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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Theater Links Russia, U.S.

A fledgling Russian-American cultural center is beginning to take shape on the basis of a group of Russian and American theater enthusiasts who have founded the new Russian-American Theater. Since early summer, the theater -- also known by its acronym of RAT -- has given a few scattered performances of "Danton's Death" by Georg Buchner and "The Brides" by Harry Kondoleon, an American playwright who died two years ago from AIDS.

Last week an earnest, if bare bones performance of "The Brides" was held for the press and followed by a press conference conducted by Georgy Savelyev, one of RAT's chief organizers. Savelyev noted that the theater and the cultural center are primarily the ideas of two young Americans, Matvei Yankelevich and Daniel Kleinfeld, both of whom come to Moscow from time to time to work on various projects.

Savelyev pointed out that the plans for the cultural center include theater productions, musical evenings, an experimental laboratory and acting lessons, all of which are intended to bring Russians and American together in creative joint projects. A dual-language production based on Joseph Brodsky's work, "Life Is an Export Commodity," is planned for the near future by actor and director Igor Pekhovich.

An appeal to the U.S. Embassy for support was reportedly met with understanding but no firm commitment yet, while the Andrei Sakharov Archive has supplied the group with some space and an official address. For more information, call Georgy Savelyev at 335-6682.


Over the weekend Taganka Theater director Yury Lyubimov marked the opening of his theater's 32nd season with a press conference that gave him the opportunity to express -- one might even say ramble on about -- his opinions on a wide range of topics. On the war in Chechnya: "Of course it's a defeat. All shameful wars end in defeat." On Alexander Lebed: "Lebed gave me a huge gift when he put an end to the slaughter." On the struggle with Nikolai Gubenko over control of the Taganka: "I fight the way the Chechens fight." On acting: "When I was a kid I thought, 'what a great job! You just go out and talk. That's something I can do until I die.'"