V.V. Fokin, b.1946, People’s Artist of Russia, laureate of four Russian State Awards, the Merited Artist of Poland, Artistic and General Director of the Theatrical and Cultural Center named after V. Meyerhold, Artistic Director of Russian State Academic Drama Theater named after A.S. Pushkin (Alexandrinsky Theater)
After graduating from the Theater school named after B.V. Shchukin at the Vahtangov Theater, V. Fokin was working at Moscow Theater "Sovremennik" for 15 years, where each new staging of his, aroused keen interest on the sides of both spectators and critics. In his activity he addressed the works of Nabokov, Vampilov, Rozov, Albee and other masters of the national and world drama.
In the year 1985, Fokin took over the Moscow Theater named after M.N. Ermolova. The very first directions of the young Director General turned the Theater into one of the most popular venues. It was unanimously agreed on in media that the first program production by Fokin at the Ermolova Theater "Speak..." symbolized a turn to a new way of thinking for the theater circles of Moscow.
In 1975-1979, Fokin had been teaching at GITIS; in 1993-1994, he had worked at the Krakow Higher Theatrical School (Poland) and the Tokyo Toen Theater (Japan). He also conducted master-classes at European directors’ courses in Spain, Sweden and Bulgaria.
Fokin has been chairing the Commission of Meyerhold’s Creative Legacy since 1988.
In 1991, by initiative of the above mentioned Commission, with the support of the Russian Theater Artist Union and Russian Architect Union, the Meyerhold Center (CIM) was founded; Valery Fokin has been General and Artistic Director of this Center since the day of its foundation. In 1999, by the resolution of Moscow government the Meyerhold Center became a state unitary enterprise. On February 12, 2001, a new building of the Center was inaugurated.
In 1996, festivals of Valery Fokin’s productions were held in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg: "Valery Fokin. Three performances in the Manege" (Moscow, March 1996) and "Transformations by Valery Fokin" (Saint-Petersburg, Theater on Liteiny, November-December 1996).
In his creative activity Valery Fokin turns to the most emotional, "bitterest" topics of our country’s recent past and present; the topics that had remained "blocked" for a long time. Whether modern or classical, his productions are characterized by globalism of the dramatic metaphor, profound artistic way of thinking, theatricality, striving for detailed psychological analysis of the characters. All these qualities of Fokin’s directions provoke such a keen interest to them abroad. Performances under his direction are on the stages of the USA, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and France. These performances stand out not only because of the director’s skills, but also due to the ingenious interpretation of the well-known images. They clearly change the direction of the creative quest, and a new esthetics comes forth.
Fokin’s productions "A Hotel Room in City NN" on the basis of N. Gogol’s writings, "Transformation" after F.Kafka, "Tatyana Repina" after A.Chekhov, "Inspector General" after N. Gogol at the Alexandrinsky Theater received broad acclaim of the Russian and world public. These performances are marked by theatricality, dynamics, paradox and persistent search for a new theater language. This allows to consider Fokin as one of the leaders of the modern European stage.
In 2006 Valery Fokin became Member of the Presidium of the Presidential Council of Culture and Art of the Russian Federation. V.Fokin has been awarded the Order of Service to the Fatherland, IV degree (by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 172 dt. 28.02.06) and the Honourary Badge of Service to St.Petersburg for his outstanding contribution to the development of Russian Theater.
In 2008, Fokin was awarded with “The Golden Mask,” the Russian National Theater Award; he received a special Jury’s Prize for “The Renaissance of the Alexandrinsky Theater;” in 2009, Valery Fokin’s performance “The Marriage” was awarded with the “Golden Mask” in “The Best Director’s Work” nomination.
In 2010 Artistic Director of the Alexandrinsky Theater Valery V. Fokin by Presidential Verdict was honored with "The Order of Merit for the Motherland of the III Degree" for "The big contribution to the development of the national theater art and the many years of creative activities."