The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre is located in the heart of Moscow, on Tverskaya Street 23, and was founded almost a century ago in 1915 as one of Moscow's first cinema palaces — the ARS Electrotheatre. After the revolution it became home to Konstantin Stanislavsky's opera and drama studio, and not long after that, the Stanislavsky Drama Theatre. The symbolic legacy of these three locations, a cinema, an opera studio and a dramatic theatre, has been fully endorsed by the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre as it launches a new era.
In early 2013, the Moscow Department of Culture ran a competition for the post of artistic director at what was officially called the Moscow Theatre of Drama named after K. S. Stanislavsky, i.e., the Stanislavsky Drama Theatre. The winner of the competition, announced in July 2013, was Boris Yukhananov.
In collaboration with The Wowhaus Studio — the architectural bureau responsible for numerous major architectural and design projects in Moscow in recent years, including the building of the Strelka Institute, the redesign of Gorky Park and the complete relandscaping of the Crimean Embankment on the Moscow River — Yukhananov undertook a full-scale reconstruction of the old interior of the building, creating a new, multi-functional platform not only for theatre, but for exhibitions, lectures and performance art.
"We established an 'electrozone' where various artistic endeavors will take place — music, fine arts, events involving contemporary literature, and an educational program. This is a space that will be openly accessible to the city. You can come here in the morning and grab a cup of coffee in our foyer. But it is not merely a place to spend your free time. It is a place where we want people to put an effort into contemplating contemporary culture."
Drawing on Stanislavsky's original ideas, the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre follows two guiding principles. First, it is a ‘director’s theatre,’ which, above all else, focuses on the importance of the director and the director's individual method. Second, it was created to be a platform for pioneering film and theatre directors from both Russia and abroad, a place where any director of any style would be able to stage innovative, experimental work, contemporary operas, dramatic performances, performance art or any other innovative forms including performance art, installations and art exhibits. The theatre encourages a synthesis between avant-garde and classical theatre.
Contemporary classical music is in need of a new direction. For that reason, collaborations with contemporary composers is a priority at the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. We see this as a continuation of the model that Stanislavsky himself developed at his Opera and Drama Studio. The programming of the Electrozone is one of the primary territories where these collaborations can take place. The Electrozone offers classical concerts performed by contemporary composers, and electronic music concerts held on the Electrotheatre's pre-revolutionary staircase, all organized by leading musical curators.
Productions at the Electrotheatre are staged by innovative directors who strive to combine the visual beauty of spectacle with a strong sense of the theatrical. Since opening in January 2015, the Electrotheatre has worked with Romeo Castellucci, Theodoros Terzopolous and Heiner Goebbels from Europe. Artistic director Boris Yukhananov also opened Sverliytsy/Drillalians, a six-part, five day 'serial opera' about a world existing parallel to Planet Earth. We have sought to place each of these challenging works in a fuller, informative context by way of lecture series, and photo, video and art exhibits, all held in the foyer of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre.
Boris Yukhananov, the artistic director of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, is a film theorist and the creator of major theatrical-cinematic projects such as The Constant Principle and the underground Parallel Kino movement. The theatre has its own cinema club and cinema studio, and is affiliated with Ciné Phantom, a publication and organization that, since its creation in 1995, has been on a mission to promote the study of film as an art form. Once construction is completed on the theatre's new small stage, it will host egular film screenings, followed by public discussions.
The Electrotheatre is delighted to announce the launch of its School for Contemporary Viewers and Listeners. The aim of this program is to make contemporary art of all genres accessible to art consumers, as well as to educate people on the innovations occuring in art, theatre and music. The program includes lectures, meetings, discussions and seminars, which take place at the Electrotheatre and in other locations.
Dance is an integral component in contemporary theatre and, as such, the Electro dance company is indispensible to all the theatre's productions. Dance workshops, festivals and performances regularly take place on the grounds of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre.
The Electrotheatre publishes its own journal series, The Theatre and its Diary, inspired by Antonin Artaud’s manifesto The Theatre and its Double. This journal is comprised of several books, based on Boris Yukhananov's own diary-novel, which includes production diaries, the director's drawings, and photos of his productions. A wide range of books may be purchased at the Electrotheatre Word Order bookstore, which is run in affiliation with the Word Order independent bookstore of literature in St. Petersburg. The space provides a platform for the cinema club, literary evenings, lectures and seminars, book presentations by authors, as well as many other events.