Lev Dodin — Artistic Director, The Maly Drama Theatre
Born in 1944 in Siberia, where his mother had been evacuated during the war. Began studying theatre as a child at the Leningrad Young Viewers’ Theatre chaired by Matvey Dubrovin, an excellent teacher. Entered the Leningrad Theatre Institute immediately after graduating high school and studied under the famous stage director and teacher Boris Vulfovich Zon.
Dodin’s debut as a director came in 1966 with the televised performance of First Love based on the story by Ivan Turgenev. Then came dozens of shows staged at theatres in St. Petersburg, Moscow and abroad. Performances include It’s a Family Affair—We’ll Settle It Ourselves (Leningrad Young Viewers’ Theatre), The Minor and Rosa Berndt (Leningrad Theatre of Drama and Comedy), A Gentle Creature with Oleg Borisov (BDT and MKhAT), The Golovlev Family with Innokenty Smoktunovsky (MKhAT), Bankrupt (Finnish National Theatre), the opera Elektra at the Salzburg Festival together with Claudio Abbado, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District at the Florence Musical May Festival, The Queen of Spades in Amsterdam, Florence and Paris together with Semen Bychkov, and Mazepa at the La Scala in Milan with Mstislav Rostropovich, and Demon at the Châtelet in Paris together with Valery Gergiev.
Work with the Maly Drama Theatre started in 1975 with Karel Chapek’s The Robber. The staging of Abramov’s The House in 1980 determined the fate of Lev Dodin and the Maly Drama Theatre. Lev Dodin has been the theatre’s artistic director since 1983. Those years have brought stagings of Brothers and Sisters, Lord of the Flies, Stars in the Morning Sky, Gaudeaumus, The Devils, Love under the Elms, Claustrophobia, Chevengur and others. The performances staged by Dodin after A. Chekhov`s plays make a tetralogy: Cherry Orchard, A Play Without a Title, The Seagall, Uncle Vanya.
In 1992 the theatre directed by Lev Dodin and Lev Dodin himself were invited to join the Union of Theatres of Europe, and in 1998 Dodin’s theatre was the third theatre granted the status THEATRE OF EUROPE after the Odeon in Paris and the Piccolo in Milan. Lev Dodin is a member of the General Assembly of the Union of Theatres of Europe.
In 1967 Dodin began teaching acting and directing. Now he is a professor at the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy where he chairs the stage direction department. Lev Dodin has raised many generations of actors and directors and has taught master classes at theatre schools in Great Britain, France, Japan and the USA. Many directors working in St. Petersburg have been his students one way or another.
Today the MDT Company unites Dodin’s students old and new. Lev Dodin’s directing and productions have won many state and international prizes and awards, including state prizes of Russia and the USSR, the Triumph Independent Prize, Golden Mask National Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award. In 2000 Dodin was presented the highest European Theatre Award – Europe Theatre Prize, and in 2001 he received the Russian Presidential Award.