Alvis Hermanis (born 1965) is a world-renowned director, the recipient of Europe's highest theatre award, the Prize for New Theatrical Realities, and a Golden Mask, the Russian national theatre award. He has been the Artistic Director of the Jaunais Rigas Teatris (the New Riga Theatre) since 1997. His most famous productions, all of which became international hits, include Nikolai Gogol's “The Inspector General“; “Long Life“ (Hermanis's own piece about seven elderly people); Tatyana Tolstaya's „Sonya”; and „The Sound of Silence”, based on the idea of a Simon and Garfunkel concert that never took place in 1968. Hermanis's work is regularly invited to participate in all of the major European festivals, including those in Edinburgh and Avignon. In recent years Hermanis has toured to Moscow with several of his best productions, winning the respect and interest of critics and audiences alike. “Shukshin's Stories“ is Hermanis's first production in Russia.
About the Project:
It was Alvis Hermanis who originally conceived the idea of dramatizing the famous stories by Vasily Shukshin, the classic writer of the Soviet era. Hermanis has been called a “new humanist” in world theatre. One of the qualities that singles him out as a director is the care with which he painstakingly observes the details of people' s daily lives, and this is true whether he is working with contemporary characters or characters originating from the past. Some have suggested that Hermanis creates a „documentary” theatre because of the utmost precision with which he observes and interprets the real worlds that he transforms and coaxes into theatre. He creates productions exclusively about what he knows and remembers. In this sense, Russian audiences are at a distinct advantage for, having grown up with Hermanis more or less in the same country, they share many similar memories with him. On the other hand, Hermanis's memory is unique. As rich as it is in minute detail, it never descends into a pointless nostalgia for the past, nor does it ever wallow in a vengeful rejection of the past.
Theatre of Nations