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“Theatre for everyone” – a peek into the backstage of the “temple of arts”


Today, 22 theatres of St. Petersburg opened their backstage to the general public – marking the city’s birthday. Only those, however, who registered in advance. From to 10 to 18 free excursions, cultural talks and open rehearsals had been held. Kseniya Eremenko did not miss a thing


Kseniya Eremenko, reporter: “This is rearward - the back part of the Mikhailovskiy Theatre’s stage. It is an altar of the arts temple, of some sort, and entrance here is strictly prohibited to spectators. Decorations to future stage plays are being kept here. Today the “Yolanta” is on stage. The audience will see a spectacular Middle-Ages entourage, but the most interesting things – as per usual – will be concealed in the backstage”

For a whole day – as part of the “Theatre for everyone” event – justice was restored. Spectators were shown what is kept beyond the heavy curtain. They were taken through empty corridors of the theatre and were even allowed to witness a rehearsal.

Actors have text sheets in their hands and are not wearing their costumes, big columns are replaced by anything they’ve managed to find backstage. But this spectacle is the most interesting one – admit the most loyal viewers. They have never seen the Mikhailovskiy Theatre so real. The end of the excursion is greeted like a grand premiere – with a round of applause.

Irina Melekhova, spectator at the Mikhailovskiy Theatre: “We were shown the dressing room, the rehearsal room and were even allowed to take to the stage. Although they didn’t let us roam along the stage – only stand on its brink – but we still enjoyed it very much”

While 20 theatres of the city are displaying the soul of the arts temple, the Kommisarzhevskaya Theatre is walking in the dark bowels of a man’s soul. Ivan Krasko was quick to tell his listeners – he likes when its all equally fair on the stage and behind the curtains. 

Poems of a favorite poet mixed with real life stories. He’s been a loyal servant of this Theatre for half-a-century – and it is not an often case when he had no decorations or a costume. Only his naval past is showing a little. 

Ivan Krasko, renowned actor of Russia, Komissarzhevskaya Theatre: “The striped shirt – is the way I remember my service at the navy and im happy it brought me up with a law, which works for the theatre stage too – one for all and all for one”

It is usual that a theatre begins with a cloak room. One could take seats right at the entrance to the Molodezhniy theatre. As if 3 centuries were not there. Gorgeous dames and gentlemen – those close to Katherine the Great – were walking down the Izmailovskiy Garden’s pathways. Napoleon Bonaparte was put on a donkey – to remind of the 1812.

All roads again lead to backstage. The premier of a new season – Arthur Miller’s “The Price” – is being rehearsed right before spectators’ eyes. They learnt what the decorations would be like even before actors did. But directors are sure – this will not diminish the interest to the play. Theatre is a lot more than multi-layer decorations and expensive costumes. The whole of the backstage lives only for what will later be shown on the stage.