Volkov Theater (Театр Волкова) Yaroslavl

 Volkov Theater (Театр Волкова) Yaroslavl


Description of the Volkov Theater

Volkov Theater is the largest and one of the most famous of Yaroslavl theatres. Its history dates back to 1750 when Fyodor Volkov gathered several artists into a first professional theatre. It was pioneering enterprise and throughout its history it kept a reputation of innovative approach to acting. In fact it was so popular that Fyodor Volkov was invited to a capital of a Russian Empire Saint Petersburg shortly he found his theatre. The group of artists and supporting staff moved and a new Volkov Theatre was resumed in the early 19th century.


Current neo- Classical building that houses Volkov Theatre was built in 1911. It has two stages for performances with a total capacity of 1000 seats for spectators.


Russian State Academic Drama Theater. Fyodor Volkov is located in Yaroslavl, on Volkov Square.

The Yaroslavl Theater owes its birth to Fyodor Grigorievich Volkov, a director and actor. On June 29, 1750, when he was only 21 years old, he gave his first performance with his comrades. It took place near a large barn where Fyodor's stepfather, the merchant Polushkin, used to store leather goods. The repertoire of this theater included the tragedies of Sumarokov, Lomonosov, plays by D. Rostovsky, satirical performances created by Volkov himself.

The first tour of the Volkov Theater took place in St. Petersburg, where they were invited by Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. Volkov became the creator of new theatrical forms, staging a "national show", the Masquerade "Triumphant Minerva", which was staged in Moscow during the coronation of Empress Catherine II.

Volkov strove for the general availability of theatrical performance and its democratization, which was very important for the development of the Russian stage. Volkov's traditions were further developed by Ivan Dmitrevsky, who was Volkov's comrade-in-arms, and went from a simple writer of the provincial chancellery to the rank of an academician. Volkov's case was continued by Dmitrevsky's students, the great Russian tragedians Katerina Semyonova and Alexei Yakovlev, then by Pavel Mochalov and Mikhail Shchepkin.

In the first half of the 19th century. In the works of the best actors of the Volkovsky Theater, a new stage truth was asserted, a bright realistic beginning was ripening, as opposed to a rather routine style of play.

An event in the life of the Yaroslavl Theater was the tour of the masters of theatrical art V.I. Zhivokini, V.P. Samoilov. At various times, E. Martynov, G.N. Fedotova, V.V. Charsky, K.N. Poltavtsev, N.Kh. Rybakov, P.M. Medvedev, Ira Aldridge, M.V. Dalsky, brothers Adelheim, M.N. Ermolova, K.A. Varlamov, V.F. Komissarzhevskaya, M.G. Savina, V.N. Davydov. In the 1890s. Konstantin Stanislavsky performed at the theater.

In 1909, a competition was announced for the design of a building for the new Yaroslavl Theater (by that time the old one was already dilapidated). The victory in the competition was won by the architect N.A. Spirin. The new theater building was opened in 1911. At the same time, the theater was named after F.G. Volkova. In 1914 - 1916. a well-known in Russia young director I.A. Rostovtsev, who gathered a strong troupe and attracted the attention of the audience with the performances of "The Seagull" by A.P. Chekhov, "Bourgeois" by M. Gorky.

In the second half of the 1930s. the troupe of the Yaroslavl Theater united the stage masters into a slender ensemble, who for many years determined the creative person of the theater. Among them are A. Chudinova, S. Romodanov, V. Sokolov, A. Magnitskaya, S. Komissarov, G. Svobodin. V. Politimsky. In the 1930s. theatrical repertoire was represented mainly by Ostrovsky's drama.

During the Great Patriotic War, most of the Volkovites went to the front.

Since the 1950s. the theater entered a period of real prosperity. The best actors - Valery Nelsky, Grigory Belov, Alexandra Chudinova, Sergey Romodanov, Klara Nezvanova - carried a huge charge of classical Russian theatrical culture in their work. From 1960 to 1978 the theater was directed by an outstanding figure of theatrical art, Firs Shishigin. A significant historical stage of the Volkovskaya stage is associated with his name. In the early 1960s. the energetic director Viktor Davydov worked on the stage of the Volkov Theater.

At the turn of the 1970s - 1980s. Russian theatrical traditions were continued by Vladimir Kuzmin, who headed the theater. At this time were staged "Fake Coin" and "Barbarians" by M. Gorky, Mother's Field "by Ch. Aitmatov," Nightingale Night "by V. Yezhov. In 1983-1987. the theater was directed by Gleb Drozdov. At this time, the theater for the first time abruptly broke away from its origins. Drozdov defended the theater of performance and spectacle,
anticipating the coming era of market and commerce, incl. and in entertainment enterprises. In the early 1990s, the theater was headed by Vladimir Vorontsov, who foresaw and reflected the rhythms of that era in his work.

Since 1996, Vladimir Bogolepov has become the chief director of the Yaroslavl Theater, who studied with the famous "old people" of this theater, honoring the artistic achievements and historical traditions of the theater. The theater set a course for world and Russian classical drama. The theater is actively touring Europe and establishing new creative ties.