The alternative history of Russian theater
A lecture series organized with with Theatre magazine. The lectures will be devoted to an alternative history of Russian theater, the first research of which first appeared in the magazine's issue No. 33. Lectures are devoted to some of the most important figures of “unofficial” Russian/Soviet culture – from Igor Terentyev to Yevgeny Shiffers.
The Philosophical Theatre of Boris Ponizovsky
Boris Ponizovsky was a theatre artist, philosopher, theatre theorist, and a key figure in Leningrad's “unofficial” culture.
Throughout his life, he gave different names to his work: “speculative theatre,” “absolute theatre,” “private theatre,” and “small theatre.” Regardless of the definitions, Ponizovsky's theatre was always a form of alternative reality, an attempt to overcome the temporal and spatial limitations of Soviet reality.
Using the example of a philosophical, speculative theatre, which was created on library cards and consisted of plots drawn from parables, Ponizovsky studied the relationship of an individual with space and time. The hero and the spectator of this theater was always one and the same person, first in the former capacity, then in the other.
Did the reality of Boris Ponizovsky’s philosophical theatre match its intellectual basis?
Vera Senkina is a theatre scholar, a candidate of Art History, theatre critic, curator, and a member of the expert council of the Golden Mask Festival in 2016.