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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chekhov Fest Winds Down

It seemed as though it would never come to this, but the Second Chekhov International Theater Festival is on its way out. Thursday's single performance of "Apat" by the Jan Theater from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, is the penultimate show in the theatrical feast that has seen 35 productions from 17 countries pass through town over the last three months. Following the appearance by the Jan Theater, there will be a 17-day lull before the last big entry, Giorgio Strehler's staging of Marivaux's "The Slave Island" for the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. "Slave Island" will run from July 1 to 4, on the mainstage of the Chekhov Art Theater.

"Apat" returns to town a theater that provided one of the most interesting shows in the inaugural First Chekhov Theater Festival in the fall of 1992, and there is reason to think that success may be repeated. In some ways, "Apat" will be a reprise of the 1992 show, "Deli Domrul," which was an adaptation of the Turkoman folk epic, "Gorkut Ata." The current production, also based on "Gorkut Ata," is again directed and adapted by Kakajan Ashir, the theater's artistic director. Ashir, 46, has longtime Moscow connections, having graduated as an actor from the Shepkin Institute of the Maly Theater and having worked for a time as an assistant under Andrei Goncharov at the Mayakovsky Theater.


While on tour in St. Petersburg recently with his Vakhtangov Theater production of "The Queen of Spades," Pyotr Fomenko suffered another heart attack. According to a spokesperson at the Fomenko Studio, the renowned director is now out of immediate danger, although he remains hospitalized in St. Petersburg.

Fomenko, 64, has been a victim of bad health throughout the '90s, even as his productions of "Guilty Without Guilt" (Vakhtangov Theater) and "The Magnificent Cuckold" (Satirikon Theater) have earned him the reputation of Moscow's top director. During the 1994 rehearsals of "Cuckold," Fomenko suffered a heart attack that went undetected until after the premiere, while he has spent much of the current season in the hospital, delaying work on a dramatization of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace," which he is preparing at the Fomenko Studio. This week the Studio is performing its productions of "Tanya-Tanya" and "A School for Fools" without its leader at a theater festival in Bonn, Germany.