The Gorky Theater in Vladivostok will be celebrating its 80th anniversary in the following theater season. Located on Svetlanskaya Street, a few blocks away from the bridge, the theater doesn’t exactly strike an image. While the building, which was built in mid-70s, certainly retains some of its Soviet charm, the theater grounds are gorgeous. The interior is equally unadorned. However, the theater recently had new seats installed, which were incredibly comfortable.
The Gorky Theater features a large repertoire of productions, including comedies, dramas, and the occasional musical. The local troupe consists of more than 40 actors, led by the artistic director, Efim Zvenyatsky.
As I enjoy seeing how Russia takes American culture and makes it their own, I attended a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Полет над гнездом кукушки) with my Russian friend Olya. Tickets were priced at 250, 500, and 800 rubles, depending on the seat. We decided to go for the medium-priced tickets, which were square in the middle of the theater. While the actors spoke incredibly quickly (perhaps a bit too quickly), the play was easy enough to understand, due to the outstanding acting. The actors had the audience on the edge of their seats, with some in tears, when Billy’s suicide was announced. However, my favorite moment was when the patients were crowding around a switched-off TV pretending to watch baseball. Hearing them scream “Ауууут!” (“Out!”) was hilarious, since it was obvious none of them had ever watched a baseball game before. All in all, I was incredibly impressed with the production.
I highly recommend seeing at least one performance at the Gorky Theater in Vladivostok. The speech may be hard to understand at times, but the actors certainly make up for that in remarkable acting. Instead of seeing a poorly dubbed American movie at the movie theater, buy a cheap seat at the drama theater. Maybe even take that special (Russian?) someone on a date!
For groups and faculty-led tours, tickets tend to only sell out for premiers. But, it’s best to contact the box office at the beginning of the month if you need to purchase tickets for a large group.
Gorky Primorsky Regional Academic Drama Theater
Приморский краевой академический драматический театр имени Горького
ул. Светланская, 49
Box Office Hours of Operation: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm,
break from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Tickets cost between 200 and 1000 rubles depending on seat
Michael Smeltzer has degrees in Russian Language and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has previously studied abroad in Irkutsk and is currently spending an academic year in Vladivostok as part of SRAS’s Home and Abroad program.