The Internet Book List - Spread the word

Author Information: Mikhail Levitin



Rating: No votes
Comments: 0 (show them)
Biography's Source: From the publisher

Mikhail Levitin, whose Hermitage Theater has been a force in Moscow since the Brezhnev era, was born in Odessa in 1945. He mounted his first production (Mozart and Salieri) as a maverick seventh grader. Soon after that, he began a correspondence with the Moscow Chamber Theater actress Alisa Koonen, widow of the theater's creator, Alexander Tairov. At the age of 16, he entered the State Institute of Theater Arts in Moscow (GITIS) where he stunned critics and the public alike with his degree production of Peter Weiss'How Mr. Mockinpott Was Cured of His Sufferings. Later dramatizations by this 'uncontrollable' director -- including Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five -- further established Levitin's name but kept the Soviet authorities from giving him his own theater. A three-hour extravaganza based on then-banned works by Daniil Kharms (1982) and a breakthrough staging of an unfinished play by Yuri Olesha (1986) marked the start of his association with the Hermitage where, because of his being a Jew and a non-communist, his position as artistic director would not be made official until perestroika.

Throughout his directing life Levitin has written prose, biographical and autobiographical.Sploshnoye neprilichie (Total Indecency), his tribute to the futurist 1920s stage director Igor Terentiev, was short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize.


©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
Terms of Use