The Stage Russia project continues to bring classic novels by leading theaters to big screens worldwide, all with English subtitles.

Don’t have the chance to visit Russia but you’re interested in the country’s rich theater tradition? Did you know that you can watch Russian theater productions in a cinema near you? Since 2016 Stage Russia HD has been bringing the best performances from leading Russian stages to cinemas worldwide.

The next season will soon open with a Shakespeare production and will bring an experimental musical to a Tolstoy novel.

“These are timeless works that lend themselves to many reinventions,” said Eddie Aronoff, Stage Russia HD founder. “Similar to NT Live and the Metropolitan Opera HD, which have presented a variety of versions of classic titles (Hamlet, Romeo And Juliet, La Traviata, La Boheme, among others), we feel it’s entirely relevant to offer access to the full breadth of Russian theater in all its incarnations.”

1. King Lear

In staging Shakespeare, director Yuri Butusov tries not to simplify the bard’s deep meanings. This is a metaphorical story about the collapse of a family, the collapse of a country, and the collapse of an individual and how they all are connected to each other.

The Satirikon Theater’s production features great actors and its artistic director, Konstantin Raikin, as King Lear. This role earned him Russia’s main national theater prize, the Golden Mask, for best male role. Maryana Spivak, a star of Zvyagintsev’s Loveless is playing Cordelia.

In cinemas from Sept. 20; find the nearest to you on the website

2. Onegin

This is a Siberian version of the classic Pushkin novel in verse, staged by Timofey Kulyabin at the Novosibirsk Red Torch Theater. The director moves the action from the 19th century into today’s world. The script focuses on four main characters: Onegin, Lensky, Olga, and Tatyana and their love stories.

This staging will show you the extent to which Pushkin’s masterwork still resonates with 21st-century reality.

In cinemas from Nov. 8; find them here –

3. Smile Upon Us, Lord

Lithuanian director Rimas Tuminas has staged a story of two old Jews setting off to find out what happened to one’s son. This is originally a novel by Lithuanian writer Grigory Kanovich–a philosophical metaphor of a life path, full of adventures, sorrows, and memories.

Humor and a little of sadness await you while watching this piece that features Russia’s leading actors, Viktor Sukhorukov and Aleksei Guskov.

In cinemas from Feb. 7; find the nearest screening here –

4. Anna Karenina

This Tolstoy novel is among the most frequent screened and staged works in world literature. Now Russians have made it into a musical! The producer, Alexei Bolonin, believes that the novel is well suited for a musical because it has all the necessary ingredients; most importantly, a love story.

Of course, Tolstoy’s philosophical ideas couldn’t be presented fully, because this is not the right genre for that, but the most important features are reflected in the stage sets or in the lyrics. There are also some direct quotes from the novel.

This musical had a grand premiere in Moscow and was sold out every night for several months in a row.

Premiere date to be confirmed, follow the website

This article first appeared in Russia Beyond on September 14, 2018, and has been reposted with permission.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

This post was written by Alexandra Guzeva - Russia Beyond the Headlines.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.