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Director Interviews: Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich

By Cymbeline Anthropocene on Oct 30, 2020 at 03:26 PM in Project News

In the second of our interviews with Cymbeline in the Anthropocene's collaborating directors, we spoke to Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich of the Stanislavsky Theatre in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Read below for a glimpse of how theatres in Kazakhstan are adapting to Covid-19 conditions, and keep an eye on this blog for more directors' interviews soon!

Director Interviews: Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich

Cymbeline in the Anthropocene: What is unique about your theatre company and its approach to Shakespeare in performance?

Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich: Our theatre’s full name is Karagandy State Russian Drama Theatre named after K.S. Stanislavsky [famous early 20th-century theatre practitioner and theoretician of naturalistic and “Method” acting techniques]. It’s an indoor theatre built in 1963 on one of the most beautiful streets of the city: Boulevard of Peace,now Nursultan Nazarbayev Avenue.

CA: What kind of site does your theatre occupy?

DYA: It’s a city site. Near the theatre there are buildings of the 50s, built in the style of the Soviet Empire. In the background of them, the theatre looks like a stylish example of architectural minimalism that distinguishes the 60s of the twentieth century. A shady alley with multicoloured beds planted with petunias passes by the theatre. Directly opposite the theatre there is the elegant sculpture "Kobyz," and in front of the theatre there is the world's first monument to K.S. Stanislavsky.

There are plenty of different local and foreign famous plays in the repertory of our theatre, and as it’s Russian theatre our performances are given in Russian language. Most actors received higher acting education, and our young actors are students of the theatre university in Russia. We have dedicated designers – stage, costumes, lighting, music.

Director Interviews: Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich

CA: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your theatre practice and/or rehearsal process?

DYA: I think the pandemic affected theatres around the world very much. Our theatre has been closed since March; recently we were allowed to rehearse with a small ring of actors.

CA: How is your company adapting to the ongoing pandemic measures? Has the pandemic changed how you will perform for future audiences, and who that audience may be?

DYA: This year is the 90th anniversary theatre season and we have a lot of plans and premieres, but of course, due to the pandemic, all the plans were postponed for several months. But we tried not to be discouraged and continued to rehearse Mukhtar Auezov’s tragedy Abai [about the life of Kazakh poet Abay Qunanbayuli ] online in the Zoom app, and even made a live opening of new season.

We did many online projects such as "Who is on duty today?" where actors show different places inside the theatre, and "For special children," where our actress L.M. Pekusheva reads poems and fairy tales in sign language for deaf and mute children. And this is not all: 6 other projects that can be viewed on our website.