Sergey Zhenovach: “I was stunned by all that happened to me”

In the Moscow art theater finally became the new artistic Director — Sergei Zhenovach. Walked in, awkwardly hunched, although very high, embarrassed, as if apologizing for the fact that by fate he was in a historical spot, right on the main helm of the Russian theatre. But the power of fate in the fact that in this case it is not missed. In any case, many believe.


photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

— Sergey, I see the hand of fate that a difference of ten days leave “Three sisters”? Konstantin Bogomolov at the Moscow art theatre and you have in the Studio theatre arts (STI).

We did it completely without saying a word, and I think it will be very interesting. I have a presentiment, what are your opinions… on the one hand will say: “Here at the Moscow art theatre were interesting, search, revolutionary, and in the STI — traditional, Mat…”. But it is our job, we write a performance — we’re not made, they are born, and then there evaluation. And the fate of…

Here everything is so messed up, because the Studio of Oleg Pavlovich has arisen from the course of GITIS, where he taught Konstantin Arkadyevich Raikin, Valery V. Fokin and Andrey Droznin. And Alexander D. Borovsky was not just an artist, he created “the Box”, and then was invited to the Art theatre, and then went to the Studio, now again go back. It’s a cycle… When I was in school, we taught Rosa Abramovna Orphan, one of my favorite teachers, which in the Moscow art Theater worked as a Director and directed plays. I myself even participated in the crowd scenes of the play “So we will win” in the theater Doronina. It’s part of my life. And the first review of my play “Vladimir of III degree” wrote Oleg Tabakov. And he was proud of: “Serge, do not forget that I said it first, what is performance and what is the Director”. And he invited me to a production of “the White guard”, calling January 1, and I thought it was a joke.

And “the White guard” is all too close and familiar people. The performance suffered a lot during “orange” revolution in Kiev, Yushchenko and woman with braid (Yulia Tymoshenko. — M. R.) was standing in front of a Billboard of “the White guard” on Khreschatyk — we were there on tour. I regret I never bought it. And Alla Borisovna Pokrovskaya godmother STI. So those relationships in life exist. Here on the wall hanging picture Mat tree: everything is reflected somehow in monosyllables, and in fact, everything is more complicated and lasts for several new generations in the branches interwoven. This idea of a perfect theater, which is invented, it draws, and everyone will assume that it is the perfect theater.

The theatre is unable to adjust to 80 people

— When the Minister of culture has presented you to the company, he announced that the Studio of theatrical art becomes a branch of the Moscow art theatre. What will this mean de jure and de facto?

— When Oleg Pavlovich was a Studio, it was considered the city theatre and the Moscow art theatre and STI — Federal theatres, and legally I can’t simultaneously hold two positions. So STI is an independent theatre, but if there is some need, as Oleg Pavlovich, when he became artistic Director of the Moscow art theatre. But here his own troupe, many different artists, has its own atmosphere, the mood, the repertoire — let’s hope I figure it out. How to understand Vladimir Lvovich (Mashkov. — M. R.) in the theater, and if there is a need for cooperation, we all can help each other, there are no issues.

But this does not mean that you will be invited in the role of their students? Especially that there a lot of guest.

— In any case. There are some artists great, great, legendary young — we need to understand.

— You are well met at the gathering with applause. But you do not cut, do not hurt that that day when the Ministry of culture announced your appointment to the Mat, here called an emergency gathering of the troupe, has put forward an alternative candidate.

— I speak sincerely do not know about it, even though I called. But I was so dumbfounded by all that happened to me, it had to comprehend. On the other hand, I understand that the life of the theatre, and that there is some excitement at the beginning of a new stage — this is normal: people are vulnerable, dependent, and they have concern for their fate, especially when everything happens so suddenly.

— Oleg Pavlovich came to the Moscow art theatre, first began to collect star troupe, appeared media persons. Indeed, here the artists are very much removed, and under performers, especially the star, build a repertoire.

Not only Mat, but even our little theater is going through. But today, the artist can’t belong to only one theatre, and the theatre itself is concerned, that he was loved, knew film works, to work in another theatre. It is a sign of our time. When I worked on “the White guard”, Oleg Pavlovich has asked me to take in a performance of a variety of artists who came from Peter, someone came out of the “Woodwork” so I joined them. And I love to do in life: unite, all the time something is organized by the Studio “Man”, Workshop with Peter N. (Fomenko. — M. R.) and Evgeny Borisovich Kamenkovicha composed. And then with Alexander D. Borovsky — STI. So I was used to.

— And yet you do not intend to forbid artists to act?

Is important priority: if you serve in this theater, your house, your employment history, and all plans are subject to this home. If you at some point in life it does not matter — go to the contract system, on two, on three plays, arrange payment etc. and the system is not someone invented now, and in the time suggested by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko — I do not remember exactly who of them. So they had the constant company and the variable and constant translated into a variable and Vice versa. Only then to the cinema treated very carefully and jealously — to participate in other theatres, but times have changed.

Because the repertoire is sought under idea, not under artist, and this is also the idea of the Art of theatre: they have assembled a troupe under the repertoire, which the theater want to do. And not that there is such and such an artist, let’s it will think the play is a different story. So now, I think, has the flexibility, intelligence and understanding that everything can collude. And if the person doesn’t want, well, then he leaves.

— Dramatically. Even if it is a star actor?

If he doesn’t want to work in the theater, how? It all depends on the uniqueness of the event, but the theatre is unable to adjust to 80 people, it does not happen.

When there is a crappy theater, it is a shame

— You returned to the Moscow art theatre Damira Ismagilova, a great lighting designer. And who else would you like to invite?

— Today, someone called, it’s already here. This is the main artist Alexander Borovsky, Damir Ismagilov. It’s important to me: that I should start something here to do, I have to go around the whole farm, to meet people. I am not offended if someone serves a statement and go — starts another phase in life, that’s fine…

I’m not Oleg Pavlovich and not Oleg, not pike, not Cedar. And neither worse nor better — just different. Just the chosen one, which for me was unexpected, but I will try to mobilize themselves and match history to come up with development and gradually, gently, slowly, based on its understanding of work.

— The team is not only artists, but also administration. Who is the Director?

— Yuriy Kravets, he worked here, he knows everything.

— As a family reacted to your appointment status in the theatre?

— Parents are gone… And in Krasnodar rejoice.

Means, Krasnodar will now have as Saratov? Do not think for snobbery — that’s a lot of talented people in the province, and Oleg Pavlovich proved it.

— That’s right: Oleg Pavlovich welcome, outdoor… There are talented guys all the way open.

— How many people in the Mat troupe?

— More than hundred people. That’s a lot. It is not the quantity, but that all reasonable and sensible to do. Can’t play more than 60 shows on three different stages. The theater is open seven days a week. I still need to understand and to calculate economic, employment view. The artist’s how: today is empty, tomorrow much, today there is a proposal in the cinema, tomorrow — no. And people can’t play 40 plays a month, even a young one — he istrazivaca. In General, all individually, so we need to delve into. It is very hard work in any theatre collective, can they be misconceptions, surprises, but it’s part of our life.

— Decisions you will make alone or with a team?

— For this I need a creative team to assemble. Need to meet people, to have a talking. That’s not what came with the axe to cut down the cherry orchard. I think some decisions could be sharp, sudden, but they must be built from a situation of understanding that said Stanislavski on 14 June 1898 at the first meeting of the Art theatre: “I believe in shared, collaborative, friendly work”. Here it all unites.

— How much you give yourself time to all this preliminary work to understand and to do?

Up to the end of the season, two months. Now, we produce the “Three sisters” in the STI, which is also run plays, and this life I can not stop. I will produce a show and start watching here to meet people — with Directors, with an average generation, with young people, eminent people, and to impose next season. Before taking a decision, you need to delve, as said Stanislavski, in the given circumstances. And only then to accept.

— Here’s your friend Vladimir Mashkov in addition to all invited the troupe of “Snuff” the original idea — development ambidexterity, that is, to learn to write with both hands and, thus, to develop the two hemispheres and to develop. Do you have any original idea?

— Vladimir Lvovich — absolutely unique person, can’t all be as Vladimir Nazarov. But we can’t all be like Sergey, Rimas V. (Tuminas), Yuri Nikolaevich (Butusov) — we are different, and that’s the beauty. And the difference of each feature emphasizes the other person.

— The last question. What you are in the theater, whether it is STI or Mat and will not tolerate under any circumstances?

— My friend already, sorry, late, Yura Galperin — said, “What a rotten theatre!”. When there is a crappy theater, I just feel ashamed for the profession, outside the wall, for themselves, for spectators. What a rotten theatre? When this occurs light-headedness, arrogance, depravity in terms of behavior, lewdness when there is cabalista — Stanislavsky used that word. When my interests are more important than the service, although this idealistic formulation, but the only true. When there is ego, you are in conflict, consider themselves wronged. It is impatience when you can’t wait and wait — then there is the filthy theatre.

And when there is a moment of tolerance to each other, the joy that all together and unites all the work — then there is the theatre. But does not just happen, it takes work, to be attentive to each other, to love. Without love there can be nothing. This is a very banal words, they often speculate and close. But even Mikhail Aleksandrovich Chekhov wrote: “You go to the Playground and, no matter what the person in front of you or standing, obliged to be a partner.” Love on the obligation impossible, it means to fall in love: the theater, the troupe, the audience, to get involved in these people. Then something will occur. And if not, then there is the tedious, boring work when you’re afraid to go to the rehearsal room, don’t want to see artists, I glance at the clock — when flour is your end. This is the crappy theater, which turns into their labor, mindless work. And the only thing all have in common.

— It is an impossible task — to unite all different.

— And create the perfect theatre is easy? And a happy family? And to live a life to love and to die in one day? But we live, and it is our energy, as said by Leo Tolstoy — the energy of delusion. Without the energy of delusion to live with. But misguided and sincerely believe that the way it should be. These misconceptions our destiny.

Congratulations, Sergey: you have a great misconception — the Moscow art theatre. Chekhov.

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