Drama theater premiere: “Chekhov is not in the same bag as imperial creators”

Drama theater premiere: “Chekhov is not in the same bag as imperial creators”
Drama theater premiere: “Chekhov is not in the same bag as imperial creators”

“It’s about pain. Everyone feels the same, I also feel the circumstances in which we live now, the fire around us, the fire within us”, says the world-famous director about the play “Fragment”, which will be premiered next week by the audience of the Klaipėda Drama Theater. Dmitry Krymov.

He claims that he is in love with the actors of this theater, and the latter say that they will miss this creator.

At that time, theater managers claim that nowadays, when there is a boycott of the culture and creators of Russia, which invaded Ukraine, the choice to stage a play based on Anton Chekhov’s play “Three Sisters” should not raise any doubts, although they admit that there were discussions about it. And everything is clear about the choice of the director, who has been living in the USA for some time.

Rehearsal of the play

Rembrandt was obtained from the black square

The play is created by resisting the circumstances of the beginning of the third act of “The Three Sisters” – the fire.

“This is a play about life. About our life, as Chekhov wrote. About a terrible environment, about trying to help others, trying to survive in those circumstances, to preserve humanity, to help others without thinking about yourself. Extreme conditions are needed for love to appear and for a person to forget that he is selfish. <�…> He is about pain. Everyone feels the same, I also feel the circumstances in which we live, the fire around us, the fire in us”, D. Krymov said during the press conference held on Thursday.

According to the director, his goal was to take a fragment, a molecule and “show everything”.

According to D. Krymov, A. Chekhov has both incredible empathy and the coldness of a pathologist.

“He was the cruelest doctor. He could treat but not heal. He couldn’t even heal himself”, said the creator.

Actor Darius Meškauskas, who plays in the play, said that only in critical situations do you see who is who, which people have values, and which people only pretend to have them.

“In this case, fire is a condition for the manifestation of human empathy. For me, this is a play about hearing other people’s voices, about unfulfilled hopes. There is very little Chekhov’s text in the play, but there is his world, his themes”, said D. Meškauskas.

His colleague Regina Šaltenytė said that this performance is very extreme and technically complex.

“This is a non-traditional performance in our theater,” said the actress, cheering on her young colleague Samanta Pinaityte, who is literally running a marathon here.

D. Krymov said that he came to Klaipėda with an idea like a seed, and with the help of actors, artists, and a lighting artist, it turned into a performance. According to the director, the light painter Eugenijus Sabaliauskas made the painting – “he made Rembrandt out of a black square”.

The director also praised set designer Irina Komissarova, who said that this work became therapy for her at a time “when she can’t solve the things that are happening around us now”.

“Wonderful people. I can only work when I’m in a good mood. They gave it to me every day with their eyes, facial expressions, attention, concentration. The first sign of a good actor is that he comes to rehearsal on time. It was all there. The second is that he hears what is being asked of him, understands it deeply and does it immediately. It has to be an organism that reacts instantly, not tomorrow, because I will have another option tomorrow, I need me now to know where I made a mistake. They did it instantly. I fell in love with them, as funny, out-of-date as it sounds. Acting nonsense can often be heard, but that was not the case here. There was nothing unnecessary in the work”, D. Krymov said when asked how he evaluates the Klaipėda actor.

The discussion was only about Chekhov

“When everything turned around in Russia, Tomas (theatre director T. Juočys – ed. post.) was the first person with whom the relationship developed very naturally. I respect him not only because he is a nice person, the manager of a great theater, but also because he didn’t say “wait”, “not now, you understand” at that difficult time – that’s what many people said – and he, on the contrary, said “come on let’s do it i’m here.” And it was such a friendly gesture that at that moment it brought me to tears, it touched me very deeply emotionally. Now I’m glad it did. I don’t know how big the show will be. But I’m very happy that I took this friendly hand,” said D. Krymov in an interview released by the theater itself this week about how it came to be in Klaipėda.

Dmitry Krymov. Dom Rimeika’s photo.

When asked whether, in these times of boycott of Russian culture, they are not taking risks when staging such a performance, T. Juočys said that every time a new production is started, there is a risk that many things may fail.

“But if you look for enemies among yourself, you can find them. Theater does not do politics, it creates art. We hope that the audience will like the performance”, said T. Juočys.

The artistic director of the theater, Gintaras Grajauskas, for his part, said that there were no complaints about D. Krymov, because he already in 2014. found himself in the “clear camp”.

“The discussion was about Chekhov. Now we throw all Russian culture into one bag and together with the imperial creators, Chekhov falls there, even though he is a completely anti-imperial author. Intelligent people should not have any complaints about this performance”, said G. Grajauskas.

In response, D. Krymov himself said that it is necessary to “destroy not culture, but non-culture, which, unfortunately, makes up a large percentage of Russia”.

“Unfortunately, there is very little culture there, it just wasn’t destined to blossom and conquer that place. Deep down in Russia, they won’t know who Chekhov is, who Pushkin is. What will they know there when they don’t even have a washing machine. Culture unites and prevents bad behavior. Culture strengthens a nation, makes it a nation, not a mass. I say that a crowd comes to the theater, and the nation leaves, if the performance is right,” said the director.

When asked if he still has hope of ever creating in Russia, D. Krymov replied that he does not want to lose it with all his might.

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Tags: Drama theater premiere Chekhov bag imperial creators