MINSK, 19 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko watched a rehearsal of the restored Pavlinka play during the visit to the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theater on 19 February, BelTA has learned.
At the theater Culture Minister Anatoly Markevich briefed the head of state on the current state of affairs and development prospects of the theater, on the restoration of its classical play Pavlinka which is the hallmark of Belarusian drama.
“It means that this production was lost in 2020 and then restored?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked. “Fully? Not worse than before?”
“I think it is even better now,” the minister said. He said that the restored production features actors of the Yanka Kupala theater from the previous company, for whom the theater has become a true home, as well as students of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts and the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. According to Anatoly Markevich, they have blended into the team well. “I see the fiery eyes of our youth. It is an honor for them to serve in our theater, to perform with the best actors of the Yanka Kupala theater. And I want to assure you that they will not disappoint the theater and the country.”
After the report of the culture minister the president watched a rehearsal of the new Pavlinka play and talked to the actors of the Yanka Kupala theater. “It is unreal to play at this level. Like athletes, you can run out of steam, it is unreal to play like that all the year round,” Aleksandr Lukashenko shared his impressions. “Of course, I am very happy to see my old friends and the new members of your company. I will be very happy if we restore the theater at a higher level after the recent events.”
During the meeting the president spoke about the work of the new culture minister. The president told the team of the Yanka Kupala theater why he decided to appoint Anatoly Markevich. “I deliberately chose a manager, a true leader from the outside. He came, and all of you are equal for him, all of you are equally distant,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “I would like the leading academic national theater to accept him. Others will follow your example.”
According to the president, the events of 2020 were a test for the society, including for the Yanka Kupala theater. People opened their eyes to many things. “I do not regret about what happened in this theater. On the one hand, people saw that. Secondly, every cloud has a silver lining. Look at all these young people. It is good that experienced actors can help younger colleagues. But I cannot say that they looked pale on the same stage with you,” the head of state said.
Speaking about the last year's events, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he was mostly concerned about Belarusian creative intellectuals. “Everything happens in life. Some people disagree, there are places and time to share your concerns and disagreements. No one will be against. I am for different opinions. Express your positions and opinions, but do not break the laws,” the president said.
During the meeting with the head of state the workers of the Yanka Kupala theater, first of all, touched upon such issues as the financing of the theater, the availability of housing for young actors and artists from other towns, plans to cooperate with new directors. Speaking about the housing issue, Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the Minsk city administration, the aide and envoy in Minsk to calculate the cost of rented housing in existing houses and the possibility to build new housing. “We will use a targeted approach here,” the president said.
Speaking about the cooperation with new directors, the president said: “It's up to you to decide. You need good stage specialists,” the head of state said. “To begin with, take one director. When you see the deficit, take one more. At the same time, do something to nurture your own directors.”
The president visited the theater on the day when People's Artist of the USSR and Belarus, leading stage performer Gennady Ovsyannikov celebrated his birthday. Actress of the Yanka Kupala theater Olga Nefedova celebrated her birthday on 18 February. The head of state wished them a happy birthday and gave presents.