Московский Художественный академический театр

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The Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre

The repertoire theatre Московский Художественный академический театр (Moskovsky Khudozhestvenny Akademichkiy Teatr) or the Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT) played a prominent role in Bulgakov’s life.

This theatre was established in 1897 by the famous Constantin Stani-slavsky (1863-1938), real name Constantin Sergeyevich Alekseev, and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danshenko (1859-1943). Their ideas would introdu-ce very modern concepts for theatre and they are considered as the foun-ding fathers of the modern theatre, even far beyond the Russian borders. Their ensemble theatre rebeled against the heavily stylized theatre of the 19th century with its strongly realistic oriented way of acting and producing. Their first success was their fifth production, The Seagull by Anton Che-khov (1860-1904). By the way, the MKhAT's logo is, still today, a seagull.

As a theatre director, Stanislavsky focused on the complete harmony and coordination of all phases of a theater play's production process. His production of Chekhov's plays, in which he tried to leave out rhetorical clichés and to focus on the emotions and the complex philosophy of the characters, did not pass unnoticed. He forced his actors to identify themselves with the inner life of the characters, he thought that a natural use of body and voice were very important. His training method, known  as the Stanislavsky method or method acting created a furore throughout the world and was taken over by Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio in New York City.

In 1926 the Moscow Art Theatre produced Bulgakov's play The Days of the Turbins, based on his novel The White Guard. The critics were furious because Bulgakov portrayed the White officers with much sympathy, but the public loved it, and so did Stalin. The sets and the costumes were designed by Ilia Sudakov following the usual realistic standards of the MKhAT. Since 1943 the MKhAT has a famous theatre school which, since 1922, got a branch in the United States with the Stanislavsky Summer School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Moscow Art Theatre still exists. In fact, there are even two theatres with this name in Moscow today. At the Chekhov Art Theatre, the piece Мастер и Маргарита, directed by the Hungarian János Szász, is on the repertoire since September 7, 2011.

The Gorky Moscow Art Theatre

In good Russian tradition - look at what happened to the Bulgakov house - there was a long internal conflict which spilled over into the newspapers, and the Kremlin decided in May 1987 to split up the Moscow Art Theatre. Director Oleg Efremov remained as head of one half of the MKhAT while actress Tatiana Dronina took charge of the other. The split quickly turned ideological, with the first MKhAT naming itself Московский Художествен-ный академический театр имени А. П. Чехова or, in short, the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre and the second to be called Московский Худо-жественный академический театр имени М. Горького, or the Gorky Moscow Art Theatre. The Chekhov MKhAT is situated in the original theatre building at Kamergersky pereulok, which was designed in 1902 by the famous modern architect, Franz Osipovich Shekhtel (1859-1926), who also had designed the house in which Bulgakov situated the hospital of doctor Stravinsky. The Gorky MKhAT is in a huge modern building at Tvers-koy Bulvar, just across the Herzen house, which was the prototype of the writers’ house Griboedov's.

At the Gorky Art Theatre, the piece Мастер и Маргарита, directed by Valerij Belyakovich, is on the repertoire since April 21, 2009.

The Stanislavsky Theatre

Another theatre in Moscow related to Constantin Stanislavsky is the Мос-ковский драматический театр имени К.С. Станиславского or the Mos-cow drama theatre K.S.Stanislavsky. It's a smaller theatre on Tverskaya ulit-sa, right between the two MKhAT's. It exists since 1935 and was created by Stanislavsky as a studio. The last three years of his life he trained actors there. The Stanislavsky drama theatre presents regular performances of The Master and Margarita still today.

Since 2008, the artistic director of the Stanislavsky Theatre was Aleksan-der Galibin, the actor who played the role of the Master in Vladimir Bortko's TV-series Master i Margarita. In June 2011 he got dismissed and replaced by Valery Belyakovich, who is, continuously directing adaptations of The Master and Margarita for the Moscow theaters South-West and Arbat since 1993.

At the Stanislavsky Theatre, the piece Мастер и Маргарита, directed by Sergey Aldonin, is on the repertoire since February 1, 2001.

Московский Художественный академический театр имени
А. П. Чехова

(Chekhov MKhAT)
Kamergersky pereulok no. 3
Ticket desk: daily 12.00-19.00.
Tickets: about 50 roubles (1,25 euro).

The Chekhov MKhAT
Click here to see a 360° photo of the Chekhov MKhAT

Metro: Театральная (Teatralnaya) - Охотный ряд (Ohotniy ryad)

Московский Художественный академический театр имени
М. Горького

(Gorky MKhAT)
Tverskoy Bulvar no. 22
Ticket desk: Mon-Sat 12.00-15.00, 16.00-19.00.
Tickets: from 50 to 500 roubles (from 1,25 to 12,50 euro).

The Gorky MKhAT

Metro: Пушкинская (Pushkinskaya), Тверская (Tverskaya), Чеховская (Chekhovskaya)

Московский драматический театр имени К.С. Станиславского
(Stanislavsky theatre)
Tverskaya ulitsa no. 23
Ticket desk: daily12.00-15.00, 16.00-18.00.
Tickets: from 100 to 1.000 roubles (from 2,50 to 25,00 euro).

The Stravinsky theatre

Metro: Пушкинская (Pushkinskaya), Тверская (Tverskaya), Чеховская (Chekhovskaya)

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