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There Was a Full House at RSAL’s Cultural Meeting with Nikolay Kolyada

There Was a Full House at RSAL’s Cultural Meeting with Nikolay Kolyada

On 26 January, the Russian State Art Library (RSAL) held a cultural meeting with Nikolay Kolyada, a living legend of the modern stage, artistic director of Kolyada-Theatre (one of the most popular regional theatres of the country), famous playwright, and founder of the Ural School of Dramaturgy.

The event was also organised by the internet magazine DramTheatre (Editor-in-chief Yuri Butunin).

Especially for this event, the library prepared an exhibition of rare editions of Kolyada’s plays published in the late 1980s by the All-Union Copyright Protection Agency (VAAP), which was a pleasant surprise for him.

There are people whom you would like to listen to endlessly. They look at the world positively, speak openly about their feelings, generously share their knowledge and experience. Nikolay Kolyada is that kind of person. The audience listened to the wonderful storyteller with great interest and bated breath, laughing, asking numerous questions, which Kolyada answered with great enthusiasm.

Kolyada spoke about his start, what helped him to make the theatre successful and popular with audiences not only in Yekaterinburg, but also throughout the country. He mentioned the difficulties of maintaining a private theatre that is dependent on the audience and exists through the sales of tickets and souvenirs. He shared secrets of the acting profession.

The conversation flowed into the peculiarities of the creative process of writing plays: “Writing plays is maths.” He talked about how difficult it is to teach playwrights today. For 30 years, Kolyada has been teaching the Literary Creativity course (Dramaturgy Department) at the Yekaterinburg State Theatre Institute.

In general, at the meeting many things were discussed, it’s impossible to recount them all. No one wanted the meeting to end. The audience was in no hurry to leave; it was that interesting. They received autographs and photos as mementos. But Kolyada needed to hurried to a performance — the traditional tour of the Kolyada-Theatre was underway in Moscow.

On that day there was another significant event for the library — Nikolay Kolyada became a RSAL Reader. “Now I am yours,” Kolyada said. A RSAL library card will serve as a reminder that our bibliographers are always ready to fulfill the requests of the Kolyada-Theatre, and that RSAL’s services can be used remotely.