After sensational multiple appearances at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, the acclaimed international theatre group Theatre-Atelier Piotr Fomenko is debuting in Boston with Family Happiness, a story about the evolution of love, based on the eponymous novel by Leo Tolstoy and adapted for the stage by Piotr Fomenko. Told from the viewpoint of the main heroine, Masha, the play abandons the novel's straightforward storytelling to recall the quiet affair between Masha and her father's friend, Sergey, the first months of happiness, her thirst for social status and the disappointment with society, the return and attempt to build a new, calm kind of family happiness. Passionless, dry and, at times, cynical, Masha rips away the cover of time to reveal the sweet happiness of young love that can never be recaptured.
Family Happiness premiered at the Theater-Atelier Piotr Fomenko in 2000 to rave reviews, and went on to win multiple awards and prizes for the cast and director. It is part of the theater's repertoire and is heavily featured on the festival circuits in Russia and Europe.
"Fomenko has achieved a state of grace. Like a spiritual King Midas, everything he touches takes on a glimmer of the divine." - John Freedman, The Moscow Times
About Fomenko Theatre
Piotr Fomenko, one of Russia’s most renowned master acting teachers/directors, follows in the rich Russian theatrical tradition of master teachers who lead their own actors' studios, (the first was Konstantin Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre). In 1993, Fomenko formed his own studio, Theatre-Atelier Piotr Fomenko, which has since become one of the most sought-after theatre troupes in Russia. The troupe made its North American debut at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2004 with War and Peace, based on Tolstoy’s great novel and Egyptian Nights, taken from unfinished works of Pushkin. Both works were adapted for the stage and directed by Fomenko.
“…a cast of polished actors, [Theatre –Atelier Piotr Fomenko] achieves the beauty of a well-made character sketch.”—New York Times
Piotr Fomenko trained at the famed Moscow Art Theatre School, but rebelled against its conformity, was ostracized, and left to continue his studies at GITIS, graduating in 1961. One of his earliest theater works, the 1966 production The Death of Tarelkine at the Mayakovsky Theater that was banned after a handful of performances, has achieved cult status. Blacklisted by several theatres in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Fomenko began working at a small student theater at Lomonosov University where he continued his defiant theatrical experimentation in productions of plays from the “Theater of the Absurd” by Ionesco, Beckett and Mrozek, all banned by the Soviet regime. In 1985, after a long battle with the regime, Fomenko was finally allowed to settle at GITIS where he built, in his own words, “a rare ensemble, containing actors whose personalities are equally rare.” Fomenko’s students – now known as “fomenki” – formed the core of some of Moscow’s most dynamic theatre troupes and most are now the core members of Theatre-Atelier Piotr Fomenko. In the course of his long artistic career, Fomenko has created a large body of work for theatre, television and film. His stage adaptations and directorial work have been seen in theatres throughout Russia, Europe and the U.S., and won numerous international awards.
- Written by: William Shakespeare
- Directed by: Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst
- Series: Legend
- Ages: 12+
- The performances are in Russian with English subtitles
- Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes with one intermission