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Les Kurbas Theatre Lviv


Les Kurbas Theatre Lviv was founded in 1988 as the “Lviv Youth Theatre” by Volodymyr Kuchynsky and a troupe of young actors and artists, seeking to create a new and challenging arena for theatre practice in the midst of a changing Ukrainian world.
Their initial explorations in theatre gave voice to the silenced Ukrainian poets Vasyl Stus, Vasyl Symonenko, Lina Kostenko, and Ivan Svitlychnyi, and through this exploration, they began to resonate with their own distinctive voice. Since then their actor-centric theatrical exploration has evolved in response to personal and social history—from antiquity to present—in union with art, artists, other theatres, and a remarkably diverse span of genres and authors. Poetry, mythology, novels, dramas, fables, philosophy and “texts for theatre” have all found their way onto their explorative playing fields through authors such as Ukrainka, Dumas, Skovoroda, Dostoevsky, Plato, Chekhov, Pirandello, Schmitt, Antonych and KLIM…. These works have been performed widely in Ukraine and the world over, and having been invited to numerous festivals and tours, they have taken home awards on many of these occasions. Through all its years, The Les Kurbas Theatre has produced over 50 productions, raised several generations of actors—some of whom are still with the theatre, some of whom have gone on successfully to other theatres, and some of whom have created their own theatres. 

VOLODYMYR KUCHYNSKY

Founder and Artistic Director of the Les Kurbas Theatre, Director, Actor


He worked as an actor at the Maria Zankovestka Theatre before going to study directing with Mark Zakharov and Anatolyi Vasiliev at the Institute of Theatrical arts (GITIS) in Moscow. In 1988 he founded the Kurbas Theatre and became its Artistic Director, a position he has held ever since. The author of many projects and festivals, Kuchynsky has directed over twenty works at the Kurbas Theatre, and additional productions at the Ivan Franko Nathional Theatre in Kyiv and Taras Shevchenko Theatre in Kharkiv, which was originally the home to Les Kurbas’ “Berezil Theatre.” In 2001 his studio merged with the Lviv Ivan Franko National University (LNU) where he has lead courses in acting and directing. He has also conducted master classes in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Italy, the UK and the United States. In the latter, he has lectured, given classes or been hosted by the Theatre, Literature or Ukrainian departments of Columbia University, Yale, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania. His work has been celebrated in Ukraine and internationally; he has been awarded prizes for his direction and artistic contribution to Ukraine, in addition to a shelf full of “best director” awards from international festivals, he is the recipient of the Shevchenko Prize, The Kurbas Prize, and he was the first ever recipient of the Vasyl Stus Prize. Volodymyr Kuchynsky is an “Honored Artist of Ukraine”, a title given by the Ukrainian Government to acknowledge excellence in achievement in one’s field.