WITHOUT A DOWRY

After A. N. Ostrovsky

SCHOOL OF DRAMATIC ART WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF PRODUCER LEONID ROBERMAN

Dmitry Krymov

PRIZES AND AWARDS
2018 — Crystal Turandot in the category of Best Female Performance for Maria Smolnikova
2018 — Crystal Turandot in the category Best Production
2018 — Award at the Kontakt International Festival in Torun, Poland.

WITHOUT A DOWRY The play Without a Dowry is today considered the climax of Ostrovsky’s final creative period, and the hero of the play, Larisa, is seen together with Katerina from The Storm as the author’s best female character – dramatic and complex, trying to revolt against the world that surrounds her. Ostrovsky’s Larisa is the youngest daughter of an impoverished aristocratic family. She is beautiful, modest and sensible but she has no dowry. The plan is that she will marry the well-off owner of a shipping company, Paratov, but he loses his money and chooses to marry a rich bride. Larisa then accepts a marriage offer from the vain, supercilious official Karandyshev, whom she does not love. The idea of a life without love terrifies her, and she considers how to escape from the hopeless situation. Director Dmitry Krymov’s production is part of a series entitled The Dmitry Krymov Laboratory of Classic Russian Works. Krymov’s Without a Dowry brings a new and almost surrealist way of looking at its source material, demonstrating the director’s ability to work with a classic and transpose it into modern language. With the aid of rapid changes of style, and by emphasising the grotesqueness and absurdity of the situation, the director touches on the eternal questions of human existence that the heroes are forced to address. All against a background of permanently-rolling television footage of a football match. An integral part of the action and its parallel reality is a film landscape on the banks of the Volga which the actors enter, spend time in and then return to the stage. Dmitry Krymov says the subject of his production is the impossibility of being free in a world of money. “At the centre of the action is a Russian Carmen – who is not, however, surrounded by romantic toreadors and soldiers breaking their military oaths, but a strict hierarchy and a brutal team of businessmen with fictitious, strange-sounding names (such as Motsius Parmyonovich and Charita Ignatyevna) which allows us to view them as if they were figures of Russian commedia dell'arte and at Ostrovsky as the founder of a specific genre of Russian drama,” the director says.

Dmitry Krymov transposes Ostrovsky's play to the modern day, and in his inimitable way thus fulfils the author's insturuction: “the play takes place in the present.“ (...) Contemporary things and figures thus become further material for the production, with each character and each episode having a clear model, but also its own, sharp, almost puppet-like eccentricity (…) The theatre reads Ostrovsky's play deeply and pays regard to it, but at the same time it tells its own story.
It is a declassé team that Krymov puts on stage. (…) Rich and poor alike spend their lives in a lean-to café by the river, to the sound of the legendary Russia-Netherlands football match of 2008, before everyone's eyes. And no escape to the far bank of the river takes place. (…)
Maria Smolnikova as Larisa is the main, sad eccentric of this gallery: not a potential luxuriously-maintained woman, but a female variation on Prince Myshkin. Ostrovsky has armed Larisa with the attractiveness and desire that destroy her, although at first they protect her. Smolnikova's Larisa is not protected by anything, she is as laughable as a puppy that has found its way into a dog killers' party. She is terrifying to watch, but you can't take your eyes away. (…) In Dmitry Krymov's production Larisa has no chance of achieving the height she needs to fly away, and so there cannot even be a fall from a height. Paradoxically, however, it is true here that wherever you fall from, the fall will be fateful nevertheless.
– Olga Fedjanina, Kommersant

Krymov interprets Ostrovsky with great lightness. It is still a classic, but expanded and added to, whether with office furniture, an encyclopaedia of mushrooms or symptomatic chatting. (…) And amazing things take place. Leaving aside all these jeers and clowning, the story functions exactly as Ostrovsky imagined it. (…)A further story has cheekily made its way into Without a Dowry, that of boorish Russia-Soviet-New Russian life.
– Vadim Rutkovskij, coolconnections.ru

With the aid of Ostrovsky's plays the director talks about today's Russia, its provincial life. Alexander Nikolajevich [Ostrovsky] is recast in the format of new drama.
– Olga Galachova, Nezavisimaja gazeta

DMITRY KRYMOV (1954) Krymov graduated from the Moscow art school School-studio MCHAT in 1976, after which he started work at the Malaya Bronnaya Theatre. There, as a set designer, he participated in productions by director A.V. Efros – Othello (1976), A Month in the Country (1977), Don Juan, Continued (1979), Summer and Smoke (1980), Remembrance (1981), Napoleon the First and The Theatre Director (1983). As a designer he has worked on over a hundred Moscow productions in the Mossovet, Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky, Gogol and Yermolova theatres and elsewhere. Since 2002 Dmitry Krymov has taught at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, GITIS, where he teaches scenography. His productions have been shown at prestigious international festivals in Austria, Britain, Germany, Georgia and Poland. Over the past decades his productions have six times won Golden Mask awards in various categories. The Dmitry Krymov Laboratory has performed in Brazil, the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Estonia and other countries. Krymov is the holder of a Crystal Turandot and a Stanislavsky award, and awards from international theatre festivals, including the Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award from the Edinburgh International Festival. Krymov's production Mu-mu, based on Turgenyev and performed at the Theatre of Nations, was selected by critics as the best production of 2018.

AGENTURA ART-PARTNER XXI The agency was founded in 1996 by producer Leonid Roberman, who is still its general director. The agency has shown over 50 productions directed by Roman Kozak, Konstantin Bogomolov, Nina Chusova, Roman Viktyuk, Vladimir Pankov and many others. During various periods these productions have featured well-known Russian film and television actors such as Valentin Gaft, Sergey Jursky, Sergey Makovetsky, Lyubov Polishchuk, Tatiana Vasilyeva, Natalia Gundareva, Armen Jigarkhanyan, Sergey Bezrukov, Maria Aronova, Alexandr Feklistov, Yelena Yakovleva, Natalia Tyenkova, Igor Kostolevsky, Mikhail Filippov, Leonid Yarmolnik and many others. The agency continues to work with most of them today. Art-Partner XXI shows its productions at leading Moscow theatres such as the Mossovet, Mayakovsky and Yermolova theatres, the Theatre Group of Taganka Actors, the Pushkin Theatre, the Russian Song Theatre, the Theatre of the School of Dramatic Art and others. The productions also visit leading theatres both in Russia and abroad.