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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Alexander Korshunov: “Theatre is about people and for people”

Created by Yekaterina Yelanskaya in 1981, the theater “Sphere” continues to conquer new horizons and maintain a friendly dialogue with the audience. The chief Director is the son of Catherine Ilyinichna Alexander Korshunov – shared with the “MK” memories and reflections on the life of the theatre in the Hermitage garden, where he is going and developing.

Ekaterina Elanskaya. Photo By V. Schultz. Photo courtesy of the theatre “Sphere”

– Alexander Viktorovich, you are now chief Director of the theater and continue the work begun by your mother, Yekaterina Yelanskaya. Tell us how she had the idea to create such an unusual theatre, “Scope”?

– It was her hard-won need. She graduated from the School-Studio of the Moscow art theater in 1952, started out as a wonderful actress, worked at the Maly theater, Mayakovsky Theater. And then decided to go to Maria Osipovna Knebel in directing graduate studies. My mom has always been this Director’s beginning, which is, apparently, from her father, Director Ilya Yakovlevich Sudakova. And her first performance – “the Little Prince” at the Theater of Stanislavsky, “a month in the country” in the Theater Yermolova, “Taste of cherry” in “the contemporary” – have become events. But then she caught the idea of creating my own, new theater, where the audience and actors will exist in one “sphere of communication, interaction, dialogue.

– When the “Sphere” got its building?

– The first performances of the future “Spheres” are born and exist at a variety of venues: he played in museums, historic halls where it has been acquired by years the atmosphere where the atmosphere, the environment helped create a vivid contact between actors and spectators. 1 June 1981, a decision was taken about creation of the Moscow drama theatre “Sphere”. At that time the theatre had a residence in the Palace of culture “Rubber”. And in 1984, in November, opened the current building in a garden “the Hermitage”, which was rebuilt on a special project.

– The poster of the theatre – the names of prominent authors of foreign and Russian literature: Bulgakov, Pasternak, Chekhov, Exupery, Maugham… Tell me, how was formed the repertoire during the Yelanskiy and what principles have now?

Mom was a very educated man and knew the literature. Since childhood I read a lot of Shakespeare, Ostrovsky, Pushkin… It is believed that the present communication may only occur on the basis of a truly deep dramatic material. And always looking for something unopened, fresh and new modern sounding. It all started in directing her fate with “the Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. In General, he was a significant author in her life… In “the Field” was one of the first put works of Bulgakov’s “Theatrical novel”, “Crimson island”, “the Fatal eggs”, “Bliss”, “Doctor Zhivago” Pasternak, “Before the roosters call thrice” and “I came to give you freedom” Shukshin “In the forests and in the mountains,” Melnikov-Pechersky… she brilliantly wrote dramatizations of the works. Today we defining high literature, a sense of novelty and discovery, the correlation with the present.

Ekaterina Elanskaya. Photo courtesy of the theatre “Sphere”

– How important is it to have the performance reveals something to the viewer, had a new sound?

– You know, the show must be a Museum exhibit, and a live conversation with the audience. I try the criteria to follow now. Theater is inevitably changing and will change, it is natural. Theatre is not supposed to be dead, it needs to evolve with people and time. It is important that the original principles and traditions were preserved, it is impossible to betray them. “The only available person luxury is the luxury of human communication”, – said Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It is the “sphere of communication”, the essence inherent in the title, is the most important.

– You work with the invited Directors – please tell us about this collaboration.

– From the first steps in the theater as a chief Director, I turned to leading workshops, directing with a request to recommend to us students. First there was Julia Belyaeva is a graduate of the Studio of Leonid Heifetz. She made her first performance of “Aphrodite” the stories of Andrei Platonov, after the premiere we invited her to become a full-time Director. Then she released “Raskas” by Shukshin, “Cranks and bores” by Ulf stark and the current Premier of “Fiesta” Hemingway – his fourth in a row. Then came Volodya Smirnov is a student of Sergey Zhenovach. “Fatherless” Chekhov in his performance on the Small stage is a great success. In my opinion, and Smirnov, and Belyaev – our people, “spherical”: working with actors, the vision of the material, approach. And I’m very glad they “found”. Then we invited the famous Director Marina Brusnikina. In my opinion, she is a person with a genuine civil and creative position, well acquainted with modern literature and drama. I am very thankful to her because she accepted my proposal, despite its enormous employment. And so a year ago she released her performance of “Appeal hearing” based on the novel of Anton Ponizovskogo. The very form of the construction of the novel and how it was read by the Marina, very in the spirit of “Spheres”. And now we have a student of Oleg Kudryashov Victoria Pechernikova – rehearsals of the play “the Viper” by Alexei Tolstoy. Premiere to be held in October.

Alexander Korshunov. Photo By V. Kabanova. Photo courtesy of the theatre “Sphere”

– You have recently released the premiere of “the Elder son” on the play vampilova, known to viewers of the film Melnikov Karachentsovu and Leonov. Not afraid of comparisons, associations?

Was afraid, of course. From time to time it was stopping me. But thanks to my wife, a stage artist all my plays Olga Korshunova, yet decided. She was advised to take up this play. The film I have seen many times and know well. In it Nina was played by my classmate Natasha Egorova, I remember a time when she went on a shooting… That was our fourth year, we seem to have learned, and she came from the shooting and she was telling about how he worked Leonov. In General, the history of my connection with old Vampilov: the School-Studio of MKHAT favorite for me was the role of the old man Eremeeva from “Last summer in Chulimsk.” And the play “the Eldest son” I fully appreciated only in the rehearsal process. Only immersed in it with the actors, we realized how deep it is – it is impossible to show that mentally it is not spent and do not understand heart.

Alexander Korshunov. Photo I. Alpatova. Photo courtesy of the theatre “Sphere”

– Your theatre, fortunately, stands apart from the scandals, but he also takes part in theatrical awards such as “Golden Mask”, “hit of the season”… Why?

– This is a complex question. In it is a plus that the theater stands alone – it needs to have their individuality, not merge with the General flow. But the way of life that a lot depends on the information field, how often and hear a lot the audience about the theatre, about the events taking place in it. Indeed, the “Sphere” at some “rave” round festivals and awards did not fall. But of course you need to see about theatre better known to his circle of spectators widened. And we all are doing here. In recent times we have more to go. For the year, “Sphere” visited Melikhovo festival at the Platonov festival in Voronezh, at the International festival in Tbilisi, at the Gorky festival in Nizhny Novgorod, the Festival of solo performances in Chelyabinsk, at the festivals “Volga seasons” in Samara, “Compatriots” in Saransk, “At the Trinity in Sergiev Posad. Was marked and received awards. And for next season there are plans: in September we will go to the festival “Golden gate” in Vladimir in December in Ulyanovsk to the festival “the History of the Russian state. The Fatherland and destinies”, and in October we have in theatre to close the festival “Postermobile space” spectacle “Appeal hearing”. I remember my mother childishly happy when her performance of “I came to give you freedom,” received a bronze diploma of the “Golden knight”, was happy that she noticed, came, appreciated. And this season, “Sphere” has received 4 awards of the festival “Golden Vityaz”. A big pleasant surprise it was to receive the prize of spectator sympathies “the Star of Teatral” for “Ordinary history” as the best performance of small forms. It is unfortunate that the mother, during his lifetime, such awards did not receive… Although she deserved it like no other!

Busygin – Anatoly Smiranin, Nina – Nellie Shmelev. Photo I. Ephraim. Photo courtesy of the theatre “Sphere”

– You are driving a 35-year-old large ship named “Sphere”… See what horizons are we going?

– We want our theater was about people and for people. At all times the viewer needs genuine spiritual communication, can be, in our time – as ever. If the audience is coming to us, finds friends here, and we warms the soul, if he finds support and help is what we live and exist. 1st of June we celebrated the anniversary at home, but in the fall will make a great festive evening. One of the first performances of “Sphere” was a musical and poetic staging of Catherine Yelanskaya “what keeps the peace” with Evgenia Simonova and Henrietta Egorova in the title roles. The anniversary evening with the same name we want to do and for the 35th anniversary of the theater.

A scene from the play “the Eldest son”. Photo I. Ephraim. Photo courtesy of the theatre “Sphere”

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