.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com