Anna Orochko

People’s Artist of the RSFSR, the RF State Prize LaureateAnna Alekseevna Orochko was born on 14(26) July 1898 in Shusha, Minusiysky uyezd, Enisei province in a family of political exiles. A daughter of the “state criminal and deportee” had to wander about Siberia for a long time; she could not enter any of the governmental schools and had to attend private ones. She finished a classical school in Tula with a golden medal.From 1916 till 1919 she attended Higher Agricultural Courses for women in Moscow. At the same time, in 1916 she entered the Students’ Dramatic Studio under the direction of Evgeny BogrationovichVakhtangov.It was difficult to combine studying at both the Courses and the Studio, and Orochko chose to attend the Dramatic Studio, which she finished in 1920.Anna Alexeevna Orochko worked at the Vakhtangov Theatre from 1916 till 1965.Being a student, Anna Orochko rehearsed as Francoise in “The Port” by Maupassant, Electra in “Electra” by Sophocles and Rebecca in “Rosmersholm” by Ibsen. Vakhtangov supposed that Orochko would play the latter part in the performance of the 1st MAT Studio after Olga Knipper.Orochko has always remembered Vakhangov, saying that her dramatic type was tragic images. When staging “Hamlet” the director planned that she would play Horatio to mastery the technique of playing roles of man and to play Hamlet after that, understudying Yury Zavadsky.Orochko’s first significaht role was Adelma in “Princess Turandot” by Gozzi (1922). She made her character proud, passionate, full of strength and fire, burning her from within and “boiling in the armour of restraint” (Y. Smirnov-Nesvitsky). Although being one of the leading actresses of the troupe, Anna Orochko played little: there were nor many roles to fit her tragic line.During the war Anna Orochko was the head of the Vakhtangov Theatre frontline branch.Anna Orochko started her educational work rather early — in 1922 at the Vakhtangov School. She taught and staged a number of plays at the Moscow Young Theatre, the Modern Theatre, Zavadsky Studio and others. She was an art director of the Kirovsky district Kolkhoz Theatre and produced five performances.At the Schukin Theatre School she was one the leading professors (with the degree given in 1959). For several years she was there a head of the Acting Technique Department. Under her direction the Moldovan National Studio graduated from the School (1960).It is Orochko who took and taught the course, remarkable for Y.P. Lyubimov’s staging of “The Good Person of Szechwan” by B. Brecht, which laid the foundations of Taganka Theatre.Anna Alexeevna Orochko died on 26 December 1965.

Surmilova (Lev Gurych Sinichkin, 1924)
Marion Delorme (Marion Delorme, 1926)
Alla Vadimovna (Zoyka’s Apartment, 1926)
Lady Milford (Intrigue and Love, 1930)
Gertrude (Hamlet, 1932)
Orlovskaya (The Intervention, 1933)
Madame de Beaus?ant (The Human Comedy, 1934)
Kruchinina (Guilty without Guilt, 1937)
Insane lady (The Storm, 1944)
Electra (Electra, 1946)
Hanna Likhta (The Plot of the Doomed, 1949) — for this role Anna Orochko was granted The State Prize.
Izvekova Vera Nikiforovna (The First Joys, 1950)

As a director she took part in the performances:
The Pace, 1930 (co-director)
Before Dawn, 1941(co-director)
On the Eve, 1948 (co-director)
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1952 (director)
Performances of the Vakhtangov Theatre frontline branch:
“Immortal” A. Arbuzov and A. Gladkov, 1942
“Our reporter” M. Metter and L. Levin (jointly with A. Gabovich and A. Remizova, 1942)

“The Sampo” (dir. A. Ptushko, 1959) – Anna Orochko with extraordinary power played a demonic character of the Finnish epic poem Kalevala.