Валерий Фокин


 Valery Fokin is the President of The Meyerhold Centre in Moscow and the Artistic Director of the Alexandrinksy Theatre in St. Petersburg.  He has been honoured as a People's Artist of Russia (Narodniy Artist Rossii) and an Honoured Art Worker of Poland (Zasluzhenniy Deyatel Iskusstv Polshi), as well as being a repeat laureate of the State Prize of Russia (Gosudarstvennaya Premiya Rossii).

Born in Moscow in 1946, Fokin graduated from the Shchukin Theatre School in 1968, where he staged his first performance, From Evening Until Noon.  Upon receiving his degree, Fokin began directing at Moscow’s Sovremennik Theatre, where he would remain for the next 15 years.  Each new production of his aroused keen interest from both spectators and critics, including works by Nabokov, Vampilov, Rozov, Albee and other foreign and domestic dramatic masters.

In addition to being a director, Fokin also began to work as a professor, taking on a position at the State Institute of Theatrical Art (GITIS) that would last from 1975-1979.  This aspect of his career would eventually grow to an international level, with a professorship at the Higher State Theatre School of Kraków (Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Teatralna) from 1993-1994, as well as at the Toen Theatre in Tokyo, Japan.  Since then, he has conducted numerous master-classes in directing throughout Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria, and many other European countries, while continuing to teach in both Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

In 1985, Fokin’s career once again expanded to take on a new dimension, as he was appointed to the directorship of the Ermolova Theatre in Moscow.  From the very beginning, the young artistic director’s productions made his theatre into one of the capital’s most popular venues.  Throughout the media, it was unanimously agreed that Speak…, Fokin’s first staging at the Ermolova Theatre, had marked a shift to a new way of thinking within Moscow’s theatre circles.

As the USSR entered its epoch of declared openness (glasnost), Fokin began to look more and more intensely into the work of Vsevelod Meyerhold.  In 1988, he became the chairman of the Commission on Meyerhold’s Creative Legacy (Komissiya po Tvorcheskomy Naslediyu V. E. Meyerholda) and has been heading the organization ever since.  In 1991, upon the initiative of that very commission, and with the support of the Union of Theatre Makers of Russia (Soyuz Teatralnhih Deyateley Rossii) and the Union of Architects of Russia (Soyuz Arhitektorov Rossii), The Meyerhold Centre was founded with Valery Fokin as its General and Artistic Director.  In 1999, in accordance with a resolution of the Moscow Government, The Meyerhold Centre became a state-united enterprise, and on February 12th 2001, The Meyerhold Centre’s newly constructed building was officially opened.

By 1996, Valery Fokin’s theatrical work had reached such a point of acclaim that special festivals of his productions were held both in Moscow and Saint Petersburg: Valery Fokin: Three Performances in the Manège (Moscow, March 1996) and Metamorphosis by Valery Fokin (Saint Petersburg, Theatre on Liteiny, November-December 1996).  Fokin’s productions of A Hotel Room in the Town of NN (based upon Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls), Metamorphosis (by Franz Kafka), Tatyana Repina (by Anton Chekhov), and The Inspector General (by Nikolai Gogol) were highly commended throughout Russia and the world, earning Fokin his place as one of the leaders of modern European theatre. 

In 2002, Fokin drew worldwide attention for his work as a screen director with his feature-length film Metamorphosis, which was greatly praised at festivals in Tokyo, Moscow, Vyborg, and Karlovy Vary.

Fokin’s productions stand out for their theatricality, dynamic action, paradoxical truth and insistent pursuit of a new theatrical language.  In his creative activity, Fokin touches upon the most poignant and bitter topics of our country’s recent past, as well as upon present-day topics which have long been off-limits.  Whether modern or classical, his productions provoke great interest both at home and abroad, arresting audiences with the global nature of their dramatic metaphor, their profoundly artistic worldview, and an expressivity that springs from detailed psychological analysis.  Performances under Fokin’s direction have been shown on the stages of Poland, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, France, and the USA, and a number of these stagings continue to be performed to this day.  These productions stand out not only for their skillful direction, but for the ingenious interpretations they make of already well-known images, revealing new aesthetic possibilities for the works in question as well as for the theatre as a whole.

In 2006, Valery Fokin became a member of the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Culture and the Arts of the Russian Federation (Prezidium Soveta pri Prezidenta Rossiyskoy Federatsii po Kulture i Iskusstvu).  He has also received a Decoration for Service to Saint Petersburg (Znak Otlichiya za Zaslugi pered Sankt-Peterburgom), and by Decree № 172 of the President of the Russian Federation on February 28th 2006, he was awarded the Order of Service to the Fatherland – Fourth Class (Orden za Zaslugi pered Otechestvom – IV Stepeni). 



1. V. Rozov. From Evening Until Noon (S Vechera do Poludnya). (Shchukin Theatre School, Moscow, 1968)
2. F. Dostoevsky. Another Man’s Wife and a Husband Under the Bed (Chuzhaya Zhena i Muzh pod Krovatyu). (Shchukin Theatre School, Moscow, 1968)
3. L. Filatov. The Time of Good Intentions (Vremya Blagix Hamereniy). (Shchukin Theatre School, Moscow, 1969)
4. N. Gogol’s The Nose (Nos) and Guy de Maupassant’s Boule de Suif. (Shchukin Theatre School, Moscow, 1970)
5. M. Roshchin. Valentin and Valentina. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1971)
6. A. Volodin. Don’t Part Ways With Your Loved One (S Lyubimymi Ne Rasstavaytes). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1972)
7. A. Vampilov. Provincial Anecdotes (Provintsialnie Anekdoty). Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1973)
8. V. Rozov. Four Drops (Chetyre Kapli). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1974)
9. M. Shatrov. Tomorrow’s Weather (Pogoda na Zavtra). Co-directed with G. Volchek and I. Reichelgaus. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1974)
10. V. Rozov. Four Drops (Chetyre Kapli). (Jan Kochanowski Theatre, Opole, Poland, 1976)
11. F. Dostoevsky. I Shall Go, I Shall Go! (I Poidu, I Poidu!). Based on the novels Notes from
Underground and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1976)
12. N. Gogol. Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (Vechera na Xutore Bliz Dikanki). (Central Actor's House [Tsentralniy Dom Aktera], Moscow, 1976)
13. B. Vasiliev. Don’t Shoot The White Swans (Ne Strelyaite v Belix Lebedey). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1976)
14. W. Shakespeare. Hamlet. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1978)
15. E. Vetemaa. Monument. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1978)
16. A. Vampilov. The Elder Son (Starshiy Syn). (J. Kochanowski Theatre, Opole, Poland, 1978)
17. A. Kazantsev. I Shall Return to You with the Spring (S Vesnoy Ya Vernus k Tebe). (Oleg Tabakov Studio, Moscow, 1978)
18. Y. Semenov. Search 891 (Poisk 891). Co-directed with G. Volchek and M. Ali-Hussein. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1979)
19. A. Osiecka. The Taste of Cherries (Vkus Chereshni). Co-adapted with M. Ali-Hussein. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1979)
20. K. Simonov. We Won’t Meet Again (My Ne Uvidimsya s Toboy). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1979)
21. N. Gogol. The Inspector General (Revizor). (S. Yarach Theatre, Łódź, Poland, 1980)
22. A. de Musset. Lorenzaccio. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1980)
23. V. Gurkin. Love and Pigeons (Lyubov i Golubi). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1982)
24. N. Gogol. The Inspector General (Revizor). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1983)
25. M. Mishin. Faces (Litsa). (State Theatre of Miniatures, Moscow, 1983)
26. A. Vampilov. The Elder Son (Starshiy Syn). (Pech National Theatre, Hungary, 1984)
27. E. Albee. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1984)
28. V.Gurkin.  Risk. Based on O.Kuvaev’s novel Territory. Co-directed with G. Volchek. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1985)
29. G. Baklanov. Forever Nineteen (Naveki - Devyatnadtsatiletnie). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1985)
30. A. Buravsky. Speak... (Govori…). Based upon the works of V. Ovechkin. (Ermolova Theatre, Moscow, 1986). 
In 1987, awarded the State Prize of Russia.
31. V. Dozortsev. The Last Visitor (Posledniy Posetitel). (Ermolova Theatre, Moscow, 1986)
32. E. Radzinsky. Sporting Scenes from 1981 (Sportivnie Stseny 1981 Goda). (Ermolova Theatre, Moscow, 1986)
33. A. Vampilov. Last Summer in Chulimsk (Proshlym Letom v Chulimske). (Hayuza Theatre, Tokyo, Japan, 1987)
34. A. Buravsky. The Second Year of Freedom (Vtoroy God Svobody). (Ermolova Theatre, Moscow, 1988)
35. V. Nabokov. Invitation to a Beheading (Priglashenie na Kazn). (Ermolova Theatre, Moscow, 1989)
36. A. Vampilov. Last Summer in Chulimsk (Proshlym Letom v Chulimske). (St. Paul, USA, 1989)
37. N. Klimontovich. The Idiot. Based upon the novel by F. Dostoevsky. (Hayuza Theatre, Tokyo, Japan, 1989)
38. V. Nabokov. Invitation to a Beheading (Priglashenie na Kazn). New edition. (Ermolova Theatre Centre, Moscow, 1990)
39. M. Gorky. Vassa Zheleznova. Based upon Gorky’s second version of the play. (Tri-Buhne Theatre, Stuttgart, Germany, 1991)
40. N. Klimontovich. Raving (Besnovataya). Based upon The Idiot by F. Dostoevsky. (Ermolova Theatre Centre, Moscow, 1991)
41. N. Gogol. The Marriage (Zhenitba). (S. Yarach Theatre, Łódź, Poland, 1991)
42. L. Ustinov. Snake Island (Zmeiniy Ostrov). (Theater am Neumarkt, Zürich, Switzerland, 1992)
43. Mysteries (Misterii). Based upon motives within the works of sculptor V. Sidur.
(Mark Pekarsky Theatre in conjunction with The Meyerhold Centre, Moscow, 1992)
44. N. Gogol. Dead Souls (Mertvie Dushi). (Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Kraków, Poland, 1993)
45. M. Gorky. Vassa Zheleznova. (Higher State Theatre School, Kraków, Poland, 1993)
46. F. Dostoevsky. Bobok. (Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Kraków, Poland, 1993)
47. A. Ostrovsky. Our Man (Nash Chelovek). Based upon A. Ostrovsky’s play There’s Enough Simplicity in Every Wise Man (Na Vsyakogo Mudretsa Dovolno Prostoty). (Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Kraków, Poland, 1994)
48. N. Gogol. A Hotel Room in the Town of NN (Numer v Gostinitse Goroda NN). (The Meyerhold Centre, Moscow, 1994).
In 1994, awarded the State Prize of Russia, a Crystal Turandot for Best Direction, and a Golden Mask (the highest Russian national theatre award) for Season’s Best Production.
49. F. Kafka. Metamorphosis. (The Meyerhold Centre in conjunction with the Satirikon Theatre, Moscow, 1995). In 1996, awarded a Golden Mask for Best Male Role (Konstantin Raikin in the role of Gregor Samsa), and a Crystal Turandot for Season’s Best Production. In Belgrade in 1998, awarded the Special Prize of the 32nd International BITEF Festival and the Politics Newspaper Award.
50. A. Vampilov. Twenty Minutes with an Angel (Dvadtsat Minut s Angelom). Second edition, staged for Oleg Tabakov’s jubilee. (Moscow, 1995)
51. N. Klimontovich. The Karamazovs and Hell (Karamazovy i Ad). Based upon themes taken from F. Dostoevsky. (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 1996)
52. Anecdotes (Anekdoty). Based upon F. Dostoevsky’s novel Bobok and A. Vampilov’s play
Twenty Minutes with an Angel. (Oleg Tabakov Theatre, Moscow, 1996)
53. E. Radzinsky. The Last Night of the Last Tsar (Poslednyaya Noch Poslednego Tsarya). (Theatrical Agency BOGIS, Moscow, 1996). In 1997, awarded a Crystal Turandot for Best Direction.
54. A. Ostrovsky. Our Man (Nash Chelovek). Based upon A. Ostrovsky’s play There’s Enough
Simplicity in Every Wise Man (Na Vsyakogo Mudretsa Dovolno Prostoty). (Globus Theatre, Novosibirsk, 1997)
55. And Van Gogh Too... (Eshyo Van Gog…). Based upon I. Saveliev’s dialogues. (The Meyerhold Centre in conjunction with the Oleg Tabakov Theatre, Moscow, 1998). In 1998, awarded a Crystal Turandot for Best Direction.
56. A. Ostrovsky. Our Man (Nash Chelovek). Based upon A. Ostrovsky’s play There’s Enough
Simplicity in Every Wise Man (Na Vsyakogo Mudretsa Dovolno Prostoty). (The Polish Theatre [Teatr Polski], Wrocław, Poland, 1998)
57. A. Chekhov. Tatyana Repina. (Festival d’Avignon in conjunction with the Moscow Theatre for Young Spectators [MTYuZ], Avignon, France, 1998)
58. A. Chekhov. The Three Sisters. (Finnish National Theatre, Helsinki, 1999). Awarded the Special Prize at the 10th Baltic House (Baltiyskiy Dom) International Theatre Festival.
59. N. Kolyada. Old World Love (Starosvetskaya Lyubov). Based upon N. Gogol’s Old World
Landowners (Starosvetskie Pomeshchiki). (Anatoly Voropaev Theatrical Agency, Moscow, 1999)
60. Aristophanes. Air City (Vozdushniy Gorod). Based upon Aristophanes’ The Birds. This version staged for open-air performance. (A joint production between The Meyerhold Centre, Globus Theatre in Novosibirsk, and the Stoyan Bachvarov Drama
Theatre, Varna, Bulgaria, 2000)
61. Aristophanes. Air City (Vozdushniy Gorod). Version for closed stages. (Globus Theatre, Novosibirsk, 2000)
62. A. Chekhov. The Wedding (Svadba). (S. Yarach Theatre, Łódź, Poland, 2001)
63. Antonin Artaud: An Announcement (Antonen Arto. Anons). (The Meyerhold Centre, Moscow, 2001)
64. V. Semenovsky. Artaud and His Double (Arto i Ego Dvoynik). (The Meyerhold Centre, Moscow, 2002)
65. Aeschylus. The Seven Against Thebes. (Düsseldorf Drama Theatre, Germany, 2002)
66. N. Gogol. The Inspector General (Revizor). (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2002). In 2003, awarded the State Prize of Russia, a Golden Mask for Best Production, and a Golden Sofit (St. Petersburg’s highest theatrical award) for Best Production and Best Male Role (Sergei Parshin in the role of Town Governor).
67. F. Kafka. Metamorphosis.  (Shizuoka Performing Arts Center, Japan, 2003)
68. N. Gogol. The Overcoat (Shinel). (Sovremennik Theatre, Moscow, 2004)
69. F. Dostoevsky. The Double (Dvoynik). (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2005)
70. N. Gogol. The Marriage (Zhenitba). (Arko Art Center, Seoul, South Korea, 2005)
71. L.Tolstoy. The Living Corpse (Zhivoy Trup). (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2006)                                                                            
72.P. Chaykovsky The Queen of Spades (Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow, 2007)                                                     73. N. Gogol The marriage (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2008)  

74. Vadim Levanov KSENIA. THE HISTORY OF LOVE    (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2009)   

75. W. Shakespeare HAMLET (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2010)       


77. N.Gogol YOUR GOGOL (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2011)

78. F.Dostoevsky ZERO LITURGY (Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 2012)

Theatrical Productions


Plays for Television
1. C. Dickens. Dombey and Son. (1974)
2. N. Gogol. Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka and His Aunt (Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka i Ego
Tetushka). (1976)
3. V. Tokareva. Between Heaven and Earth (Mezhdu Nebom i Zemley). Based upon the story A
Greek Was Crossing a River (Exal Greka Cherez Reku). (1976)
4. H. de Balzac. Cousin Pons. (1978)
5. V. Tokareva. Mazaev’s Deficit (Defitsit na Mazaeva). (1979)

Films for Television

1. K. Simonov. We Won’t Meet Again (My Ne Uvidimsya s Toboy). (1981)
2. M. Lermontov. The Tambov Treasurer’s Wife (Tambovskaya Kanznacheysha). (1982)
3. Krylov’s Fables (Basni Krylova). (1983)
4. A. Buravsky. Speak... (Govori…). (1987)
5. V. Nabokov. Invitation to a Beheading (Priglashenie na Kazn). (Television Centre, Łódź, Poland, 1992)
6. T. Dorst. Ich, Feuerbach. (1993)




Film and Television
1. L. Zorin. Transit (Tranzit). (1983)
2. Mysteries of "The Inspector General" (Zagadki “Revizora”). (1998)
3. F. Kafka. Metamorphosis. (2002)
4. N. Gogol. A Hotel Room in the Town of NN (Numer v Gostinitse Goroda NN). (2003) In 2004, received the TEFI Award (Television-Film Award) for Best Director of a Televised Feature Film or Series.

5. N. Gogol The overcoat (2008)

1. Bakshi, Lyudmila. Scores for Two Plays: “A Hotel Room in the Town of NN” and
“Metamorphosis” (Partitury Dvux Spektakley: “Numer v Gostinitse Goroda NN” i “Prevrashchenie”). Ed. Valery Semenovsky. Moscow: The Meyerhold Centre, 1999.
2. Chepurov, Alexander. The Birth of a Performance: Valery Fokin’s “Inspector General” at the
Alexandrinsky (Aleksandrinskiy “Revizor” Valeriya Fokina. Rozhdenie Spektaklya). Saint Petersburg: Baltic Seasons, 2005.
3. Fokin V.Talks about profession. Saint Petersburg: Baltic Seasons, 2007.

The Overcoat: Quotations from Theatre Reviews, , , 19/01/2006

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