A new and exciting three-day festival will celebrate Tolstoy’s 188th anniversary and feature performances based on the writer’s plays and other works to be staged at his estate of Yasnaya Polyana. Six leading Russian theaters will bring their best adaptations of Tolstoy’s masterpieces, and an international panel will be hosted by renowned experts on Russian and world theater

YASNAYA POLYANA, RUSSIA – 9/6/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — The Tolstoy Weekend Festival at Yasnaya Polyana, to be held 9-11 September 2016, will feature modern interpretations of Tolstoy’s works and promises to become a milestone event in the international theatre scene. 

“At Yasnaya Polyana, Leo Tolstoy created literature that withstood the test of time and continues to provide inspiration for modern theater directors. His estate is the ideal location to hold a festival in his honor.  We decided to invite both famous and up-and-coming Russian theaters to participate.  I am confident that the Tolstoy Weekend will help to demonstrate Tula Region’s important position in Russia’s cultural landscape,” said Aleksei Dumin, the acting governor of Tula Region.

The list of theaters that will bring their performances to Yasnaya Polyana includes the Mayakovsky Theatre, the Nikitsky Gate Theater (“U Nikitskih Vorot”) , the Creative Association of Golomazov’s Workshops, Tolstoy Academic Drama Theater (Lipetsk), Chekhov Moscow Art Theater and the Meyerhold Center. 

Each of the performances will demonstrate their director’s original interpretation of Tolstoy’s works. For example, the Creative Association of Golomazov’s Workshops in its play Princess Marya will show the events of War and Peace from the point of view of one of the novel’s minor characters. In the Leo Tolstoy Lipetsk Drama Theater’s play The Death of Ivan Ilych, the director adds a character called ‘It’ – the character of Death – which was not present in Tolstoy’s own narrative. The actors of the play Russian Romance try to recreate the atmosphere of musical salons of the 19th century. One of the festival stages will invite families to take part; together with their parents our little spectators will not only be able to listen to Tolstoy’s children’s stories, but also to participate in the play, staged in the genre of storytelling.

The organizers of the festival include Ekaterina Tolstaya, Director of the Leo Tolstoy Museum & Estate, Vladimir Tolstoy, Cultural Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, as well as the government of Tula Region. 

The international roundtable on the life of Tolstoy’s characters will feature an award winning director and actor Aleksey Frandetti, theater producer Alexander Popov, theatre critic Olga Fedyanina and playwright Oleg Shishkin.  International experts will include Marius Ivaškevi?ius (Lithuania) and composer Dave Malloy (USA) who wrote the music and lyrics for an award-winning electropop opera Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, based on War and Peace, which will appear on Broadway this fall.

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