Theater in Mogilev

Mogilev

Theaters

Walking along the central street of Mogilev, Pervomaiskaya Street, you most likely will not pass by the regional drama theatre – the only building of the XIX century that has survived in Belarus. There are only two theatres in this town – puppetry and drama. Today the repertoire of the latter includes over 40 performances for children and adults, which are prepared for theatre-goers by a troupe of more than 30 actors. 

The money the theater collected throughout the city 

Culture in the town has been always esteemed and valued, and therefore Mogilev needed its own theatre. First it was agreed to construct a town theatre. The residents of Mogilev raised money on their own. It is unknown how many years it took to collect all the money, but the funds were finally raised in 1886, and a magnificent building by the architect Kamburov appeared near Komsomolskaya Square 2 years later. Though the construction was quickly finished, it was not easy. The fact is that both the square and the theatre are on the site where the town was strengthened with a ditch and rampart in the XVII-XVIII centuries. The engineers had to tinker with the “inequalities” of that site – the foundation of the building dropped down 10 meters. That required extra funds. The budget contributed to the equipment so the theater was fully ready only in a few years. However, the official opening of the first theatre season in the history of Mogilev was held in 1889. 

The famous composer and pianist Sergey Rakhmaninov gave his concert at the Mogilev theatre 

Although concerts and performances were constantly given on the stage of the drama theatre, the premieres also took place there; over three decades there has not been a permanent troupe. Only in 1928 the actor and director Kumelsky brought some stability into the Mogilev Drama Theatre. He chose 28 talented people at the actor job market and brought them to Mogilev. So a Russian mobile troupe appeared in the theater. Three years later, it was called the First Russian Theater of the BSSR, and another year later – the State Russian Theater of the B SSR. 

The theater with a hanger but without actors 

The Great Patriotic War caught the actors of the Mogilev Drama Theater during a tour in Bialystok. The sudden war forced the artists to stop performances. The troupe returned home only in 1944, when Mogilev was liberated from the Germans, but it worked in Grodno for 2 years. And then, in 1947, the State Russian Theater of the BSSR was transferred to Minsk, now it is called the National Academic Drama Theatre of Maxim Gorky.

The theater building in Mogilev was empty during another year, and then the regional drama theatre moved from Pinsk began functioning there on a regular basis. In 1954, the theater was awarded the status of a regional.

It was planned to demolish the monument of architecture of the XIX century in the 80s 

The Ministry of Culture of the BSSR was going to demolish the building of the Regional Theatre, and to construct a new one, but more modern on its site. However, the building was saved by local residents. They staged protests in the streets, and the authorities decided to confine to the large-scale reconstruction. The theatre was closed in the middle of the 80s, and the repairs were finished only by the year 2000. That’s when the actors could get on stage, and return to the drama theatre to the town.

The opening of the theatrical season after holidays in 2003 in Mogilev was marked by the appearance of the sculpture “The lady with the dog” at the building of the drama theatre. However, she is not a Chekhov heroine, but rather a “potential theatre-goer” that buys a ticket and takes her place in the hall.

A small stage (it is also called experimental) and a studio for young people were opened there in the Regional Drama Theatre approximately at the same time. Since 2006 there has been held the theatre forum of international importance “M. art. kontakt”. The troupe of the Mogilev theatre constantly goes on tours and takes part in festivals.

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Excursions

  • Moscow - Mogilev - Minsk (Dudutki) - Khatyn - Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve - Vitebsk (Zdravnevo *) - Polotsk - Molodechno (Herviaty, Golshany, Krevo) - Orsha - Moscow
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