The story told in the touching play Levushka based on Anatoly Krym’s short story is about coming back home, to childhood, where it is warm and nice, where dear grandmothers are still alive, and the whole life is lying ahead. Kyiv director Ihor Slavinsky staged the short story without any set design, he staged the text in full, and narration is done with the help of actors (which is an innovation for the Donetsk Theater).
The heroes include Ukrainian Grandma Dasha (Halyna Skrynnyk), Jewish Grandma Roza (Valentyna Savrasova), Levushka (Ivan Bezsmoly), Vovka Syrok (Mykola Huseinov), and new characters, incorporated by the director – grinder and yard-cleaner (Volodymyr Bykovsky and Volodymyr Shvets).
“Generation notwithstanding, we grow in our own yard in one way or another, even if there is no yard at all (which is quite rare these days). This is the feeling of where your roots are located and the sense of your life is located near these roots,” Director Ihor Slavinsky says.
The story is not as much about religion as about faith and memory, about who you are. The director unites the combination of cultures and religions into two religious psalms – Jewish and Christian motives, into one melody. And in this he was assisted by Kateryna Tyzhnova (music arrangement) and Tetiana Pashchuk (choirmaster).
It took very little time to stage the play on the Donetsk stage. Incidentally, Levushka staged by Slavinsky is being successfully shown in the Theater on Podil. There it is a chamber dialogue with the audience, whereas the Donetsk actors are playing on a big stage.
“We have discussed long ago that our theater is lacking a sincere play. Our billboard has carried Funeral Prayer and Sunset, but due to various reasons they are not on the repertoire anymore,” Natalia VOLKOVA, artistic director of the Donetsk-based Theater of Music and Drama, explained. Actors and audience have being longing for this kind of dramaturgy. The audience was laughing and crying during the show. By the way, only Slavinsky was granted permission by the playwright to stage Levushka. The director is preparing a triptych based on Krym’s stories.
The next premiere will take place on March 16: Oksana Havryliuk’s production of Bergman’s Autumn Sonata will be shown on small stage.