Resignation of Barys Lutsenka, Russian Theatre’s art director


Mikalai Pinihin working at the Great Dramatic Theatre in Saint Petersburg may take his post. The art director of the National Academic Dramatic Gorky Theatre (“Russian Theatre”) Barys Lutsenka has resigned after 16 years of work. He remains a producer in the theatre and is going to dedicate himself to his own ideas. The new art director has not been assigned yet. ERB has found out that Mikalai Pinigin was one of the candidates for the vacancy.

Barys Lutsenka says it is the best time for him to leave.

Barys Lutsenka: “Sooner or later you have to admit that the theatre needs someone young, decided and daring as I was when I came to the theatre. He can come and head it. I was a young producer who became the chief producer. All newspapers congratulated me on my anniversary, I didn’t even expect anything like that, radio and TV also congratulated me… You know, I rehearsed today and I felt so free! I leave the theatre when it is “in its prime”.

It is not clear who will be the new art director of the Russian Theatre. ERB asked Lutsenka if it was true that Pinihin was one of the candidates and he said it was. Moreover, the master says it was him who brought his possible successor to the theatre.

Barys Lutsenka: “Yes. He is a very talented person. Do you know it was me who brought him to the theatre? Both as a producer and as an actor. He graduated from the TV faculty. I had a famous performance called “Man’s tragedy” and he played the part of Adam there. I would be glad if he agreed to take my place. But you know, he works in the Great Dramatic Theatre in Saint Petersburg so I don’t think he will come here. We will meet soon and discuss everything with him”.

Barys Іvanavіch says that having to fire artists was the hardest part of his work on that post.

Barys Lutsenka: “I will be glad to hand the theatre over to a young, daring and talented person I used to be. I was very strict and fired a lot of actors. I cannot do it anymore. I have lived a lot and witnessed sorrow – I can’t fire an actor who has worked all the life at the theatre. I think: let them work and get their money”.

ERB recalled Pavel Harlanchuk who was fired from the theatre after having been detained at Kastrychnitskaya Square. The art committee decided that Harlanchuk, actor of the highest category, did not fit to be an actor. We asked Barys Lutsenka if he regretted having fired Pavel Harlanchuk.

Barys Lutsenka: “You know, he behaved in the way I did not want him to behave as my follower. He was very tactless. But, to tell you the truth, I had been preparing him for that. I hired him as a producer and he started playing. But it is another matter and we discussed it. I only regret people cannot come to an agreement. Life is given only once. You should be cleverer. You cannot imagine how much work has been done to make him a producer. He was meant to be a producer and he did not have to interfere in the work of actors. It was his drawback. He did not have to interfere… He had a choice: to ruin a performance or to tell them he was just passing by and they would have released him. I would have chosen the theatre”.

Barys Lutsenka is dreaming about his own “theatre under the dome” but he cannot get money to finance his idea. He says that this theatre is the thing he wants to be occupied with and notes that it is too hard for him to be an art director now.

Barys Lutsenka: “The work of the chief producer is very hard – you have to satisfy everyone and at the same time you have to fire someone… I lack energy for this. I want to create my “theatre under the dome” I “programmed” long ago. I want to understand where we come from together with viewers –  are we from space or are we monkeys’ descendants? If we are from space our life style is wrong. If monkeys are our ancestors then we live like in the jungle.  I also dream to open a restaurant “Health”, maybe it will be open in the theatre. A book “Confession of a sinful actor” is being prepared now. I think it will be out at the beginning of the next year”.