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Valery Fokin
VALERY FOKIN is the General and Artistic Director of The Meyerhold Centre in Moscow and the Artistic Director of the Alexandrinksy Theatre in St. Petersburg. He has been honoured as a People's Artist of Russia and an Honoured Art Worker of Poland, as well as being a repeat laureate of the State Prize of Russia. Born in Moscow in 1946, Fokin graduated from the Shchukin Theatre School in 1968, where he staged his first performance, From Evening Until Noon. Upon receiving his degree, Fokin began directing at Moscow's Sovremennik Theatre, where he would remain for the next 15 years. Each new production of his aroused keen interest from both spectators and critics, including works by Nabokov, Vampilov, Rozov, Albee and other foreign and domestic dramatic masters. In addition to being a director, Fokin also began to work as a professor, taking on a position at the State Institute of Theatrical Art (GITIS) that would last from 1975-1979. This aspect of his career would eventually grow to an international level, with a professorship at the Higher State Theatre School of Krakow from 1993-1994, as well as at the Toen Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, he has conducted numerous master-classes in directing throughout Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria, and many other European countries, while continuing to teach in both Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In 1985, Fokin's career once again expanded to take on a new dimension, as he was appointed to the directorship of the Ermolova Theatre in Moscow. From the very beginning, the young artistic director's productions made his theatre into one of the capital's most popular venues. Throughout the media, it was unanimously agreed that Speak..., Fokin's first staging at the Ermolova Theatre, had marked a shift to a new way of thinking within Moscow's theatre circles. As the USSR entered its epoch of declared openness (glasnost), Fokin began to look more and more intensely into the work of Vsevelod Meyerhold. In 1988, he became the chairman of the Commission on Meyerhold's Creative Legacy and has been heading the organization ever since. In 1991, upon the initiative of that very commission, and with the support of the Union of Theatre Makers of Russia and the Union of Architects of Russia (Soyuz Arhitektorov Rossii), The Meyerhold Centre was founded with Valery Fokin as its General and Artistic Director. In 1999, in accordance with a resolution of the Moscow Government, The Meyerhold Centre became a state-united enterprise, and on February 12th 2001, The Meyerhold Centre's newly constructed building was officially opened. By 1996, Valery Fokin's theatrical work had reached such a point of acclaim that special festivals of his productions were held both in Moscow and Saint Petersburg: Valery Fokin: Three Performances in the Manège (Moscow, March 1996) and Metamorphosis by Valery Fokin (Saint Petersburg, Theatre on Liteiny, November-December 1996). Fokin's productions of A Hotel Room in the Town of NN (based upon Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls), Metamorphosis (by Franz Kafka), Tatyana Repina (by Anton Chekhov), and The Inspector General (by Nikolai Gogol) were highly commended throughout Russia and the world, earning Fokin his place as one of the leaders of modern European theatre. In 2002, Fokin drew worldwide attention for his work as a screen director with his feature-length film Metamorphosis, which was greatly praised at festivals in Tokyo, Moscow, Vyborg, and Karlovy Vary. Fokin's productions stand out for their theatricality, dynamic action, paradoxical truth and insistent pursuit of a new theatrical language. In his creative activity, Fokin touches upon the most poignant and bitter topics of our country's recent past, as well as upon present-day topics which have long been off-limits. Whether modern or classical, his productions provoke great interest both at home and abroad, arresting audiences with the global nature of their dramatic metaphor, their profoundly artistic worldview, and an expressivity that springs from detailed psychological analysis. Performances under Fokin's direction have been shown on the stages of Poland, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, France, and the USA, and a number of these stagings continue to be performed to this day. These productions stand out not only for their skillful direction, but for the ingenious interpretations they make of already well-known images, revealing new aesthetic possibilities for the works in question as well as for the theatre as a whole. In 2006, Valery Fokin became a member of the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Culture and the Arts of the Russian Federation. He has also received a Decoration for Service to Saint Petersburg , and by Decree No 172 of the President of the Russian Federation on February 28th 2006, he was awarded the Order of Service to the Fatherland - Fourth Class.

Bio as of July, 2007.

American Theatre Wing programs, interviews and/or credits include:

Working in the Theatre (video)
World Theatre - January, 2002 - Watch now.