Theater: Voices From the Inner Depths

Topical invective aside, the stage is rediscovering its true concern, the human soul

In a long-suppressed and now acclaimed production of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground at Moscow's Theater for Young Spectators, the withdrawn and embittered central character repeatedly pushes with all his might against the immovable proscenium arch at the side of the stage. The gesture is an apt visual metaphor not only for a melancholy nobody's passion to smash the barriers of loneliness but also for the yearning of the whole Moscow drama world to break down the confines of habit and tradition. Everywhere one goes in the theater these days, the same artistic self-criticism is heard: there are almost no vibrant new...

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