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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


One thing can be said in advance about the Second Chekhov International Theater Festival: It will be a whopper. Opening March 30, with a performance of "The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky" by the Parisian Compagnie Champ Libre, it runs through July 4, closing with Georgio Strehler's acclaimed production of Marivaux's "The Island of Slaves" for the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. In all, there will be 35 productions by troupes from 16 countries. Performances will be given in the various troupes' original languages, with headphone translation into Russian provided in most cases. Russia will be represented by eight shows, France by four and Estonia by three.

Other famous directors bringing their work to Moscow are Peter Stein ("Uncle Vanya," the Teatro di Parma and Teatro di Roma, April 2 to 4, and the famous Russian-German production of "Oresteia," April 6 and 7), Eimuntas Nekrosius ("Three Sisters," the Lithuanian Life Theater Festival, April 9 and 10), Peter Brook ("Happy Days," Theatre Vidy-Lausanne, April 11 to 14), and Robert Sturua ("Macbeth," Rustaveli Theater, May 22).

At a press conference on Monday, Deputy Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi noted that "a festival of this scope will provide a unique opportunity to understand the present level of world theater." Valery Shadrin, chief festival organizer and a member of the International Confederation of Theater Associations, admitted that nobody expected it "to be so big."

The first festival, in October 1992, was a three-week affair with 13 shows. This year's festival includes seven additional shows, playing March 16 to 24, which are nominees for Golden Mask awards, to be announced at the Maly Theater on March 25. Tickets from 10,000 to 200,000 rubles (about $10 to $40) go on sale Monday at the International Confederation of Theater Associations, 21/1 Leontyevsky Pereulok, tel. 929-7074, and at various downtown theater ticket kiosks.