The premiere of the play “The Actress”, based on the play by Kazakh playwright Dulat Isabekov, took place at the Republican Korean Theater of Musical Comedy. The performance-monologue about the other side of theatrical life aroused great interest among the public.
The Actress is a revelation about the creative path of an artist and her behind-the-scenes life. This is a monologue of a woman whose whole life is a theater and an attempt to understand the purpose why she does it.
“Staging a performance based on a play by such a playwright as Dulat Isabekov is a huge responsibility for me,” admits stage director Elena Kim. – The first thought was: will we be able to convey the whole flavor of the diverse Kazakh culture? After the text was translated into Korean and I got acquainted with it, it immediately became clear to me that there would be problems with monologues. There are a lot of them, and they should not be similar to each other. Each of them depicts what the main character goes through, and each person experiences different events in life differently. So the whole team of artists was in constant creative search, and there were a lot of interesting ideas being suggested in the process of rehearsal. But there are still some moments in the play that I still think about. The theater differs from the cinema in that the work on the performance can continue indefinitely. And each time the viewer will see a completely new production.
The title role is played by Honored Actress of Kazakhstan Antonina Pyak, who admitted that certain moments in the performance are very autobiographical for her.
“When I was offered this role, at first I wanted to refuse, because I understood how difficult it would be to convey the author’s intention,” says Antonina. — But I like to experiment on stage and so I decided to take a chance. I am close to my character. The lives of actresses who gave their lives to the theater, and I have been on stage for forty years, is always difficult, and sometimes even cruel. In Soviet times, we signed a document according to which we were not allowed to do many things. For example, having children. We were told to get married among ourselves. Because our theater was on tour for seven months a year. But I have always been a rebel and did not like to obey the rules, so I gave birth to a son in defiance of all prohibitions.
– This play is about the behind-the-scenes life of an actress. What was yours like?
– I was lucky with my colleagues. We were a family. Of course, at times we had creative differences. For example, when I was put in the same scenes with accomplished actors , I would say: “She will never leave. Am I going to stay in the fourth line-up until I grow old?” When I was young, I loved telling jokes backstage, and I was often told that my laugh was too loud. So that’s why, now I forgive young actors everything.
– Is it true that you left medical school because of the theater?
– No. It’s all about love. I am from Uzbekistan. As a child, I dreamed of singing on stage, but my parents wanted me to become a doctor. In my third year of medical school, I fell in love with someone, but he became interested in my friend. So, I decided to leave, and fate brought me to Almaty to the Korean Theater. I sang, spoke Korean and that’s why they took me in right away. Dad could not forgive me for this and did not talk to me for several years. I remember that he came to the play “Don’t Rock the Tree”, after it was finished, he came up to me and said: “Maybe you did the right thing by choosing the profession of an actress. Today I am proud of you!” So we reconciled.
The premiere was a great success. The author of the play, who was sitting in the front row, wiped away his tears several times, and when the curtain fell, he said: “Antonina Petrovna was truly in love with her character today, and her depiction was fantastic. I want to say a huge thank you to the Korean Theater for such great respect for Kazakh culture and drama.”
At the end of August, the team will present the play “The Actress” at the International Theater Festival in Korea.
Nadezhda PLYASKINA, photo by Roman EGOROV, Almaty