New Director of the Youth Theater in Vladivostok:
"We are ready for radical changes"

On March 7, 2018, the director of the Primorsky Drama Youth Theater in Vladivostok was 39-year-old Igor Seleznev. In the past, an actor and TV presenter, for the past eight years he headed the Ussuriisk drama theater Komissarzhevskaya. And he made him popular not only in Primorye, but also in Russia.

Theater columnist Yulia Nikitina specifically for Life around Vladivostok spoke with Igor Seleznev about his plans for the Youth Theater.

Igor Seleznev

Igor Seleznev - originally from Berdsk, Novosibirsk Region. He graduated from the State Theater School in Novosibirsk and the Pacific State University of Economics (TSEU) in Vladivostok. As an actor, he was a member of the troupe of the Ussuri Drama Theater (now the Komissarzhevskaya Drama Theater).

For eleven years he worked on Ussuri television - he was a news presenter in the programs "Telemix News" and "In the center of events." In 2009-2017, he became director of the Komissarzhevskaya Drama Theater in Ussuriysk. Since 2014, he is a deputy of the Duma of the Ussuriysk city district.

Ussuri theater was not in the best condition

The fact that I lifted the Ussuriysk theater from my knees is said loudly, but he really was not in the best condition. During the work I managed to build a repertoire policy, a lot to put in order.

We have become participants and laureates of theater festivals, both in Russia and abroad - Golden Knight (Moscow), Smolensk Ark (Smolensk), Sakhalin Ramp (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Kolyada-Plays (Yekaterinburg), theater festivals in South Korea.

It's great that the actors managed to work with various directors invited to the theater - Denis Malyutin, Sergey Rudenok, Stanislav Maltsev, Lidia Vasilenko.

The performance of the Youth Theater "The Thirteenth Star"

Which is better - the director’s theater or the artistic theater

Given the ongoing debate about what is best for the theater, when the director or artistic director is at the head, the director's theater is closer to me. My opinion is made up of my theatrical and managerial education. And also from experience, when I had to oversee the creative component and repertoire.

When the national artist of Russia Nikolai Burlyaev arrived in Ussuriysk (the play “Forest Tale” was staged in his play), he said that he always adhered to the fact that the theater should be an artistic director. But now, in our example, he sees that the director's theater can be successful.

The success of the leader is measured in the victories of the theater. When there is a spectator and a wonderful repertoire, when the theater becomes a participant in festivals and constantly tours. When the team has a normal, healthy environment.

Theater for me is a family and a second home. From the fact that I can not stand in the team - this is laziness and lack of discipline. Discipline in the theater should be in everything, this is a very important factor in the work. I do not like betrayal and lies. Since I myself live in the theater and love it, then my team should be treated the same.

About building reconstruction and rebranding

Today I live the present and the life of the regional Youth Theater. Whatever they say, the coastal authorities are aware of the painful technical condition of the building and the need for its reconstruction. I understand perfectly well that they will not immediately allocate money for this to the extent necessary. The regional budget is planned in advance: we must go through a number of procedures, including examination, to prepare design estimates.

Everything is important for the director of the theater, from the economic part to the creative. And my task at the Youth Theater is to create normal conditions for both employees and our audience.

The theater, of course, should have its own face. Active work is underway to develop a logo. There are plans for rebranding, we have already assembled a promotional group for this direction. There are suggestions and visions, but we need to work on this. And I do not exclude that changes can be dramatic.

Youth Theater "Tomorrow Was the War"

About the repertoire and directors

Today, of course, I have questions for the current repertoire. But in order to remove something, you need to give the viewer a new one. The policy of the Youth Theater should be aimed at youth, at carrying out interesting projects. And we must not forget about the school curriculum, including an evening repertoire for a wider audience. Classics should definitely be in the life of any theater, and this is not discussed.

Now we have removed two performances - “Rikota Island” and “My Poor Marat”. The family portrait with banknotes remains in question, where an older generation of artists is employed. And I need to see him in order to make a final decision. The success indicator of any performance is the demand for the viewer. When a performance is in demand and there is a demand for it, it must live.

I noted two directors at the Youth Theater, I recognized them from the other side. Especially pleased with the performances of Sergei Rudenko, whom we have known since 2010. I saw his play "Tomorrow was the war" - it's a wonderful job! Knowing him at the time of our acquaintance by one director, I discovered a completely different one.

The second director is Lidia Vasilenko, we worked with her on "Forest Tale" at the Komissarzhevskaya Theater. The first collaboration, and the performance has already been marked at the Golden Knight (in December 2017, "Forest Fairy Tale" took the "gold" at the Golden Knight Slavic Art Forum - ed.). I am very pleased and interested to work with these directors, they are masters of their craft.

And I want to note that the Youth Theater is an amazing troupe, professional and very capable.

Performance of the Youth Theater "Baboon Riot"

New directions and premieres

I support new directions, be it a reading room or a laboratory. There is, of course, great interest in the readings of plays among those who are theatrically educated. And the laboratory is what artists also need for their self-education. If one of them has a desire to try himself as a director, then why not. Today, many theaters practice when the material released within the framework of the laboratory is being finalized and transferred to the big stage.

From experience I will say that I approach the modern drama very carefully. Because today there are so many “buts.” And when this or that play is taken, the material must be carefully worked out before it is released onto the stage.

Until the end of this season, we plan a number of premieres - in March, "Not the Pauper Opera" directed by Tamara Danziger-Delsal. We will also show Lydia Vasilenko’s “Scarlet Sails” and the “Young Guard”, on which Sergei Rudenok will work. And we’ll open the new season with the Prime Minister’s parade at the end of October 2018, when the Youth Theater will return from touring from Irkutsk.

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