Anatoly Vasilyev

Director, teacher, Honored Arts Professional of†Russia. Vasilev graduated from the chemistry department of†the Rostov-na-donu University. In†1973, he†completed his second degree from the directing deartment of†GITIS, where he†studied in†the studio of†M.†O.†Knebel and A.†A.†Popov. Moving from the Institute to†the Moscow Art Theater, he†interned with O.†N.†Efremov, rehearsing Zagradnik's play “Solo for Striking Clock“ with Art Theater „old timers” M.†M.†Yanshin, B.†Ya.†etker, A.†N.†Gribov, O.†N.†Androvskaya and M.†I.†l†Prudkin. As†second director, assistant director or†stage manager he†participated in†many Art Theater productions.

At†the beginning of†his directing career, Vasilev staged a†number of†productions in†small cities. From 1977†to†1982, he†was a†director at†the Stanislavsky Theater, headed in†those years by†Popov. The plays he†staged in†those years†ó “The First Version of†Gorky's Vassa Zheleznova” (1978) and Slavkin's “A†Young Man's Grown Daughter” (1979)†ó made Vasilev one of†the leaders of†his generation. As†he†worked on†these productions, he†gathered around him a†group of†likeminded actors and continued working with them. When he†was made to†leave the Stanislavsky Theater in†1982, he†took up†Yury Lyubimov's offer of†the small hall in†the Taganka Theater. Over the next three years he†rehearsed Slavkin's “Sero.” The success of†the play, which opened in†1985, was underscored by†both critics and audience.

Beginning in†the 1980s, parallel to†his activities as†a†director, Vasiliev taught at†postgraduate directors courses at†VGIK and in†the directing department of†GITIS.†Among the six new theaters opening in†Moscow in†1987†was Vasilev's “School of†Dramatic Art.“ Its first production was Pirandello's “Six Characters in†Search of†an†Author.” The production toured to†great acclaim, and was shown at†numerous international festivals.

In†subsequent years, influenced by†Jerzy Grotowski, Vasilev retreated further from the practice of†repertory theater in†the direction of†laboratory theater and the notions of†constant professional renewal, the search for a†new theatrical esthetic, and the renewal of†the very culture of†theater. Over the time that the „School of†Dramatic Art” was active, student seminars and laboratory work led to†plays, evenings, performances and open rehearsals attended by†a†small audience and dedicated either to†a†single author, or†a†single work, or†a†single theme.

Anatoly Vasilev is†Cavalier of†the order of†Art and Litearture (France, 1989), a†recipient of†the Stanislavsky Prize (1988), European Critics' Prize (“New Theatrical Reality,” Italy, 1990), the Pirandello “Chaos” Prize (Italy, 1992), the Stanislavsky Fund Award “For Contributions to†the Development of†Theater Pedagogy” (1995), the Golden Mask (1997), the Russian Federation State Prize (1999), and the Triumph Prize (2001).