Academic Theatre of Drama and Comedy – Modern, Lively and Innovative Performances

The Academic Theatre of Drama and Comedy is a rather new theater, since it was established in the late 1970’s by Eduard Mitnizky who now heads as artistic director of the company. Mitnizky has been the driving force behind the theatre and the high levels of success it now enjoys would have been impossible without him. Unlike its name, it is fresh and innovative and its theatrical debut took the form of a play called ‘Acme’ by the playwright Rodion Fedeney. The location of the theatre is something worth taking note of since it is situated along banks of the Dnepr River which provides a wonderful backdrop.

Unlike most other theatres, the performances at this theatre do not resemble anything you would expect to find at a classical theatre. Instead ticket holders can expect to find revitalizing and modern interpretations of older plays. These newer renderings are quite experimental and different in their own right, giving them a memorable feel. This was also the setting for the first rendition of the Ukrainian production ‘Lies’ by Vinnichenko. The play was performed for audiences on a small stage called ‘the theatre in the foyer’. The introduction of this smaller, secondary stage is a relatively new initiative and this theatre in Kiev was one of the first to make use of this great concept.

The theatre regularly hosts productions written by such talented playwrights as M. Bulgakov and F. Dostoyevsky. In fact a number of modern directors have enjoyed firmly established careers after working in the theatre. Its varied performances help to attract different audiences. These include classical and new plays dedicated to Russia and dramatic Ukrainian art; the choices are extensive and cater to virtually any specific tastes. By now it has become quite clear that the troupe has one goal and that is to shock and destroy any of the stereotypical ideas that may have been created about the theatre. It brings across quite a strong message by presenting the traditional Ukrainian dramas as something fitting for our time. Doing this evokes an emotional reaction from the audience.

The actors involved show high levels of professionalism and present intriguing interpretations of both old and new plays. It is through these performances and the exposure to many international theatre festivals – such as the Festival of Russian Theatres of CIS and Baltic States, Days of Ukrainian Culture in France, Festival of Russian theatres and Slavic Theatrical meetings – that this has become possible.

The theatre troupe’s trademark style has also gained them the support of the people of Kiev. These fans regard the Academic Theatre of Drama and Comedy as one of the finest theatres in all Ukraine and their enthusiasm and pride is reflected in their good attendance and earnest applauses.

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