(Grigory Zaslavsky’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headlines, 5/31.)
From Fonvizin and Chekhov to Tolstoy, all on stage.
The most famous Russian authors wrote not only voluminous novels but also plays for theater. Most of them retain their relevance and are staged the world over to this day. Russia Beyond asked Grigory Zaslavsky, the prominent theater critic and director of GITIS, the Moscow-based Russian Institute of Theater Arts (one of the biggest theatrical institutions in the world) to compile a list of the most famous Russian plays and suggest the theaters in Moscow and St. Petersburg where one can see them.
- The Minor, Maly Theater, Moscow
The first plays for the Russian theater were written in the second half of the 18th century. But their language sounds so archaic to the modern ear that it’s practically impossible to find them in today’s repertoire. But The Minor by Denis Fonvizin is a rare exception. What is more, some quotes from the play are still in use in more or less everyday Russian – for example, the words uttered by the central character, teenager Mitrofanushka: “I don’t want to study, I want to marry.” Today you can see the comedy in Moscow at the Maly Theater.
Photos: Maly Theatre: Wikipedia; The Minor: Russia Beyond the Headlines