Theatres of Kyiv: First Introduction
The objective reality of adulthood often brings unbearable anguish. The world around us loses its bright colors. We lose our taste for life and look at it very unilaterally. We suddenly want to be someone else, change things, and feel the full range of emotions and feelings again. We want to look at the world anew, upside down, or floating in the air.
And there is a magical place where there is no entry for everyday chores and work routines. A place where we can break away from reality for a while and become part of a great and eternal, trembling and incredible theater. Something alive and vibrant. A unique phenomenon that is born here and now. And in simple terms, it’s the life that happens on the stage around us. When we come to a good performance, we get involved, the actors become living Hamlets and Gertrudes, Cinderellas, and Uncle Vanyas.
A good play does not require knowledge of the character’s language because you can understand everything without words.
As one wise man said, and it’s true.
We need words to hide what we think.
In the theater, people rediscovered their ability to believe in miracles, empathize, rejoice, and inspire. A good theater can awaken our minds and provide new nourishment for them.
If you’re lucky enough to have been in a magnificent theater, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t? Maybe you should try?
You will find plenty of resources for such acquaintances in Kyiv.
You don’t know where to start in Kyiv? Are you an expatriate and recently changed residence and know little about the city? Or are you a foreigner who thinks that our theaters are for Ukrainian spectators only? Or have you had a bad experience visiting the theater in Kyiv? If you have answered yes to at least one of these questions, you have a reason to read these lines.
My name is Anya Shaidiuk, and I write for Vestor.Estate. However, I cannot conceal the fact that my main profession is acting. And I can’t stay away if I can be of use to you. Having a specific experience in this sphere, I decided to create a selection of Kyiv theaters, each of which is different. And yes, I learned to go to the theater not as an actress but as an audience member. And I take great pleasure in it. In my article, you will also find solid old-timers and their younger comrades. All of them coexist in the open spaces of Kyiv and have both their admirers and enemies. And this is entirely normal. To find out whether you like it or not, it’s worth testing it first. I’ll give you a lot of options from which you can choose your own favorites.
And we’ll be happy to join you. It is not for nothing that the Vestor.Estate office is located on Reitarska, in the heart of Kyiv. It is in this central district that several of these art houses are located. It’s nice to be surrounded by neighbors who our company is not indifferent to.
Let’s start our unscheduled acquaintance with the theatrical side of beloved Kyiv.
50 Volodymyrska Street
One of the oldest theaters in the city looks very majestic. You can enjoy the extraordinary art of opera and ballet. I prefer ballet. What do you like? This theater is quite popular among adults who have visited this place for years. Objectively, the theater is a little mannered. Among the visitors, there are many representatives of the young generation, and, of course, children taken by their parents. You’ll be reasonably comfortable here, it’s spacious. Tickets are available for any wallet and taste except for individual performances, accompanied by shows sold-out for years. You’d better have a ticket in advance. The orchestra, music, dancing, and feelings have all converged and have continued their synergy for a century and a half.
Where to begin:
Ballet in 3 acts.
Opera in 3 acts.
Starting with the theater, which appeared on the map of Kyiv as far back as the 19th century, we will continue to a younger brother.
3 Ivan Franko Street
The Drama Theatre of Ukrainian Corypheus were the founders of this art in Ukraine. The central performances in most cases consisted of old Ukrainian and foreign classics. Nowadays, you will find many changes in the theater. In addition to pop shows, the theater offers modern new productions. Children will not be ignored either. This theater is not to my taste. The troupe tours a lot. Within the walls of the theater and its work, it is a bit pathological. However, I am prepared to admit that many young talented actors who create a new concept of the Ivan Franko theater have appeared there. Ticket prices vary from mid-range to high. The theater is national, and that status, as you know, has to be paid for. Go and make up your mind. It may not be the same as mine.
Where to begin:
Comedy in 2 acts.
Ukrainian musical and drama rococo in two acts.
Musical tale in 2 acts.
We move further on our way among theaters. And meet the first inhabitant of the other side of Kyiv.
25 Brovarsky Avenue
This theater appeared in 1978. From then period to this day, it has gained great love and popularity among patrons. Small in area, but warm and filling. Performances are frequently sold out. The troupe brings together a large number of different, original, and talented professionals of all ages. You can watch a lot of enchanting comedies and modern productions here. In recent years, the theater’s management has changed, and the repertoire has been significantly updated. The cost of tickets can be different, in general, quite reasonable. In my opinion, this is a good option for leisure. But when considering it, I was repeatedly stopped by the road to the Left Bank, although it does not take much time. The remote location is a slight downside for me. I recommend that you consider the theater’s pluses.
Where to begin:
A rather specific comedy
3 Smolenska Street
A young and ambitious theater in English has just emerged in Kyiv. A private theater that brings together people ready to change the world, trying to build new theatrical art. The building is small. The theater is a chamber. It is not very comfortable, which is perfectly normal for the first years of development. Prices are very affordable. It features both professional actors and people who learn and study acting within the theater (and the school of the same time). I can’t say much about their performances, but ProEnglish is moving forward dynamically and has declared itself more than once. This theater will be an excellent opportunity to watch a play in English for the expatriates of Kyiv.
Where to begin:
All in good time. It’s time to move on to my favorites, where I would start my theater cruise. This does not make the art mentioned above any worse. This is the choice I made after watching the plays, which makes me want to come again, and again… The two finalists of my selection are available for your consideration.
5 Nemirovicha-Danchenko Street
This theater has reached its full maturity because it was created 21 years ago. It’s like it stands a little bit apart from other theaters. I can’t call it that. It’s much livelier than this. It’s straightforward and small. It’s in Pechersk. It doesn’t have a lot of decorations and performances. Instead of theater seats, there are regular chairs, which is not convenient from the point of comfort but not crucial at the moment of viewing. Ticket prices are reasonable. The company is beautiful and talented, primarily young actors with burning eyes. Many high-quality, excellent performances. They made me think and believe them.
Where to begin:
More Okean (en.Sea Ocean)
17 Prorizna Street
The theater was very well placed in the picturesque district of old historical buildings in the heart of Kyiv. It is large and comfortable with several theaters. It is trendy. Prices are reasonable. The group is primarily young, constantly replenished with talented personalities. A small infusion of pathos slips through, but it is rare – an engaging repertoire of performances created by ambitious directors. Here you will find both dramatic and dance performances. I don’t go to this theater very often, but more than most. Not everything I’ve seen seemed to please me, but many people think it’s worth visiting. The important thing is to try and develop your taste in this immutable art.
Where to begin:
Shynel (eng Overcoat)
Shafa (eng. Wardrobe)
What a strange feeling I’m overwhelmed by. It reminds me of inspiration, and it comes from just writing about theater. And what happens when you go to a play? The theater has almost always existed and is going to continue this trend. I offer you my options, and the choice is yours. I’m very interested in your opinion and impression.
In Kyiv, you will be able to comprehend different facets of the theater and touch it in real terms. In particular, when you relocate from another country to an entirely new city, the theater will help you understand Kyiv from within and learn about its cultural heritage and creative life. And if you have settled in the old center, as we have at Vestor.Estate, then you do not have to go far.
You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
George Bernard Shaw