Tat'iana Katinskaia. ?Straw Madeleine¦
A Lyrical Comedy
Lena Madina, known to her friends as Madeleine, loves to create pictures out of straw, and cannot forget the man she loves v Seva Proshkin, who unexpectedly vanished from her life ten years earlier. We first meet Madeleine at the moment when she is sure that Proshkin can no longer be alive. And that is precisely when he turns up. But he no longer resembles the unsuccessful Proshkin that he used to be; he has become a well-off and respectable person, showing all the exterior attributes of a successful man. Madeleine, on the other hand, is still just as she always was v all she has is the readiness and the will to help anyone who might need her help (she can usually find room for anyone in her home).
But it seems as though the new Proshkin has no need of Madeleine-s help. In despair, and intending to upset the man who used to love her, Madeleine recruits an actor to play the role of her fiance. The ?fiance¦ plays his part convincingly, and Proshkin changes before our very eyes- But the actor suddenly abandons his wife and decides to stay in Madeleine-s home for ever. Proshkin too reveals his true face- And Madeleine ends up with two real fiances instead of one fake-.
Male roles v 3, Female roles ? 4
Iurii Lomovtsev. ?Summer Gardens¦
A Tale for the Theatre in Two Acts
The main character in the play, Sergei, is going through a ?mid-life crisis¦: he has left his wife, lost touch with his son, and unable to reach any understanding with his parents. In his attempt to sort himself out, to understand who he is and what he is, Sergei not only replays real situations from his own life, but also imagines new ones. The other characters in the play, people from various generations and historical epochs, are drawn into the action. Before us unfolds the story of their lives, with all their striving, hopes, and disappointments. Many scenes of the play take place in the Summer Gardens, which are for the characters not just one of the most beautiful parts of Saint Petersburg, but which also stand as a symbol of spirituality and purity.
Male roles ? 10, Female roles ? 9
The actors may play several roles each
Igor Shprits. ?The Girl and the Centaur¦
A Melodrama in Two Acts
Two people v a man who has been disabled since childhood, and a ballerina who is confined to a wheelchair after a spinal injury v meet in a sanatorium for invalids. In despair, she wishes to end her life. The man offers her a chance of recovery: he will let her have his place in the queue for an illegal operation. But first she has to ?fall in love¦ with him. She agrees to do so-
In the second act it is the man who now wishes to end his life. At the last minute the ballerina appears, recovered, and wishing to offer her love in return for the generous gift of a cure. She promises to earn money for the man-s operation- He is left waiting. There is no other option.
Male roles ? 1, Female roles ? 1
Andrey Zinchuk. ?One Day¦
a comedy in two acts
A house set apart, on the very edge of the city, or on the very edge of the forest. The wind whistles, the blizzard howls, dogs bark ? it's scary... mysterious...
Larisa, who appears to be an ordinary woman, lets a room to perfectly ordinary lodgers ? Evgenii, a student, and a man called Neukov. She appears to be hoping to sort herself out an ordinary life. But what follows is such a jumble of events ? real, mystical, phantasmagorical ? that it's difficult to tell where normal life ends and myth begins.
Male roles ? 8, Female roles ? 4, minor roles
Sergei Buranov. ?Ease my Sorrows¦
A Play in Two Acts
The dramatic story involving several generations of a single family. The daughter of the main character v the grandfather v comes from Germany to see him, bringing his grandson, who has grown up to be a real German.
The grandfather is upset with his daughter because she has left her country, where life has become very hard, in contrast to life in Germany, which her country once conquered. But gradually the grandson becomes closer to the grandfather than his own daughter. His feelings of rejection towards the new world fade away, as does his feelings of being upset, as in the German boy the grandfather discovers a whole new world.
The entire action of the play happens in one place, in one flat. The story involves various characters and the social situation.
?Ease my Sorrows¦ has been running successfully in the Komissarzhevskii Theatre in Saint Petersburg for several years.
Male roles ? 4, Female roles ? 3
Aleksei Cherneevskii. ?Telephone Conversations¦
In four episodes
?Telephone tales¦ consists of a number of short stories united by a single theme: the gulf which exists in people-s understanding of one another. It can be created both by the inability to listen, and the unwillingness to understand one another. In each of these four stories people exploit the fact that they cannot be seen, and that only their voices can be heard, so as to seem different from how they really are. These are stories of love from afar, of betrayal, violence, and the tragedy of loneliness, uncertainty, and fears which need to be overcome.
Roles: from one to four
Translations into English by Dr Katharine Hodgson
Russian Department School of Modern Languages
University of Exeter England