History

August 30, 1756

By the special order of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, The Russian Drama and Comedy Theatre is founded in Saint Petersburg, which turns out to be the beginning of the Alexandrinsky Theatre Company. Playwright Alexander Petrovich Sumarokov is appointed as Director. The actors’ company is headed by Fyodor Grigoryevich Volokov. The company starts giving regular performances as the first State public theatre in Russia in the former Golovkinsky Home in the Vasilyevsky Island. The venue is to be later reconstructed to house the Academy of Arts.

1759

By a special court order, the theatre is ascribed to Court Administration management.

1763

After F. Volkov’s Death, the company is led by a famous Russian actor, Ivan Afanasievich Dmitrevsky.

1766

The theatre’s company becomes part of the newly created Emperor’s Theatre Management Office

1783

The Russian Drama theatre Company performs in the newly built Bolshoy stone theatre in Saint Petersburg, later to be reconstructed as Saint Petersburg music hall.

1831

First complete Griboedov’s Woe from Wit Premiere takes place with V. Karatygin playing Chatsky.

August 31, 1832

Saint Petersburg Russian Drama company performs in the heart of Saint Petersburg, in a new building designed by Carlo Rossi. The theatre is christened The Alexandrinsky Theatre in honour of Alexandra Fyodorovna, wife of Emperor Nikolai I. The Carlo Rossi building is later to become the masterpiece of world architecture, protected by UNESCO.

1836

The Alexandrinsky Theatre building is officially given to the Saint Petersburg Russian Drama company. The company also simultaneously performs on other Russian capital stages, also governed by the Direktsia (Management Department) of Imperial Theatres.

1836

Gogol’s The Inspector General Premiere takes place on the Alexandrinsky Theatre Stage with Nikolai Gogol himself taking active part in the staging of the performance. Khlestakov is played by N.O. Dur.

1856

Krechinsky Marriage - a comedy by A.V. Sukhovo-Kobylin - is staged with V. Samoilov in the lead role.

1859

The first Alexandrinsky Theatre performance of Nikolai Ostrovsky ‘s Thunderstorm.

1867

The first performance of The Death of Ivan the Terrible by A.K. Tolstoy takes place. Ivan the Terrible is played by P. Vasiliev.

1870

The first on-stage premiere of Alexander Puhskin’s Boris Godunov, who is played by L. Leonidov.

1879

Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Village comedy is given the first theatre premiere with M. Savina as Verochka.

1889

Anton Chekhov’s play Ivanov is first staged in the Emperor’s Theatre with V. Davydov in the lead role.


1895

The first Alexandrinsky Theatre performance of Leo Tolstoy’s Power of Darkness featuring M. Savina as Akulina.
1896

The first on-stage premiere of Anton Chekhov’s comedy Seagull with V. Komissarzhevskaya in the leading role. The performance is to be later remembered in the world theatre history as the Seagull failure.


1902

The theatre stages Euripides’ tragedy Hippolytus (translated by D. Merezhkovsky). The performance is directed by Y. Ozarovsky, with scenic design by L. Bakst.


1910

Vs. Meyerhold stages the performance of Molliere’s Don Juan, with A. Golovin as scenic designer starring Y. Yuriev in the lead role.


1914

First stage performance of Leonid Andreev’s play Professor Storitsyn featuring R. Apollonsky in the leading role.
February 1917

First night of Vs. Meyerhold and A. Golovin’s legendary Masquerade performance based on the drama by Mikhail Lermontov takes place. Music is composed by A. Glazunov. Masquerade is destined to become the last Emperor’s Stage performance and one of the most balanced performances in the world theatre history with Yury Yuriev in the lead role. The performance is to remain part of the theatre’s repertoire up to July 1941.


After February 1917

The theatre is made part of the State Theatres Management Department.


End of October 1917 – March 1918

Sabotaging the Bolshevik regime, the Theatre stops working and boycotts the new power.


March 1918

‘Autonomization’ of former imperial theatres is taking place. The word Alexandrinsky (with the word former included) now applies to Petrograd State Drama Company.


1919

The word Academic is added to the theatre’s status. The theatre’s name now sounds as Petrograd State Academic Drama Theatre (former Alexandrinsky).

1920

The theatre joins the Academic theatres association.

The theatre is named State Academic Drama Theatre (Gosdrama).

Years 1922-1928

Outstanding Russian actor and theatre figure Yury Yuriev heads the theatre.


Years 1928-1933

Prominent Soviet director Nikolai Vasilievich Petrov is the head of the theatre.
1931

The Fear by A. Afinogenov is directed by N. Petrov. Professor Borodin is played by I. Pevtsov.


1932

The 100th anniversary of the Alexandrinsky Theatre (called at the time Leningrad State Drama theatre) building is widely celebrated as an important date in the country’s socio-political and cultural life. At the same time, following the current ideology, seventy-six years are subtracted from the history of the Russian first drama company.


Years 1933-1936

The theatre is led by the artistic director and outstanding actor, director and tutor Boris Mikhailovich Sushkevich.


Years 1936-1938

Famous Soviet director Sergei Ernestovich Radlov is the Artistic Director


1937

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the death of Alexandre Pushkin, the name of the poet is added to the title of Lenigrad Gosdrama Theatre.


1938-1966

The artistic director of the theatre is the outstanding actor, director and tutor Leonid Sergeevich Vivien.


1934

Performance of Pushkin’s Boris Godunov is directed by B. Sushkevich starring N. K. Simonov in the lead role.


1936

The Forest by N. Ostrovsky is directed by V. Kozhich with Neschastlivtsev played by Y. Yuriev.


1940

Performance of A Nest of Gentlefolk by I.S. Turgenev is directed by A. Muzil’. Lavretsky is played by N.K. Simonov.


1941-1944

Theatre is evacuated. The company continues working in Novosibirsk, on the Krasny Fakel Theatre stage. During the blockade, the Alexandrinsky Stage is used by the Leningrad musical comedy theatre.


1950

The Live Corpse by Leo Tolstoy is staged by V. Kozhich and A. Dauson, starring N. Simonov as Fedya Protasov.


1955

Tovstonogov stages Optimistic Tragedy by Vs. Vishnevsky featuring Y. Tolubeev as the Leader and O. Lebzak as the Commissar.


1956

The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky is staged by L. Vivien and A.N. Dauson with V. Chestnyukov as Alexei Ivanovich


1958

Running by M. Bulgakov is directed by L. Vivien. N. Cherkasov plays Khludov.


1962

Little Tragedies by Alexander Pushkin is directed by L. Vivien, featuring N. Cherkasov as the Baron and N. Simonov as Salieri.


Years 1975-1991

Outstanding actor and tutor I.O. Gorbachev is the artistic director of the theatre.


1974

Chichikov’s Adventures, or Dead Souls by N. Gogol is directed by N. Sheiko starring I. Gorbachev as Chichikov.


1975

Elegy by P. Pavlovsky is directed by I. Olschwanger, featuring B. Freundlich as Ivan Turgenev.


1978

Anton Chekhov’s play Ivanov is directed by A. Sagalchik with the title role played by I. Gorbachev.


1981

Wide celebrations of the Russian-Alexandrinsky-Pushkin Theatre’s 225th birthday.


1991

The name ‘Alexandrinsky’ is restored. The theatre’s official name is now Russian State Academic A.S. Pushkin Drama Theatre (Alexandrinsky).


1994

Messieur George. Russian Drama by M.Y. Lermontov is performed with A. Praudin as director.


1997

The Tale of Peter the Tzar and his Murdered Son Alexei is directed by A. Galibin.


1998

P.S. by Kappelmeister Johannes Kreisler, his author and their beloved Julia: cadences based on the works of Hoffman and Mozart. The play is directed by G. Kozlov and becomes Awardee of Russian State Prize.


2002

The Theatre enters into a cooperation agreement with the Meyerhold Centre about a joint creative programme of The Tradition’s New Life.
Valery Fokin, outstanding Russian director and head of the Meyerhold Centre, becomes the Artistic Director of the programme.


October 5, 2002

Valery Fokin’s first Alexandrinsky Theatre performance – the original version of Nikolai Gogol’s comedy The Inspector General – is created, which opens The Tradition’s New Life programme. Khlestakov is played by A. Devotchenko. The performance becomes the Russian State Prize Awardee.


2003

Valery Fokin becomes the Artistic Director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre.


2005

The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky directed by Valery Fokin comes out starring V. Gvozditsky as Golyadkin Sr.


2006

The Alexandrinsky Theatre’s 250th anniversary is celebrated as the jubilee of Russian first state theatre and the beginning of the state’s support of Russian theatre. A large-scale reconstruction of the historical building is carried out. A historical exhibition The Museum of Russian Drama is opened. The International Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival takes place for the first time.

As part of The Tradition’s New Life programme, Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos creates the performance of Sophocles’ tragedy King Oedipus. The show opens the First International Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival.

The Live Corpse by Leo Tolstoy is directed by Valery Fokin starring S. Parshin as Fedya Protasov.

2007

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov comes out directed by K. Lyupa (Poland) starring Y. Marchenko as Nina Zarechnaya.


2007

The Two Ivans play based on The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich and other works by Nikolai Gogol is performed. The show is directed by A. Moguchy starring N. Marton as Ivan Ivanovich and V. Smirnov as Ivan Nikiforovich.


2008

The Marriage by Nikolai Gogol is directed by V. Fokin starring I. Volkov as Podkolyosin.


2009

Xenia. The Story of Love. by V. Levanov is directed by Valery Fokin starring Y. Lakoba as Xenia.


2010

W. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is directed by V. Fokin featuring D. Lysenkov as Hamlet.


2011

Your Gogol based on Nikolai Gogol’s works is performed featuring I. Volkov as Nikolai Gogol.


2012

Zero Liturgy based on the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky with A. Shagin playing Alexei Ivanovich comes out.


May 15, 2013

The New Alexandrinsky Theatre Stage opens.


August 2014

The Alexandrinsky Theatre is awarded the National Treasure status.


2014

Masquerade by M. Lermontov and Vs. Meyerhold is directed by Valery Fokin. P. Semak and D. Lysenkov both star in the role of Arbenin.


2016

Today. 2016 by K. Fokin. (New Stage) starring P. Semak in the leading role.


April 2016

Russian State Academic Pushkin drama Theatre (Alexandrinsky) is entered into the State Roster of the Most Valued Russian Federation Peoples’ Heritage.