free theatrical fantsies based by Oleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Kharkiv State Academic Drama Theatre named T.Shevchenko Kharkiv/Ukraine

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Brief presentation of the performance

           As for the performance “One Day of Ivan Denisovich” I have had an old dream to make the play cruel in the system of psycho, in the system of the Arto theatre – theatre of cruelty, Crag’s theatre – theatre of marionettes and the theatre of Grotovskiy. But I can definitely say that I didn’t manage to achieve my aim. The performance turned out to be a performance. Though it may have its supporters it’s a performance as it is – actors play in it. I didn’t manage to turn our life into a trial where an actor would stay in real life in cages with dogs reincarnating into the animals. I think I’ll probably do it with other actors in some other place. I started to run Les’ Kurbas Theatre (“Berezil’”) only half a year ago so I am facing a task of establishing a contact (both psychic and human) with the actors. That’s why I did not succeed in “closing the trap” and the actors reached my territory only partially as I see it. The troop is wonderful but they have never worked in modern aesthetics, they are not masters of the high speed playing which is characteristic of the modern theatre. I’ll paraphrase it: they play slowly; slow tunes and they should play quickly.

       That’s why there are few words in Turgenev and Soljenitsyn: I’ve taken the words away from the actors.

       I am staging this first performance, as Artistic director of Kharkiv State Academic Drama theatre Les’ Kurbas “Berezil”. This performance is experimental, pedagogical, and provocative.

     “One day of Ivan Denisovich” by Soljenicin never did stages in theatre. The actor has put in the extremely situation in my performance. The rehearsals have moved during 10 hours per day; the actors are living in the cages with dogs together. All of the women, man, children have a different cages.

       The act takes place in the reserved space, where people are losing them liberty, freedom, volition, psychics. “One day of Ivan Denisovich” it’s one day of Sovetique prisoner. He gets up and falls asleep on the zone…

       The actors a lot of move wash a stones bring water, firewood… The audience is finding oneself in the shock situation. The main goal of this performance is - to know – how many could man degrade himself? What are his limits of psychophysical resources? 

Script adaptation:                Andriy Zholdak

Direction and light design:    Andriy Zholdak

Scenography:                      Tita Dimova, Andriy Zholdak

Costumes:                          Tita Dimova, Tatyana Medvid


Shukhov Ivan Denisovich   Volodymyr Malyar, National artist Ukraine

Composer   Leonid Tarabarinov, National artist Ukraine

Woman-death   Agnessa Dzvonarchuk, National artist Ukraine

Commentator of the events  Olga Krasylnokova, from National opera theatre Lysenko

Major of medical service       Petro Rachynskiy, Honoured artist Ukraine

Superior hospital attendant   Galyna Karan

Hospital attendant      Iryna Kobzar, Tatiana Turka, Tetyana Grinik

Unknown prisoners of the experimental camp

Muzhiks - Roman Zhyrov, Eduard Bezrodniy, Dmytro Petrov, Oleksandr Kovshun, Juriy Evsjukov, Grygoriy Afanasiev, Andriy Borisenko, Grygoriy Shtarkman

Peasant women - Galyna Evsjukova, Olena Pristup, Oksana Stecenko, Larysa Lunina

Iryna Golobrodska, Kateryna Kachan, Olena Kachan, Svitlana Soloviyova, Oksana Shopina

Children   Nathalya Golubnycha, Marsela Zabashta, Taras Kovshun


— 26 March 2003



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