The Gorky Moscow Academic Art TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy khudozhestvennyi akademicheskiy teatr im. Gorkogo or Московский художественный академический театр им. Горького (MKhATRussian: МХАТ) is one of the most famous theatres in Moscow. It is located in the city centre, in Tverskoy Boulevard Russian: Тверской бульварat a distance of 30 minutes walk from the Kremlin. The theatre descends from the Art TheatreRussian: Khudozhestvennyi teatr or Художественный театр, which was created in 1898 by the world famous K. Stanislavsky and V. Nemirovich-Danchenko. The current theatre is loyal to the legacy of its founders and stage only plays based on classical theatrical literature, in keeping with the traditions of realism. Artistic Director and People’s Artist of the USSR, Tatiana Doronina, focuses on realism and searching for truth in the theatre’s works. She has been at the helm of the theatre since 1987.
History and Repertoire
Chekhov MKhTRussian: MKhT im. Chekhova or МХТ им. Чехова and Gorky MKhAT theatres are historically intertwined and appeared after the split of the Moscow Art Theatre into two theatre companies in 1987. The first took the name Gorky MKhAT (“Doronina’s”) and the second – Chekhov MKhAT ( “Yefremov’s”), after the names of their directors. “Doronina’s” MKhAT represented a “return to Stanislavsky”, turning its attention to Russian and foreign classical plays by Chekhov, Gorky, Bulgakov, Dostoyevsky, Ostrovsky, Turgenev, Shakespeare, Hugo, Goldoni, and Moliere. Even today, these plays comprise the basis of the modern MKhAT repertoire. Plays by famous Soviet and modern playwrights and writers like Alexander Vampilov, Viktor Rozov, Alexei Arbuzov, Alexander Tvardovsky, Konstantin Simonov, Edvard Radzinsky, Yuri Polyakov are staged here too.
Classical Russian plays by Alexander Ostrovsky are featured quite often here. These include “Guilty without FaultRussian: Bez viny vinovatye or Без вины виноватые”, “The ForestRussian: Les or Лес”, “The Handsome ManRussian: Krasavets muzhchina or Красавец мужчина”, “Belugin’s MarriageRussian: Zhenitba Belugina or Женитьба Белугина”, “It’s not All Shrovetide for the CatRussian: Ne vse kotu maslenitsa or Не все коту масленица”, “The BankruptRussian: Bankrot or Банкрот” (“It’s a Family Affair – We’ll Settle it OurselvesRussian: Svoi lyudi - sochtemsya or Свои люди - сочтемся”), “The SavageRussian: Dikarka or Дикарка”, “Othello of a District TownRussian: Otello uezdnogo goroda or Отелло уездного города” (“Sin and Sorrow are Common to AllRussian: Grekh da beda na kogo ne zhivet or Грех да беда на кого не живет”). Productions based on Anton Chekhov’s works also enjoy a great deal of success: “The Cherry OrchardRussian: Vishnyovyi sad or Вишневый сад”, “Three SistersRussian: Tri sestry or Три сестры”, “All Yours, Antosha ChekhonteRussian: Ves Vash, Antosha Chekhonte or Весь Ваш, Антоша Чехонте”. In his lifetime, Anton Chekhov was one of the major playwrights of the Art Theatre his plays were first staged here in 1898. As Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko would say: “the “SeagullRussian: Chayka or Чайка” emblem symbolises our creative element, our infatuation with Chekhov, his enormous role in MKhT”. Tatiana Doronina restored V. Nemirovich-Danchenko’s production of the play “Three Sisters” in 2016 to mark 150 years since the writer’s birth. People’s Artists of Russia Valentin Klementiev, Mikhail Kabanov, Vladimir Rovinsky and others perform in the production.
Tatiana Doronina is not only the theatre’s Artistic Director and Director but also an actress. She currently stars in performances “Vassa ZheleznovaRussian: Васса Железнова” and “An Old Actress in the Role of Dostoyevsky’s WifeRussian: Staraya aktrisa na rol zheny Dostoyevskogo or Старая актриса на роль жены Достоевского”.
The Blue Bird
“The Blue BirdRussian: Sinyaya ptitsa or Синяя птица”, a play for children, is considered one of the best-known productions to come out of this theatre; it has been running for 110 years. This long standing performance is passed from one generation of MKhAT actors to the next. The stage sets, the music, and the costumes are exactly the same as they were during the lifetime of the theatre’s creator, Konstantin Stanislavsky. Accompanied by Ilya Satz’s beautiful music, it is a genuinely magical play. It has been performed over 5000 times, making it symbolic of the theatre itself, together with Chekhov’s famous seagull, the curtain, and its posters.
The Building of the Theatre
The building, especially constructed for the Moscow Art Theatre in 1972, houses the Gorky MKhAT today. It is an architectural landmark and an outstanding example of 1970s Soviet architecture. The interiors are monumental and make extensive use of dark wood and stone. The auditorium and the lobby are paneled with wood. There are two halls in the theatre. The Grand Hall with three tiers of balconies seats 1345. The lobby features portraits of the actors and its productions. In the centre are actors’ costumes which have been previously used in plays. Here, you will also find portrait sculptures of the theatre’s founders – Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko.© 2016-2019 moscovery.com