The company of Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theater will open their 95th season in hard times, with a war going on in the east of our country. Soldiers and civilians die in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts every day, and artists in the capital cannot stand aside.
“Our company has already joined the nationwide support of the Ukrainian army and has transferred our daily earnings of 85,541 hryvnias for the armaments. But we understand that this money is not enough. That is why the actors decided: all the proceeds on the opening day of the 95th anniversary season will be given to support the fight against hirelings, separatists, and aggressors,” Mykhailo ZAKHAREVYCH, director general of Ivan Franko National Theater, told The Day. “We are going to carry out an action on August 21 and urge all theater companies of Ukraine, our colleagues in art through mass media to support the initiative and transfer the money earned on the theater season opening day to support the Ukrainian army in the fight for integrity and independence of Ukraine. With this deed we are going to prove that artists are with the people!
“On August 27 we are going to perform Taras Shevchenko’s Nazar Stodolia, it will be charity. The selection of this piece is not coincidental. We celebrate Kobzar’s 200th birth anniversary this year, and August 27 is the birthday of our theater’s patron Ivan Franko. Let me remind that starting from our theater’s first season, Shevchenko and Franko’s heritage have been constantly present on our stage. In the perilous 1920s, in times of creation of Ukraine’s statehood, our theater was born. Along with the people, our actors went through the evil times of the Holodomor and repressions, supported faith in victory at the fronts of the World War II, defended the best achievements of the national heritage with dignity, took care of revival of spirituality and self-identification of every Ukrainian. We bow low to our predecessors, believe they bless us from a better world for artistic work and inspire us to move forward. A question emerges today whether our country will stand or fall, and it is resolved in the east of Ukraine. Our nation comes together today, and we believe in victory!”
Let us remind that play Nazar Stodolia is symbolic for Ukrainian theater. Starting with leading actors: Kropyvnytsky, Saksahansky, Sadovsky, Zankovetska, each actor thinks it is a great honor to participate in it. Since 2009, it is staged by Yurii Kochevenko at the Ivan Franko Theater, where main roles are played by Les Zadniprovsky (Kychaty), Volodymyr Nechyporenko (Hnat), Liudmyla Smorodina (Stekha), Iryna Melnyk (Halia), Taras Zhyrko (Nazar), Oleksii Petukhov (Musician), Taras Postnikov (Kobzar), and others.