RuEn

The Adventure

Running time: 0 h 50 m, prime October 29, 1991
  • Author — Marina Tsvetaeva
  • Director — Ivan Popovski
  • Designer — Olga-Maria Tumakova, Sergei Bartoshevich
  • Composer — Yelena Mogilevskaya
Reminiscing about the birth of this production, the actors say: “Just imagine, the economy was in shambles: the stores were empty; we were constantly hungry; we rehearsed at nights to the sound of our growling stomachs. But it was so wonderful to be engaged with something so far away from all of that…” Everyone can tell a few stories about that period of their life, and gradually overlapping, they become legends. Right away, The Adventure caught the eye of international producers, and Tsvetaeva’s characters went on an exciting tour: France, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, Germany, Macedonia, Belgium… And all around the world, the stage hands would erect, just for a few nights, an exact copy of the corridor, whose blackness once gave birth to the production.

Guest performances, festivals, awards… This stage production had a remarkable, albeit a short life. Happily, there are still photographs, videos and — most importantly — memories of those who experienced that “one and only adventure.”

The stage production took part in the Maubeuge International Théâtre festival in France in 1993; International Theatre Festival Kontakt in Poland’s Toruń, also in 1993; 4º Festival International de Artes Cênicas, San Pãolo, Brazil, 1994; INTEATRO International Theatre Festival, Polverigi, Italy, 1994; 34th Venice Biennale in 1995; Berliner Festwochen “Berlin-Moskau”, Berlin, Germany, 1995; Festival d’Avignon, Avignon, France, 1997; and BITEF festival at Belgrade, Serbia, in 1997.

Guest performances in France (Paris, Nantes, Douai, 1993; Paris, Belfort, 1995), Switzerland (Geneva, 1993), Iraly (Rome, Venice, Milan, 1995), Macedonia (Skopje, 1997), and Belgium (Antwerp, 1999).

Prize of the Moscow critics for the best performance of the year “Hit of the Season” (1992), prize for the best non-competition production at the Kontakt Festival (1993), Grand Prix of the BITEF festival (1997).
The stage art has manifested its great independence from the mercurial chaos of everyday life and its underlying connection with everything. If such productions are staged today, the Russian theater has a chance [of a future] that we could only dream of.
Mikhail Shvydkoy, Independent Gazette
You are admitted and taken up the narrow dark staircase, with candles burning on its stairs. You are taken through the dark rooms — the grand piano is playing, then the curtain is drawn to the side, here are the seats for the audience. The stage is replaced with a narrow dark corridor that stretches off into the distance. The doors open, there’s light, and we catch glimpses of bright figures clad in white and blue — a woman and a man. The two approach us: the girl runs away from Casanova from the left door to the right, from the right one to the left. To the left is a resonant line from Tsvetaeva, and to the right — also. And the strange, languidly dreamy Henrietta sings almost in syllables: “Ca-sa-no-va.” Who else but these twenty-year-old actors can stage this wild play about the folly of not love, but infatuation, with its adventurous rhythm: disguises, breathtaking beauty, mystery, and sudden separation!

In the end, when the narrow doorway, which served as a portal to the stage, is curtained with transparent fabric, Casanova and the girl leave. Their shadows waver on the curtain, and for a long time afterwards we can still their dark figures against the backdrop of the illuminated door. It is simply beautiful.
Dina Goder, Stolitsa (Capital city)

Characters and Cast