Is your child ready to see some more grown-up theatre productions? A good place to start is the Russian Academic Youth TheatreRussian: Rossiyskiy akademicheskiy molodezhnyi teatr or Российский академический молодежный театр (abbreviated RAMTRussian: РАМТ in Russian). This theatrical company focuses on performances for young audiences. For decades, the theatre has remained a favourite for young Muscovites and visitors to the capital alike. The careers of many famous playwrights, writers, and artists associated with developing a children’s repertoire are linked to this theatre. These personalities include Sergey Mikhalkov and Viktor Rozov, Lev Durov and Irina Muravyeva, Oleg Anofriev and Sergey Shakurov, Oleg Efremov and Veniamin Smekhov. The theatrical company’s icon was everybody’s favourite Valentina Sperantova, who played tender, feminine roles such as mothers and grannies, and who served the theatre faithfully for many years.
The theatre is easy to find – it is located in the very heart of Moscow (2, Teatralnaya SquareRussian: Teatralnaya ploschad or Театральная площадь), keeping company with the most distinguished of Moscow’s theatres: the BolshoyRussian: Большой and the MalyRussian: Малый. Such honourable neighbours demonstrate the popularity and prestige of RAMT. The theatre obtained its permanent home here in 1936, when it bore the name the Central Children’s TheatreRussian: Tsentralnyi detskiy teatr or Центральный детский театр.
Since 1992, it has been called the Russian Academic Youth Theatre. The change of name was prompted by the extension of its repertoire when the theatrical company began staging productions for adults too. Updated classics as well as insightful contemporary drama productions feature at RAMT. It has a truly diverse repertoire; you can see Chekhov’s “The SeagullRussian: Chayka or Чайка” along with “Rock’n’Roll” by Tom Stoppard.
THE EPIC PAST
The theatre’s first performance is considered to be Natalia Satsa Russian stage director who ran theaters for children for many years’s production of “The Pearl of AdalminaRussian: Zhemchuzhina Adalminy or Жемчужина Адальмины”. This 1921 premiere laid the foundation of the Moscow Theatre for ChildrenRussian: Moskovskiy teatr dlya detey or Московский театр для детей – the country’s first public children’s theatre. At the time of its foundation, Sats was an 18-year old aspiring actress, not yet an internationally recognised director. She worked in collaboration with directors N. Volkonsky, A. Diky, A. Granovsky, composers A. Alexandrov (the author of the Soviet Union and the current Russian anthem), and D. Kabalevsky – an ensemble of talented artists and scriptwriters. In the 1930s, the theatre collaborated with famous writers E. Schwartz, D. Daniel and V. Kataev. Each performance targeted a specific age group. The founders intended to create a theatre which would engage its audience and be capable of having a positive impact on children. There was a museum affiliated with the theatre with both artistic and pedagogical resources.
THEATRE BUILDING AND AUDIENCE HALL
The building in Teatralnaya Square is rather remarkable. It was built in 1821 (to the design of F. Shestakov with the participation of O. Bovean Italian-Russian neoclassical architect who supervised reconstruction of Moscow after the Fire of 1812). The house was connected with theatrical life from the start, as A. Ostrovsky, a classic Russian playwright, gathered his famous Artistic circleRussian: Artisticheskiy kruzhok or Артистический кружок in the 19th century, while in 1898, the Emperor’s New TheatreRussian: Imperatorskiy novyi teatr or Императорский новый театр opened its doors here. At the beginning of the 20th century, the building housed S. Zimin’s private opera where Shalyapina Russian opera singer sang.
The hall design in RAMT allows actors to perform at almost the same level as the audience. Theatre connoisseurs recommend buying tickets in the third row stalls to get the best view, but the first row of the circle is also a good option.
NEW HISTORY AND THE MODERN REPERTOIRE
In 1937, Natalia Sats was persecuted as she was the daughter of “an enemy of the people”. Following this, most of the old team left the theatre. This was the start of a whole new period in theatre history, which intertwined with the lives of other generations. It was at the Central Children’s Theatre in the late 1930s that Sergei Mikhalkova Soviet and Russian author of children's books and satirical fables’s play was staged for the first time. In 1949, theatre visitors could watch the play “Somewhere in SiberiaRussian: Gde-to v Sibiri or Где-то в Сибири” by young aspiring director Georgy Tovstonogova Russian theatre director, the leader of Saint Petersburg Bolshoi Academic Theatre of Drama and Viktor Rozov’s first piece “Her friendsRussian: Eyo druzia or Ее друзья”. Young Oleg Efremova Soviet/Russian actor and Moscow Art Theatre producer played here in the performances “A Page of LifeRussian: Stranitsa zhizni or Страница жизни” and “Good luck!Russian: V dobryi chas! or В добрый час!”.
Since 1980, the artistic director has been Alexei Borodin. Over the years, he has staged “Les MiserablesRussian: Otverzhennye or Отверженные”, “Trap №46, Height TwoRussian: Lovushka №46, rost vtoroy or Ловушка №46, рост второй”, “BereniceRussian: Berenika or Береника”, “Erast FandorinRussian: Эраст Фандорин”, “Yin and YangRussian: In i Yan or Инь и Янь”, “The Coast of UtopiaRussian: Bereg utopii or Берег утопии,” “NurembergRussian: Нюрнберг”, “Scarlet SailsRussian: Alye parusa or Алые паруса”, “Electra’s FateRussian: Uchast Elektry or Участь Электры”, “Chekhov GalaRussian: Чехов Gala”, “The Cherry OrchardRussian: Vishnevyi sad or Вишневый сад”, etc. Many of these productions can still be viewed at the theatre. Today, the RAMT directors are focussed not only on performances for children, but also on what is popular with the youth in general, while the names of contemporary authors stand side by side with those of Russian classics on theatre posters.
The theatre goes on tour a lot and interacts with many of its colleagues abroad. Among its artistic partners are the Berlin theatre Freundschaft, a theatre for children from Minneapolis, Bosko Buha theatre from Belgrade, and a production group from Japan. The Russian Academic Youth Theatre has four theatre lovers’ societies affiliated with it: the Arts SocietyRussian: Klub iskusstv or Клуб искусств (set up in 1957), the Family SocietyRussian: Semeynyi klub or Семейный клуб, the Theatre DictionaryRussian: Teatralnyi slovar or Театральный словарь, and the Drama Study ClubRussian: Teatrovedcheskaya sektsiya or Театроведческая секция.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com