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Moscow Art Theatre. Anton Chekhov

Established by K.S. Stanislavsky and V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko in 1898 under the name Moscow Art Theatre (MXT). The Theatre received the status of “Academic Theater” in 1919 (MXAT).

It was opened on October 14 (1898) with the play “Tsar Fedor Ioanovich” in the “Hermitage” theatre building (Karetny ryad, 3). Since 1902 it is has been located on Kamergersky pereulok in the building of the former Lionozov theatre, reconstructed the same year by architect F.O. Shekhtel.

The Art Theatre’s existence began from a meeting of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko at the “Slaviansky bazaar” restaurant on June 19th, 1897. The Theatre carried the name of “Art-Public” not for a long time: in 1901 the word “Public’ was removed, but the orientation to the democratic spectator remained one of MXT’s principles.

The real birth of MXT is bound up with Anton Chekhov’s drama (“The Seagull”, 1898; “Uncle Vanya”, 1899; “Three Sisters”, 1901; “The Cherry Orchard”, 1904) and with Maxim Gorky (“The Petty Bourgeoisie” and “Lower Depths”, 1902). During the work on these performances a new type of actor was formed, delicately communicating the qualities of the psychology of the hero, the principles of direction were formed, an actor’s ensemble was created, as well as a common atmosphere for action. The Moscow Art Theatre is the first theatre in Russia, who put into practice the reform of repertoire, created its own circle, and which lived with their consecutive development from performance to performance. Among the best performances of MXT also were “Woe from Wit” by A.S. Griboedov (1906), “Blue Bird” by M. Meretlink (1908), “A Month in the Country” by I.S. Turgenev (1909), “Hamlet” by W. Shakespeare (1911), “The Imaginary patient” (“Le Malade imaginaire”) by J.B. Moliere (1913) and others. From 1912, studios for the preparation of actors were created under MXT. In 1924 this studio graduated and joined MXT’s troupe A.K. Tarasova, M.I. Prudkin, O.N. Androvskaya, K.N. Elanskaya, A.O. Stepanova, N.P. Khmelev, B.N. Livanov, M.M. Yanshin, A.N. Gribov, A.P. Zyeva, N.P. Batalov, M.N. Kedrov, V.Ya. Stanitsin and others, who along with B.G. Dobronravov, M.M. Tarkhanov, V.O. Toporkov, M.P. Bolduman, A.P. Georgievskaya, A.P. Ktorov, P.V. Massalsky became a great scene masters. Young directors N.M. Gorchakov, I.Ya. Sudakov, B.I. Vershilov also graduated from these studios.

But in spite of individual successes, the theatre was in a crisis at the end of 60-ies. Plays in the “flavour of the day” were included in the repertory with increasing frequency, and the succession of the new generation was passing painfully. The situation was aggravated because critics were not allowed to the theater. The desire for the elder MXAT actors to get out the crisis induced them to invite the alumnus of the MXAT Studio School Oleg Efremov as a main director, who breathed new life into the theatre in the 70’s.

n 1987 the collective divided into two independent groups: one began its existence under Oleg Efremov directing (from 1989 Moscow Art Academic Theatre named after A.P. Chekhov, Kamergersky per., 3) and the other under Tatiana Doronina (Moscow Art Academic Theatre named after M. Gorky, Tverskoy bulvar, 22).

After O. Efremov death in 2000, Oleg Tabakov became an Artistic Director of Chekhov’s MXAT, taking a course towards renewing the repertory (with stagings of classic world literature, including “Hamlet”, “The Cherry Orchard”, “The Golovev’s”, “The White Guard”, “King Lear”, and “Tartuffe” as well as modern patriotic and world literature). O. Yakovleva, A. Leontiev, A. Pokrovskaya, V, Khlevinsky, K. Khabensky, M. Porechenkov, V. Krasnov and others were invited in the troupe. The best forces of the modern directing are drawn to direct the shows — Y. Butusov, S. Zhenovach, M. Karbayskis, K. Serebrennikov, A. Shapiro, T. Chkheidze. In 2001 a third, New, stage was opened especially for experimental performances.

In 2004 the theatre returned to its original name — Moscow Art Theatre (MXT), excluding the word Academic.

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Phone number: +7 (495) 692-6748, +7 (495) 646-3646, +7 (495) 692-6748
Address: Kamergerskiy Lane, 3

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