The theatre studio “Peremena” at the “Bumazhnik” palace of culture
“As a rule, we see children with emotional hyperactivity come to us, and it is very important to send passionate energy to do good! But even more I’d like to help them see the wonderful WORLD, a gift of nature, teach not to do harm to this beauty. And also... [I’d like to help children] adapt to real life, acting out, trying to fit in the destinies of the characters in our performances”.
Director E.G. Pylskaya,
History of the theatre of JSC “Solikamskbumprom”
First and foremost, the theatre owes its origins to Germans who had been exiled here during World War II. In March 1947, they presented in Solikamsk a stage production of the play The Breakup by Boris Lavrenyov, the first one in the town’s history. Just read the names on the playbill: stage designer K. Klatt, costume designer M. Jorich, music by E. Schwartz, assistant director V. Libich, and others.
For over sixty years now, through rises and falls, the theatre company have been showing premieres to a town where a professional theater had never existed before: Intrigue and Love by Friedrich Schiller, The Snow Maiden by Alexander Ostrovsky, Dead Souls and The Inspector General by Nikolai Gogol, The Lefthander by Nikolai Leskov, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, The Scaffold by Chinghiz Aytmatov, Good-Bye, Schoolboy by Bulat Okudzhava, The Dawns Here are Quiet by Boris Vasilyev , Lost Conscience by Mikhail Saltykov-Schedrin.
In 1964, the Solikamsk theatre, one of the first in Prikamye (the Kama region), was bestowed the title of People’s Theater, for artistry and professional excellence. This honour was richly deserved, first of all thanks to M. Pystin, V. Lyubimov, V. Zinovyeva, V. Libich, M. Jorich.
The theatre was reborn in March 1972, when Evstoliya Pylskaya, a graduate of the Chelyabinsk Institute of Culture, first came to work there. Her first production, The Girl and April by Tamara Yan, astounded the theatrical public in Solikamsk, surprised with its stage design, musicality, new manner of acting.
An influx of young performers determined a new mode of work in the theatre. The company switched over to studio-based rehearsals. Voice training, lessons in the sense of rhythm, fencing and history of theatre started to appear on the schedule.
The first experimental theatrical class was founded in 1991, at School No. 18 (S.N. Smirnova was the school principal). And it all happened in a very matter-of-fact way. Evstoliya G. Pylskaya, director of the Folk Theatre, came to the new school. She watched cute first-graders and selected the most wide-eyed, brisk and cheerful kids. So, new theatrical offspring, called Peremena, was born and immersed itself into work right away. The repertoire of the theatre changed. Mostly children-oriented performances made their way on the playbill: Pippi Longstocking, Kashtanka, Pinocchio, The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Bambi and so many others.
In February 1994, the theater premiered The Cat That Walked by Himself by Rudyard Kipling, and it turned out to be a lucky event for Peremena. It was this performance the theater studio “Peremena” took abroad, and came out the winner of a German festival in Stollberg, Germany, in 1996.
The participation in the 3rd international festival of children’s theatres in Turgi, Switzerland (June 2003), with Anton Chekhov’s Kashtanka, was also incredibly successful and lucky for the company. At the end of the festival, Doris Janser, director of a children’s theatre from Turgi, proposed a joint project, “The World’s Future through the Eyes of Children”, to “Peremena”. Twenty memorable happy days spent in the Alps remained in the hearts of Solikamsk children.
The years 2005 and 2006 also brought unforgettable impressions from the 4th and the 5th international festival of students’ theatres “Languages on the Stage!” in Turin, Italy, where “Peremena” performed Turandot by Carlo Gozzi and The War (La Guerra) by Carlo Goldoni.
The next important production of Peremena was The Tale of Tsar Saltan by Alexander Pushkin. At a festival of school theaters in Moscow, “Russian Drama”, it was awarded The Grand Prix diploma. “Peremena” got an invitation to Orlyonok, a Russian Children’s Center, from which it was delegated to the 7th world festival of children’s theatres “Let’s Fly”» (2006) in Lingen, Germany.
Here is a quote from a German newspaper that covered “Peremena’s” participation in the festival: “If you wonder what a really good theatre is, a theatre of young artists, which is well received by an international audience of all countries, the performance “Peremena” from Solikamsk in the faraway Urals at the world children’s theater festival is an outstanding example. How wonderful that there are such performances as those of the Russian group. So refreshing and witty, full of life and joy and such professional performance that the audience can truly enjoy.”
In 2007, the theatre went to “Dandelion,” a wonderful festival in Sisak, Croatia, where everything was imbued with a love for children, including master classes, huge auditoriums of theatre-goers, and fascinating travels through that beautiful and sunny country.
2008 was another lucky year for “Peremena”. The theatre received an invitation to the 10th world festival “Children Play for Children” in Moscow, to present its production of Vanya the Dane by Boris Shergin.
Quotation from a letter by Alexander Kalyagin, a renowned theatre director, to Viktor Baranov, president of JSC “Solikamskbumprom”:
“Dear Victor Ivanovich,
I would like to thank you from all my heart for the financial and organizational support of the children’s theatre studio “Peremena”, supervised by talented mentor and director E.G. Pylskaya.
“Thanks to your help, the theatre company has taken part in the 10th world festival of children’s theatres, “Children Play for Children,” in Moscow. Not only has “Peremena” represented commendably the Perm Territory and the town of Solikamsk, but it also has given the entire world an idea of the best children’s theatre companies of our country. “Peremena’s” performance of Vanya the Dane was highlighted by Moscow and international experts as one of the most brilliant performances of the festival, and was warmly accepted by the audience. I am confident that participation of the theatre from Solikamsk in this prestigious world festival of children’s amateur theatres will give a new impetus to the company’s creative endeavors.”
The theatre today
JSC “Solikamskbumprom”, and first and foremost, its president Viktor Baranov strongly support “Peremena” in every way. The children’s theatre has its own equipped auditorium, separate dressing-rooms, dance and voice training rooms, a costume room, and a special bus takes children home after classes.
Another happy page in “Peremena’s” annals was 2016, when they traveled to Canada, to “My World, Our Planet,” a world festival of children’s theatres. Children from 25 countries (from all continents of the globe) gathered together to share dreams about the future of our planet. “Peremena” surprised the audience with a production of Survival Lessons a play based on fairy-tales of Rudyard Kipling, a Nobel Prize Laureate.
In the same year, the youngest performers of the theatre were given the honor to represent Russia at an international festival of Russian theatres in Moscow, with Yemelya, a play based on Russian folktales. Children’s theatres from France, Denmark, Italy, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also showed their performances at that festival.
A pleasant thing is the fact that artists of “Peremena” who graduate from the country’s prestigious theater universities, now show up on stage in Moscow, and play in movies. Those are Svetlana Serval, Irina Yermolova, Dmitry Slinkin, Nadezhda Lumpova, Elena Shilova, Elena Konnova, Semyon Farina, Mark Popov.
Turning over the pages of the theatre diary, we can see how colorful life the life of the theater is. The company travels across Russia, visiting Moscow, St. Petersburg, Zvenigorod, Yekaterinburg, Perm, and to international festivals in Germany, Turkey, Finland, Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy. Furthermore, they give a huge number of performances in the most remote parts of the Perm Territory: Nyrob, Vaya, Parmaylovo, Kasib, Vilva, Gainy, Kochevo, Pokcha...
Maybe that is why theatrical concert programs, which can be played on a wood lot or in a square near a local village council, are increasingly finding their way to the playbill, alongside premieres of Lost Conscience by Mikhail Saltykov-Schedrin, Survival Lessons based on Kipling’s tales, How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich by Nikolai Gogol.
This year, 2017, the People’s Theatre of JSC “Solikamskbumprom” celebrates its 70th anniversary. The celebration of this respectable date will be a memorable event for the residents of the town and, of course, another colorful page in the lives of theater lovers.