Stage adaptation and direction Sergey Zhenovach
Set design Alexander Borovsky
Lighting design Damir Ismagilov
Composer Gregory Gobernik
The first night 2011, May, 15
Sergey Zhenovach on the ‘Brother Ivan Fyodorovich’ production: ‘This production is based on the 11-th volume of The Brothers Karamazov novel, one of the determining works of Russian literature on the whole. It’s clear that the whole novel is ‘unmanageable’ both due to its size and the number of ideas, thoughts, various characters, collisions and unsolved questions. That’s why I consider focusing on one particular character or a single story line to be the best way to comprehend this ‘eternal’ book. As for the 11-th volume, it hardly covers 24 hours, that’s the day before Mitya’s court trial. He’s accused of his father’s murder. Those are not mass scenes, those are dialogues between just two people at a time. The whole town is anticipating the trial: those who are directly involved in the case and those who are only remotely related to it. Everyone – the murderers and the witnesses – is in the same space. What is important about this story, is that the actors are roughly or even precisely of the same age as the characters. Alyosha is about 19, Ivan is 23. It’s only the elder brother, Mitya, who is 27. Needless to mention Grushenka and Katerina Ivanovna. The main characters of this novel are young men trying to understand how to live, what to believe and how to deal with their lives.’
At the end of 2010 the production crew visited Staraya Russa, the town which became an inspiration for Dostoyevsky’s Skotoprigonyevsk (‘Stockyard-town’) where the action of The Brothers Karamazov is set. Here, in the house-museum of Dostoyevsky one of the first rehearsals took place.