Krasnodar, 7 October. Our today’s interviewee is Maria Gracheva, Company Manager of Gorki Krasnodar Academic Drama Theatre, who is now celebrating her own jubilee and 25 years of work as a theatre artist.
Q.: Do you remember your first performance? What did you feel when you were playing your heroine?
A.: My first work in the theatre was The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman. I played one of the students of a private school. My role did not have any text; I was just playing the reed-pipe and moving furniture.
I invited my father to see mu debut, and after the performance he said: “Darling, everything was good, but I would rather see you with some words next time.” So, my first heroine was not too talkative. But I did fulfil my father’s wish – all my further roles were with words.
Q.: How does your generation differ from today’s youth? What do they lack?
A.: Our young generation is persevering, self-assertive; they know for sure what they want; they are creative and do not fear to try anything new. This is important in our ever-changing world, when you converse with rather savvy spectators. I think that young artists should read more to develop image thinking, and to be able to speak intelligently.
Q.: How have you not lost your own ‘I’ in an endless gallery of roles?
A.: You cannot lose your own face if you have a backbone, when you know why, for what sake and how you are working. There should be a character personality behind the theatrical makeup, so that the personage has the source to gather his strength, charisma and inspiration from. An artist’s task is not just to be a conductor of the playwrights’ thoughts – they have to teach their spectators morals, to become a mirror of evils that have to be promptly corrected as well as a reflection of virtues.
Q.: How can a young artist achieve heights?
A.: The most important thing is to be able to work on yourself, even if you think that you have already found your own niche and can brilliantly cope with your roles, winning rounds of applause. As soon as you stop working, stagnancy appears – no fresh air, your personality would not renew and it would begin be getting obsolete.