... I learned to live by the wise Russian proverb: "Do not believe in happiness, do not be afraid of trouble." The very feeling of life is already a reward – and in misfortune it is even sharper and deeper than in happiness.
Yours, A. Solzhenitsyn
“Yours, A. Solzhenitsyn” – this is how Alexander Isaevich signed under his letters, in which he appears as a person rather than an iconic figure in Soviet literature. These words became the epigraph to the production directed by Marina Brusnikina, which was included in the theatre’s cycle Our Everything... . The performance, lead by the People's Artist of Russia Avangard Leontiev helped by young actors from the Dmitry Brusnikin Studio, is dedicated to the Russian writer of the 20th century, who in Russia is called the conscience of the people, a fighter against totalitarianism and appears to be a personality of a planetary scale.
“There are people, artists, whose influence on the formation of a whole generation is enormous,” says Marina Brusnikina. – A person of that kind, of course, for our country is Alexander Solzhenitsyn. His path, his love for the Motherland, his work - all of that is unique. I think, with regard to the younger generation, they basically do not know Solzhenitsyn, they know the name, and this name is rather associated with the figure of an ideologist, philosopher, fighter. But hardly anyone read the texts. It was important for us to take precisely the period of his formation as a writer, because he is nothing less than a wonderful Russian prose writer. It is necessary to remind those who remember about this, and to reveal Solzhenitsyn to those who do not know him.
Having studied Solzhenitsyn’s archives, the creators of the performance decided to focus on the journey traveled from the moment the story “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” was published, the one where Solzhenitsyn describes the life of a Soviet prisoner based on his stay in Steplag in northern Kazakhstan, until receiving the Nobel Prize in 1970 “For the moral strength with which he followed the immutable traditions of Russian literature”. The production use personal letters, fragments of prose and Solzhenitsyn's Nobel speech.
Few contemporary actors feel the literary word so subtly and know Russian literature so deeply as the People's Artist of Russia Avangard Leontiev. He himself defines the genre of his performances as "sounding word". Evenings with Avangard Leontiev in form may be similar to a traditional "reader's concert", but in essence they are something much more: it is also a conversation with an attentive and sensitive interlocutor, offering a fascinating journey into Russian literature, who knows how to make a word voluminous, lively, strong and exciting, how to discern unexpected meanings on familiar (or rather, unfamiliar as Mr. Leontiev chooses not the most famous works) pages. The sounding literature Avangard Leontiev is an almost tangible reality, so captivating that the viewer forgets about everything that is left behind the doors of the auditorium.
The theater thanks Natalia Dmitrievna Solzhenitsyna, Galina Andreevna Tyurina and the Solzhenitsyn Foundation.