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The St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theatre Repertoire

I Didn't See the War

"I Didn't See the War..."

Memories in one act

Dedicated to our teachers.
Marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War.

"This is a wonderful, bright production, staged by a young man and even younger director. The production makes use of the memoirs and letters of students and teachers at the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema during the years of the Second World War. It's easy to come off as pretentious and overly sentimental in tackling this subject, so sacred to every Russian and especially the citizens of Leningrad. The director has overcome this by staging his production with feeling and tact, with his own directorial view of the war."

"The production is valuable for its superb acting ensemble and it's hard to single anyone out: all of them execute their roles with their souls, with voices breaking from emotion and eyes full of tears. They're all young and fully immersed in the atmosphere of those years:
– Andrei Emelyanov, with his story of Vanya and Lera's engagement;
– Ivan Grigoriev, about the death of a sailor and his frantic dance at the end;
– Dmitri Zhitkov with his monologue about the meaningless death of his friend in the war;
– Vera Latysheva, talking about love and bright human emotions in a terrifying time;
– Sofya Karabulina, narrating the first time she saw someone die beside her, and the sad story of the 'old hag';
– and Maria Myasnikova, with her story about a boy who stole bread.

And when the girls talk about the deaths of all the male students in the Institute's dorm, one feels a lump in the throat.
Bravo to the director, a large and heartfelt thank you to these young people for the production, for honoring the memory of the war and the years of the Siege of Leningrad. The actors, still almost children, so far removed from those terrible and tragic years, make the audience's hearts beat faster and eyes water.

And as formal as this may sound, many thanks to their mentor, G. M. Kozlov, for raising them. As long as such young, talented actors continue to appear, Russian theatre will remain alive.

With love and gratitude,

PV Tsyganov

Jury Member of the St. Petersburg Teatral Society"

The production makes use of the memoirs and letters of the following students and teachers at the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema (now the Russian State Institute of Scenic Arts) during the years of the Second World War:

Nikolai Evgenievich Serebryakov (its director from 1941 to 1961)

The Class of 1945
Dina Morisovna Schwartz (School of Theatre Criticism)

The Class of 1946
Anatoli Samoilovich Shvedersky (Class of Professor L. F. Makaryev)
Valentina Pavlovna Kovel (Class of Senior Instructor N. E. Serebryakov)
Galina Petrovna Korotkevich (Class of Professor B. M. Sushkevich)
Anna Semyonovna Khaslavskaya (School of Theatre Criticism)
Lidia Ivanovna Grigorieva (School of Theatre Criticism)

The Class of 1948
Vladimir Viktorovich Petrov (Class of Professor L. F. Makaryev)
Nikolai Alexandrovich Boyarsky (Class of Senior Instructor N. E. Serebryakov)
Lidia Petrovna Shtykan (Class of Senior Instructor N. E. Serebryakov)

As well as of the actors:
Yuri Vladimirovich Nikulin
Zinovi Efimovich Gerdt
Alexander Davydovich Beniaminov

And the poet:
Olga Fyodorovna Bergholtz

The Masterskaya Theatre expresses its gratitude to Elena Viktorovna Nazarova and the St. Petersburg State Theatre Library for its help in staging the production.

Duration – 1 hour and 10 minutes with no interval.
Premiered 8 May 2015.

Production Designer - Natalia Druzhkova
Music Selection - Vyacheslav Shulin
Light Designer - Alexander Ryazantsev
Choreographer - Nikolai Kuglyant
Stage Manager - Alyona Parshina