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History of the Theater - History of Yakutia

  • Published in Culture
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‘Russia My History’ Park hosts an ‘The Way to the Olonkho Theater’ Exhibition dedicated to the World Theater Day and 125th anniversary of Platon Oyunsky.


In the exposition, located in a rather impressive in its size hall, you can see the items related to the theatrical works of such outstanding theatrical figures of Yakutia as Dmitry Khodulov, Alampa Sofronov, Andrei Borisov, Gennady Sotnikov and Stepanida Borisova.

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The exhibition presents various display-items taken from the collections of museums of the Sakha Theater and the Olonkho Theater, among which the famous King Lear’s chair from the play directed by Andrei Borisov and based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, unforgettable posters of Gennady Sotnikov. In addition, traditional ritual objects related to the celebration of Ysyakh of Olonkho are also presented.

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The exhibition is immersed in a rather dark twilight, which gives it a very enchanting theatrical atmosphere. The exhibits from the collections are divided into seven definite zones, each of which is dedicated to the corresponding stage in the development of the Sakha Theater and the Olonkho Theater, beginning with the ritual period of celebrating Ysyakh and then through the early 20th century performances and ending with the Four Golden Masks as symbols of recognition of the merits of both theaters.

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At the entrance to the exposition the visitor is greeted by the symbol of Olonkho - the sacred tree of Aal Luk Mas. Most of the items in the exposition are taken from the Sakha Theater Museum, which is headed by one of the luminaries of the Yakut theater scene Efim Stepanov. According to him, this means that everything presented here is not just a job, but our very life. "All kinds of our theatrical art come from the Sakha Theater, and here we tried to show it all through this exhibition," he says.

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The fact that the exhibition is located in the hall, which in the future will be occupied by an exposition dedicated to the contemporary history of Yakutia, also looks very symbolic, as the history of culture and, accordingly, of the national theater goes in direct connection with the history of the formation of Yakutia as a republic. And here the words pronounced by the theatrical scientist, professor of the Arctic Institute of Art and Culture, Valentina Chusovskaya, seem very important:

"This exhibition shows not just the path that the theater went through, but also the great way that the people of Sakha passed from the earliest times. And here our discerning visitor should understand and bring something very important to his/her heart, the connection between history, culture and intellect."

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The opening ceremony of the exhibition gathered the troupes of both theaters, and completely different generations, and all the participants were shown a fragment of the ritual dance, as well as a tea ceremony. And a symbolic sign of the opening of the exhibition was not the traditional and threadbare ribbon-cutting ceremony but the bell ringing in the hands of Efim Stepanov.

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Theater7Efim Stepanov in the King Lear's armchair

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