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December 30, 2021 11:01 am

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In the coming holidays, little Muscovites will see the New Year’s fairy tale “How Dad and I Went to the Forest for a Christmas Tree”, and in February viewers will see the premiere of the play “The Blue Dog” based on the story by Tonino Guerra.

A unique theater is located in Vostochny Izmailovo – the only repertory shadow theater in Russia. This is one of the oldest Moscow children’s theaters, whose history began in the 30s of the last century. Then the artist Ekaterina Zonnenstral and the director Sofya Svobodina created a team at the Moscow Book Museum, which received funding from the Moscow City Department for Culture and Education. Official year of birth Moscow Children’s Shadow Theater (MDTT) it is considered 1937, but the troupe received its own stage only in 1988.

MDTT combines in its work the Chinese technologies of “puppets in the light”, which allow using the entire plane of the screen-screen, and projection theater, when the doll is tied to the lower edge of the screen. In addition, along with the traditional ones, modern artistic techniques are also used – video mapping, that is, 3D projection onto a physical object, and computer animation. All this expands the possibilities of the theater, making the performances more spectacular.

Both classical and modern performances for different ages – for toddlers, adolescents, family performances are successfully performed in the MDTT.


Uniqueness of craftsmanship

Play in shadow theater is not taught in theatrical institutes, these skills are passed from hand to hand and require virtuoso skill from the actor. You can learn more about the secrets of art at the guided performance “Where Shadows Live”. Here viewers can not only learn about the history of the ancient mysterious action, but also look behind the screen to see how the artists work.


The children’s shadow theater is located far from the center, but spectators come here not only from all over Moscow, but even from other cities.

“For many years we have been friends with the whole family with the Moscow Children’s Shadow Theater. Each visit here is a small miracle. We are looking forward to the New Year holidays, the annual Shadow Fest, where the works of the best shadow artists from different cities and countries will again be presented, and new premieres, ”says Olga Sudakova, a constant spectator of the theater.

According to her, any genre framework is rejected here and there is room for various experiments.

Survive the pandemic

The past two years have not been easy for MDTT, as well as for many cultural institutions in the capital. Nevertheless, theatrical life did not stop.


After the partial lifting of restrictions related to the pandemic, the theater released two premieres: “The Legend of the Faithful Dragon” – a shadow performance based on the myths of Ancient Greece (director – Natalia Lebedeva, artist – Alexander Krupenin) and “A story never written” based on the stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky (director – Larisa Volkova, artist – Victor Platonov), with whom he has already visited Tobolsk at the festival of the Theater of Nations.

And in November of this year, the third International Festival of Shadow Theaters Shadow Fest was held at MDTT, where groups from Macedonia, Murmansk and Moscow performed. In previous years, artists from Finland, Poland, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Great Britain, as well as from various cities of Russia, took part in it. MDTT expects that the coronavirus pandemic will recede and there will be much more festival participants next year.

Plans for the future

Last summer, the theater held a shadow theater laboratory, where young directors created sketches of performances based on modern texts for children. As a result, all four sketches were accepted for further work. And already in February the premiere of the play “Blue Dog” based on the story of Tonino Guerra, directed by Karen Nersisyan and artist Amir Yermanov will take place. Also in the plans is the first production for adults in a long time – the shadow performance “Adam and Eve” based on the story of Mark Twain.

And on New Year’s holidays, MDTT will show its best children’s performances and a New Year’s fairy tale for the whole family “How Dad and I Went to the Forest for a Christmas Tree” based on the play by Svetlana Kozlova.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL OSI Russia News