Today at the intersection of Nagatinskaya street and Andropov Avenue the solemn grounding of a cornerstone and a capsule with a message for future generations occurred, marking the beginning of the Moscow Art Theatre Branch construction. Artistic Director of the Moscow Art Theatre Oleg Tabakov, Minister of Culture of Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky, Vice-Mayor of Moscow Leonid Pechatnikov, Prefect of Southern Administrative District of Moscow Alexey Chelyshev and the President of the Moscow Art Theatre School Anatoly Smeliansky participated in the ceremony, conducted by Igor Vernik. Actors and employees of the Moscow Art, the Moscow Art Theatre School students and Tabakov Theatre School students also attended the ceremony.
In his speech Vladimir Medinsky pointed out to the symbolism of the fact that the construction starts at the beginning of The Year of Literature: “Many names of Russian and world drama are associated with the Moscow Art Theatre. This theatre became not only a culture-bearer, like many other theaters, but a cultural phenomenon itself.” “Not so long ago we have erected a monument, dedicated to the Moscow Art Theatre founders – Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko," – Leonid Pechatnikov reminded the audience, –"but I believe, the new theatres are the best homage to them”. Anatoly Smeliansky made a point in his speech of this construction not being another attempt to subdivide the Moscow Art Theatre, but a long overdue acquisition of highly technological transformer stage, that is essential for a theatre attempting to stay up-to-date.
Before the solemn grounding of the capsule, a production based on Chekhov’s works was performed by actors of the Moscow Art Theatre, followed by Oleg Tabakov reading the message to the future generetions:
“Today, on March 25, 2015, on the eve of the International Theatre Day (with a capital “T”, as Mr. Nemirovich-Danchenko used to write it,) we are grounding the first stone to serve as foundation for the new Moscow Art Theatre building. Just recently, we've grounded a stone on Kamergersky lane, where now a monument to the founders of the Art Accessible Theatre is standing. To be honest with you: I take pride in being a witness to one of my old ideas coming to life. I do not know and cannot know what will happen to this new Theatre, meant to become a new home to the Moscow Art here, on Nagatinskaya Street. We cannot foresee the future, but I want future generations to know what ideas and feelings were driving us, the company members of the Moscow Art, when we were giving this initial impact to our new home. So know this, people of unbeknown future: we start this being driven solely by the artistic ideas on the art of acting. We found this new stage, so this sprout springs into the humanistic Theatre, which our founding fathers dreamt about. They knew only well when to lay a foundation to the art that future generations would have to maintain and represent. Why would one be doing such things? Because we ourselves are not all that there is to life. Because if we have honor and conscience, we have to help the theatre art of the future to develop, to acquire a new face, a new voice. From concept to realization – this is the way of any actor’s, and any director’s achievement, any worthy performance, any dignified Theatre. I myself write this word with a capital letter, so that it may project the agitation of this day, when we lay a foundation to this new stage of the Chekhov Art Theatre. With best regards to you, people of the future, on behalf of current Moscow Art Theatre, and on behalf of Oleg Tabakov, an actor who has served the Russian stage for 60 years”.
The Moscow Art Theatre Branch is scheduled to welcome its first audiences in 2018.