Things to See: The Volkov Theater

May 16, 2012

The Volkov Theater (Театр Волкова) is located in Yaroslavl’s downtown, and just so happens to be Russia’s oldest theater! The theater was founded in 1750 by Russian actor Feodor Volkov. Since its founding, performers such as the world-renowned Constantin Stanislavski–whose name leaves every actor today trembling in admiration–and revered Russian singer Leonid Sobinov have graced its stage.

The inside of the theater is even more beautiful than the outside, featuring marble staircases, statues, sculpted ceilings, and exhibits. One of my favorite exhibits is on the second floor, hidden in a little nook in the wall: it’s a desk and mirror set up with old photos and odds and ends just lying about–you feel like you’re peering through time into an actress’s dressing room! Other exhibits include photographs from past productions, as well as miniature displays of past sets. It’s a theater lover’s paradise!

I have now seen two Chekhov plays at the Volkov: Three Sisters and Untitled (also known as Platanov). I would particularly recommend Three Sisters. It was a masterful, emotional show with spectacular acting and sincerely phenomenal technical backing. Untitled was a good show as well, but I would recommend it more for those with a serious interest in Chekhov and higher level Russian skills, as it definitely is a bit slower. I also had the fortune of seeing Hanuma (Ханума), a play written by Avksenti Tsagareli in 1882 that feels like it was written yesterday. If you’re looking for something, comedic, colorful, and musical, definitely see this production!

Naturally, all shows are in Russian! If you’re worried about your language skills, try reading a plot summary of the play you’re going to see beforehand. If you are here as a tourist with no Russian at all, I would recommend going to one of the concerts that are frequently put on at the theater. This way, you can experience the Volkov theater’s atmosphere without a language barrier.

Performance Schedule

You Want to Go? Not Surprised!

To buy tickets, I would recommend that you simply go to the box office. Enter the front door of the theater and you’ll find the ticket касса on your right. The cashier will help you pick your seats, make your payment, and get your tickets right on the spot. Make sure to show your student ID! With it, you can see a show for as little as 5 USD whenever you’d like. Floor, balcony, and box seats are all available for varying prices.

The cashier’s area is the only inner part of the theater visible if you’re not buying tickets, but it’s still worth a peek. You’ll find a list of shows and performance dates for the current month as well as the next, and there is a video on repeat showing teasers from current and up-coming productions.

Useful Information:

Address:
150000 Ярославль пл. Волкова, д.1
Building 1, Volkov Square, Yaroslavl, Russia 150000

To visit the theater’s bilingual English/Russian website, click here!
People who enjoyed this post may also enjoy Hillary’s posts on her time at the Moscow Bolshoi in Tickets, Tickets, Tickets, Hillary Goes to the Theater, and Bread, Beer, and a Bolshoi Ballet.

Wistfully counting down my hours left in Yaroslavl,
Sarah

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