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Nikolay Akimov, Theodore Komisarjevsky and Pavel Markov discuss the Soviet theater

BROADCAST: Aug. 16, 1959 | DURATION: 00:46:48

Synopsis

Nikolay Akimov, Theodore Komisarjevsky and Pavel Markov discusses about the Soviet theater. The ending music on this record was edited out

Transcript

Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.

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Studs Terkel Around the microphone are seated three distinguished members of the Soviet theatre. Certainly remarkable artists, directors, each in his own way, contributing much to what is alive in Soviet theatre today. Mr. Markov, who I believe [is? was?] the director of the Moscow Art Theatre. Mr. Komisarjevsky who is director of the Maly Theatre I believe, I'll ask Mrs. [Mamedova?], our very gracious interpreter, more than that, cultural attaché, to help on this. And Mr. Akimov, who is the director and scene designer/producer of a theatre in Leningrad. Am I right in the identification?

Mrs. Mamedova You are absolutely right, sir.

Studs Terkel If we may just have a sort of a roundtable. Perhaps Mr. Markov and his two colleagues might be interested in knowing that his teacher, Konstantin Stanislavski, has sort of revolutionized acting techniques in America. Is he aware of that?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova When our teacher, the Konstantin Sergei Stanislavski, came back from America to the Soviet Union, he had a very high estimation for the acting art of America.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And when he told us about the art of acting in America, he told us that this art of acting in America was very much similar to the principles of the art of acting in the Soviet Union. It was just as simple and convincing.

Studs Terkel Well, the point I was making is that an actor prepares, one of the books of Mr. Stanislavski, "Stanislavski" is the book that became sort of a Bible for many actors in America. The method is pursued here. Stanislavski's technique by many actors. I wonder if--

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova We know about the influence of Stanislavski on the American theater because we had the pleasure to meet American actors and representatives of American theater in the Soviet Union. We had a lot, we had many fruitful discussions on that.

Studs Terkel About how many theatres are there in Moscow today in operation?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Moscow has now approximately 25 or 35 functioning theatres.

Studs Terkel Are these all-week, I mean, are these full-time theatres, with actors being full-time employed?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova I want to say that we don't have any other kind of the theatre in the Soviet Union. We have only repertory theatre.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Most of these theatres have a long tradition and history behind them. The Moscow Maly Theatre exists more than about 150 years. The Moscow Art Theatre has 60 years of famous history.

Studs Terkel What about the Moscow Maly Theatre of Mr. Komisarjevsky here? How does that differ in repertoire, say, from the Moscow Art Theatre?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It will be my pleasure to answer this question. But before I go over to this, I would like to continue to talk about Stanislavski, because this is something important.

Studs Terkel Please do.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova I had the honor to be present at the last rehearsal of Stanislavski, the last because this was his last before he died.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova In a month, after this rehearsal, Stanislavski died.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It seemed to us that before us is staying a man, a wise man, who knows everything that exists in theatre.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Saying farewell to us, he said.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova "I don't want to die."

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It seems to me that only now I start to understand something real in theatre.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It seems to me that I'm just at the start in my understanding of the theatre.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova In remembering this, I would like to stress that Stanislavski was very different in all his creative aspects.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova He always changed and he always discovered something new.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova In the last time of his life, he actually reached the last and absolutely new stage of his thinking.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And that's why, it seems to me, that it would be very important for the American actor, thanks to the cultural exchanges and contacts we fortunately establish in the last time, get more to know about this very important last and important stage of the creative thinking of Stanislavski.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Well, answering now the question you put before me about--

Studs Terkel But before you answer that, might I say that is a very moving tribute, indeed, to a great man of the theater.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Komisarjevsky said that, before he goes to the direct answer to your question, he would like to mention that Stanislavski has started actually his acting as a career with the masters of the Maly Theatre which is important in connection with the history of the Maly Theatre.

Studs Terkel You see, we know little, at least I know little, of the Maly Theatre. All we've heard of is the Moscow Art Theatre, that's why I was interested in this.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova I understand.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Stanislavski started his acting career and his study of the theater in the Maly Theatre. He learned by such great masters of the Russian theater as Shchepkin, Yermolova--

Theodore Komisarjevsky

Mrs. Mamedova

Theodore Komisarjevsky Lensky, Sadovsky. Lensky, Sadovsky. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova These have been the masters of the Russian realism, but he has given to this Russian realism a new modern form.

Studs Terkel Now, if we may, the two theatres. There are many theatres, you say there are how many theatres in Moscow, did you say 25?

Mrs. Mamedova Thirty-five.

Studs Terkel Thirty-five, I beg your pardon. Here are two key theatres, the Maly and the Moscow Art. Are their repertoires similar, or do they differ?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova As you know, the Maly Theatre is called the theater of Ostrovsky, because Ostrovsky was the one who gave the basic repertory to the theatre. And as you probably know, our theatre is known as the theatre of Gorky and Chekhov, so this already gives some foundation for the repertory, but at the same time they have very many similar ideas in their creative method and in the approach to many theatrical problems, but at the same time he would like to stress that the interpretation and the image which is created in both theatres have, of course, differences and nuances.

Studs Terkel And different nuances, but some of the repertoire may be similar if they handle classics of the theater as well as contemporary plays.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Yes, it is very well possible to say it like that.

Studs Terkel If we may, this may be a good place to introduce Mr. Akimov of the Leningrad Theatre who was the producer, director, and scene designer too. Since you mentioned Gorky here, I understand Leningrad Theatre did "The Lower Depths", Gorky's "Lower Depths", is that right, they have done?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Nikolay Akimov [Russian.]

Mrs. Mamedova No, that must be a mistake.

Studs Terkel Oh, that's a mistake.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Studs Terkel I may have the wrong theatre.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It might be, this mistake might be possible because Leningrad has another well-known theater which has the name of Gorky, which has a Gorky repertory and this theater is led by a very famous director and producer, Mr. Tovstonogov.

Studs Terkel Well, the question I had in mind we can touch on later, there's a certain question I, perhaps, can touch on with Mr. Markov and Mr. Komisarjevsky. But Mr. Akimov, what of Leningrad itself? How is this theatrically, are there many, how many theatres?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Though I have to confess that Leningrad has fewer theaters and the quantity is not as big as the quantity of theatres in Moscow, but at the same time I'm happy to say that all the Leningrad theatres have a very original and very expressive creative face, so to say.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova First of all, I would like, of course, to mention the theater which has the name of Kirov.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova This is the famous opera and ballet theater.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Which is quite a competition to the Moscow Ballet.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And then at the same time as the next theatre, I would like to mention the former Alexander Theatre, which has now the name of Pushkin, which is a competition for the Moscow Art Theatre, one of the oldest drama theatres.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And this is the theatre which has the production of "The Lower Depths" by Gorky.

Studs Terkel The reason I asked that question, and this could apply to all three of our guests now all three have been introduced. It was in 1902, I believe, around there that Stanislavski produced, directed Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths", some 57 years ago. Is the production of "Lower Depths", this applies to Mr. Markov, Mr. Komisarjevsky, or Mr. Akimov, any can answer this, is the production the same today as it was then, or what are the differences?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Professor Markov would like to point out that the production of this play in the Art Theatre lives in the original tradition.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The generation of actors, of course, changed, but the production is such and the manner of the director is the same.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova But the search for new creative interpretation goes on.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And as an example of this, I would like to stress that Leningrad Theatre has just produced a play, which is very--the same play, "The Lower Depths" of Gorky, which is a very original and very new production of this play.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Komisarjevsky feels it necessary to add to the characteristic which was given previously of the theatres in Leningrad because he thinks this contribution might be interesting for the American audience.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Just a short time ago, the Leningrad Drama Theatre has produced the play by Arthur Miller, "The Death of a Salesman".

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova This production was a tremendous success and in it participated one of the most important and talented artists of actors of Leningrad, Mr. [Tolobeyev?].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Studs Terkel Willy Loman!

Theodore Komisarjevsky Willie Lomana.

Mrs. Mamedova Yes, he was.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And seeing him play the role of Willy Loman, we had the feeling that even before meeting America in its lively form, we already met this America.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Besides, Mr. Komisarjevsky would like to add that one of the important theatre of Leningrad which has the name of the famous actress [Komissarjevska?], who is a relative of Mr. Komisarjevsky, has produced the play by Hemingway, "The Fifth Column".

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And, of course, Mr. Komisarjevsky feels it important to say at the end something which has been not said by Mr. Akimov because he was too modest about his own theatre and about the theatres in Leningrad.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova There is no question that one of the most important and interesting theatres of Leningrad is the theatre of Leningrad comedy, which is theater of Mr. Akimov, where Mr. Akimov is the main producer, the director, and the stage designer.

Studs Terkel He does all three, then. Mr. Akimov does the sets as well as produces and directs, is that it?

Mrs. Mamedova

Nikolay Akimov [Russian]. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova You are absolutely right.

Studs Terkel A one-man game.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And very often, when we ask ourselves in which field is Mr. Akimov most talented, we are not able to give a definite answer because we feel he is very talented in all three of

Nikolay Akimov them. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Akimov wants to add that he is absolutely satisfied with his different aspects.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Studs Terkel Artists paying tribute to their colleague. If I may, pardon me, since Mr. Komisarjevsky has brought up Arthur Miller, are American playwrights pop--how about Eugene O'Neill? Eugene O'Neill?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Yes, Eugene O'Neill is well known in the Soviet and Russian theater and even during the time of the generation to which belongs Mr. Komisarjevsky, three of his productions were very famous in the Soviet Union: "The Negro",

Studs Terkel

Mrs. Mamedova "Desire Under the Elms",-- "The Negro" would be "All God's Chillun", maybe? Is that the play? It could be, we have different titles, and "The Shaggy Monkey", I don't know how you call this.

Studs Terkel "Shaggy"--"Hairy Ape"! "The Hairy Ape".

Mrs. Mamedova

Theodore Komisarjevsky "The Hairy Ape", yes. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Very well known in the Soviet Union is Lillian Hellman.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova "Ladies and Gentlemens", "Little Foxes" are produced.

Studs Terkel "Ladies and Gentlemen"--What can "Ladies and Gentlemen" be? "The Children's Hour", maybe. "Ladies and Gentlemen". "The Little Foxes"?

Mrs. Mamedova This is the tragedy of translation.

Studs Terkel "Ladies and Gentlemen"--that might be "The Children's Hour", I'm guessing.

Mrs. Mamedova Well, that could be. [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And a great success has been the production of "The Autumn Garden", by the same author, but Mr. Komisarjevsky wants Professor Markov to speak about this because it has been a success of his theater.

Studs Terkel Before Mr. Markov, "Autumn Garden" Lillian Hellman says is her favorite play.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It is a great pleasure and honor to us and to our theatre that the play "Autumn Garden", which has been produced three years ago, is an unfailing success 'til today.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Now the theatre is preparing the play by Arthur Miller, "The Death of a Salesman".

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Which will be produced already in this autumn, this fall.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And I would like to add especially in connection with the degree of popularity of American playwrights, that the most popular children plays in the children theaters in Moscow are the plays by, well, the plays "Tom Sawyer" and "Hickleberry (sic) Finn".

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Of course, Mr. Komisarjevsky wants to mention the successful production of "The American Tragedy" by Theodore Dreiser.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And the theatre of Mr. Zavadsky, who is the producer and director of this theatre, which is not very well known here in this country, theatre which has the name of Mossovet, had the production of a play by Jack London, "The Theft".

Studs Terkel "The Theft"--I wonder what the translation of that would be. We'll come back, perhaps, there's a question--

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Studs Terkel But there's something that Mr. Markov said, and Mr. Komisarjevsky about Mark Twain--"Huckleberry Finn" is very popular among the children. Why so? What would be his reason for the popularity of "Huckleberry Finn"?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Well, Professor Markov thinks that the reason why the play "Huckleberry Finn" is so tremendously popular with Soviet children is just the same reason which makes the other play about "Tom Sawyer" just as popular. First of all, he thinks it's because Mark Twain has a tremendous sense of humor. Then, he has a tremendous humanitarian substance in his creative work. And the last [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Yes. And the last is the tremendous ability to express convincingly the soul of children and teenagers.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Komisarjevsky is of the opinion that children are the same all over the world.

Studs Terkel I agree, of course. What about children's theatre? You've mentioned that. Is there a full-time children's theater in Moscow?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Professor Markov is saying that in the Soviet Union there are approximately hundred children's theatres.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Moscow alone has two permanent children's theatres.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova They have a special repertory which has different degrees depending on the age of children.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova From the very small children 'til the children which are already teenagers, 16, 17 years old.

Studs Terkel Teenage theatre, that's interesting.

Mrs. Mamedova Yes, the repertory is different for all these different ages, but the theatre is the same.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The repertory is a very broad one, beginning with fables 'til the very modern plays about modern life, modern Soviet Union, and so on.

Studs Terkel When they touch--

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova In the Soviet Union, we have a very prominent famous playwright for children whose name is Rozov, and Professor Markov is sure that such a playwright would be of interest to the American audience, too.

Studs Terkel Has there been a translation of?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov Yes.

Mrs. Mamedova Professor Marko hesitates to answer this question. He's not certain about it.

Studs Terkel It certainly would be interest. Mr. Akimov--

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Akimov would like to follow up what has been said by Mr. Komisarjevsky about the fact that children all over the world are the same.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It is sometimes very useful to remember that all grownup people sometime ago have been children.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And, so, it is very well possible to find many similar points between grownups and children and among the grownups themselves, too.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Maybe this is the most important task of the theatre of today.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Personally, Mr. Akimov has been acting and working in the field of comedy.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And is very devoted to this genre.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Observing the theater and the audience in the United States, I have come to the conclusion that your theatres and your audience will find many similar points and many similar thoughts with our theater and audience.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova First of all, there is a striking similarity, the love for humor.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And personally Mr. Akimov is convinced that the laughing of a human being is one of the best expressions of his soul.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Maybe I have come to this conclusion because I belong mainly my competence is in the field of comedy.

Studs Terkel Mr. Akimov, I may, just to describe Mr. Akimov's twinkle to the audience, his eyes twinkled as he said this, and I noticed that Mr. Komisarjevsky and Mr.--

Mrs. Mamedova Markov.

Studs Terkel Markov are in agreement here. Are the humor, this is the subject of humor, this is mucilage that ties people together pretty much. The subject of satire, I understand that there's--is there a theater of satire? There are many satirical plays.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Yes, of course, we do have such a theater, says Mr. Komisarjevsky. And one of the most famous theatres of this kind is located in Moscow and has actually the name of the theater of the satire.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It is a very sharp, a very theatrical theatre.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And one of the greatest merits of this theater today is the rebirth, the resurrection of the playwriting of Mayakovsky.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova With the really brilliant success, this theatre has produced two plays by Mayakovsky,

Theodore Komisarjevsky "The Bedbug" and "The Bath". [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And I think this is a good proof, says Mr. Komisarjevsky, that the satirical feature is pretty strong in the Soviet theater.

Studs Terkel Mr. Akimov.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Akimov would like to stress that it would be not proper to think that the whole satire of the Soviet theater is concentrated in this one theater in Moscow.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Generally we are used to the thought that not a single title of a theatre can give a full expression of the quality of the theatre.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It would be important to say that in the last years of the development of the Soviet theatre, the strain or the tendency of the satire has been very evident in the work of very many Soviet theatres.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And it would be proper to say that there is no, not a single modern Soviet comedy which has not a tendency of satire in it.

Studs Terkel If I may ask a question of satire. Does it satirize? What does it kid? Is there a self-kidding involved here?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Well, the main aim of the satire of the Soviet theater is, so to say, the self-critic. It means the satire about those reminiscent features which are not very proper or, well, dignified in the modern life but which cannot be judged more severely.

Studs Terkel I mean, there is the ability, I mean, to laugh at self, that is evident in the--

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Nikolay Akimov

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian]. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Absolutely!

Studs Terkel Wonderful!

Mrs. Mamedova Absolutely right.

Studs Terkel If we may, then, extend perhaps more. We--thus far, we discussed satire, American playwrights, what of classic? I understand there's classic repertory. Shakespeare.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Komisarjevsky, who represents the Maly Theatre here, would like to stress that Shakespeare is one of the most popular playwrights of the Soviet theatres.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And he is the most popular playwright among the modern Soviet playwrights.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova We have all reasons to say that we love Shakespeare so much as 40,000 of brothers and theatres would not be able to love him.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Today in Moscow, we have two productions of "Hamlet" alone.

Studs Terkel Two productions-- In one city. In one city. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Two--

Studs Terkel Of

Mrs. Mamedova

Studs Terkel In one

Mrs. Mamedova

Theodore Komisarjevsky Two-- Of "Hamlet". Different productions. city. In one city. [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova A "Hamlet" which has been produced by [Oblovkov?].

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And "Hamlet", which has been produced in the Vakhtangov Theatre in the title role with one of our most famous actors, Astangov.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The Maly Theatre.

Theodore Komisarjevsky

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian]. Is producing now "Macbeth" in the translation by Boris Pasternak.

Studs Terkel Oh, Boris Pasternak's translation of "Macbeth".

Mrs. Mamedova Yes. Yes. In the Maly Theatre in Moscow.

Studs Terkel

Mrs. Mamedova

Studs Terkel Is now being done-- Yes. In the Maly Theatre in Moscow.

Mrs. Mamedova Yes.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The Zavadsky Theatre has the [Russian].

Studs Terkel "The Merry Wives of Windsor". "The

Mrs. Mamedova Merry Wives of Windsor". In the theatre of Zavadsky, is produced "The Merry Widows of Windsor".

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova You have seen the production of "Romeo and Juliet" in the Bolshoi interpretation in New York.

Studs Terkel Before Ulanova recently was here in "Romeo and Juliet", people speak of her here not only as a ballerina, but as an actress. Now, I'm curious about this. She had dramatic training, too, as well as--

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova In order to understand the creative possibilities of Madame Ulanova, Professor Markov thinks it important to point out that the whole choreographical school of Russia always has been aimed at a combination of choreography and at actual acting.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova It is well possible to mention many other names who have been very prominent in the ballet before Ulanova.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova But Ulanova, happily, fortunately, combines the best features of the choreography and the actors.

Studs Terkel A wedding of the two art forms.

Mrs. Mamedova Yes, this is the wedding of two art forms.

Studs Terkel Now back to "Hamlet", if you will, the Vakhtangov Theatre is doing "Hamlet" and the Maly Theatre is doing "Hamlet".

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Studs Terkel Now, Professor Markov or Professor Komisarjevsky, are the interpretations, are the techniques used different, or are there both out of the same technique? I'm curious.

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Pavel Markov {Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova First of all, Professor Markov is saying that these two productions are absolutely two different productions.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Different according to the method and the conception of the director.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova At the same time, the interpretation of the main image of Hamlet is absolutely different.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Astangov, in the Vakhtangov Theatre, concentrates in his image on the tragedy of spirit, of thought.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova [Samorlov?], who is playing "Hamlet" in the [Oblovkov?] Theatre, is playing a part of a man who is much more sharp emotionally.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The production of [Oblovkov?] is much more conventional.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The production of the director [Zahava?] in Vakhtangov is much more realistic and much more concentrated.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova [Oklovkof? Oblovkov?] has a tremendous fantasy as a director.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova [Zahava?] is very definite and logical in his line of tragedy.

Studs Terkel Mr. Komisarjevsky.

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Komisarjevsky would like to add.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova I would like the American audience to feel more lively our talk about these two productions.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova [Oklovkov?] as a director.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Has been enchanted by the thought.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Denmark is a jail.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova That's why he builds up on the stage.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Very massive stage decoration.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Which remind you, actually, in the whole feeling of a jail.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova There is a portico with small windows which are going to be open.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Which remind you--

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova About cells in jail.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And this setting is going on the tragedy of "Hamlet".

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Around these productions we had hot discussions.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova What is dominating in this production, the stage design or the actor?

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova About the Vakhtangov Theater--

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova If we speak about that, we have to say that it has been solved much more ascetic.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Almost as this very severe concerto.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Which has no decorations at all, nearly.

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Again, we had hot discussions. Is this a proper solution and interpretation?

Theodore Komisarjevsky [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Two "Hamlets" and many discussions.

Studs Terkel What comes out here is something highly exciting, two "Hamlets", many discussions, yet both truly Shakespeare since "Hamlet" is subject to so many interpretations. One last question, I know you have to rush back to the guests, you've been very gracious. The audience, the question of the audience, who goes here?

Mrs. Mamedova [Russian].

Studs Terkel Professor Markov.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Well, it is very difficult to answer this question, because our theatre is so very much a theatre of everyone in the country. So that I would have to say that everyone goes to the theatre, and that's the whole country.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Intellectuals, workers, students.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Peasants.

Pavel Markov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova We have special performances for those who come from far outside.

Studs Terkel Is this true--

Nikolay Akimov [Russian]..

Mrs. Mamedova Mr. Akimov would like to say that there is one very interesting institution which belongs to the audience in our country in the Soviet Union. There are special conventions, or as we call them, conferences of the audience.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Immediately after the first performance of a production.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova The whole audience is invited to stay over.

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova And to discuss that.

Studs Terkel And you have discussions after the curtain goes down?

Mrs. Mamedova Immediately!

Studs Terkel That's marvelous!

Nikolay Akimov [Russian].

Mrs. Mamedova Very often, if it's a discussion after a matinee, this convention can be dissolved only by force, because otherwise it would not be possible to attend the evening performance because the audience doesn't want to go.

Studs Terkel Well, certainly the picture that has been painted by our three very distinguished guests is one very vivid and very alive picture of theatre in the Soviet Union. I should like to thank the three guests for being so gracious. Professor Markov, director of the Moscow Art Theatre, Professor Komisarjevsky of the Maly Theatre, and Professor Akimov, the director, producer, scene designer of the Leningrad Theatre. And you of course, Madame [Mamayeva?]. Thank you very much for being our guests and being so gracious.

Mrs. Mamedova It was our pleasure. Thank you.