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Kama Ginkas + John Freedman: Chekhov Stories (Russia)

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Nov 17, 2008
Nov 17, 2008
Segal Theater
Yulia Svezhakova and Igor Gordin in Lady with a Lapdog Photo by Ken Reynolds

Yulia Svezhakova and Igor Gordin
in Lady with a Lapdog
Photo by Ken Reynolds

Join us for an evening with renowned Russian director Kama Ginkas, who, with John Freedman and Daniel Gerould, will discuss his theatrical adaptations of prose works by Anton Chekhov. In collaboration with Yale School of Drama.

Kama Ginkas has made a career of creating powerful theatre based on the prose of classic Russian authors, including Fyoor Dostoevsky, Alexander Pushkin and Chekhov. His famous Chekhov trilogy– Lady with a Lapdog, The Black Monk and Rothschild’s Fiddle–emerged as one of the most celebrated achievements in Russian theatre in the 1990s and 2000s. An early adaptation of Ward No. 6 under the title of The Theatre of the Watchman Nikita formed the basis for an influential production in Finland in the late 1980s.

Ginkas’s dramatizations–although they rarely change anything in the original text–are never examples of narrative literary theater. By breaking up the text and distributing it among actors in unexpected ways; by translating description into dynamic action; and by bringing out concealed character motivations in performance, Ginkas reveals the highly dramatic nature of non-dramatic works. Excerpts of some of Ginkas’s Chekhov dramatizations will be presented in readings prepared especially for this evening.

Kama Ginkas was born in 1941 in Kaunas, Lithuania. His acclaimed productions for Moscow’s New Generation Theatre have been performed at theatre festivals all over the world. In the United States he staged Lady with a Lapdog at the American Repertory Theatre and the Guthrie Theatre. He mounted the world premiere of his dramatizataion of Rothschild’s Fiddle at Yale Repertory Theatre. His production of K.I from “Crime” has been performed at the Bard College Summerscape Festival and in a month-long run Off-Broadway.

John Freedman is an American writer and translator based in Moscow. He has been the theatre critic of The Moscow Times since 1995. With Ginkas he co-authored the book Provoking Theatre: Kama Ginkas Directs.

Daniel Gerould is Executive Director of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and Lucille Lortel Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

6:30 p.m., Monday, November 17, 2008 Martin E. Segal Theatre. Free!