Mikhail Tsitrinyak

A director, actor, script writer

He was born on February 14, 1956 in Moscow in the family of a well-known journalist Grigoriy Tsitriniak.

At the age of six, Misha was noticed in Gogolevsky Boulevard by an assistant of a beginner director, and she invited the boy to an episode of a film. The young director was working on his first qualifying work, “The Rink and the Violin” and his name was Andrei Tarkovsky. After that, Misha acted in another qualifying film made by director Leonid Nechayev who later created a well-known picture “The Red Hat.”

He graduated from Shchukin Drama School (course of A.A. Kazanskaya).

He began working as a directing already in teh first year of his studies, and in the second year he started staging extracts from plays together with his fellow students. He staged one of his qualifying performances – “The Duck Hunt” – as a director while still being a student.

After graduation from the acting department Tsitriniak was invited to study at the third course of directing department. It was the only case like that in the entire history of the Shchukin Drama School: entering the third course of a full-time department of an institute was next to impossible in the Soviet days.

Learning directing from Ye.R. Simonov and V.A. Eufer, Mikhail began working as a trainee director at the theater in Malaya Bronnaya. Anatoly Vasilievich Efros invited him as a second director to the television play “Romeo and Juliet.”

Having staged his qualifying performance in Chita, Mikhail returned to Moscow and began working at MKhAT (Moscow Art Theater) where he staged a play “Hope” (after A. Chervinsky’s work “A Blonde Round the Corner.”

In two and a half years, he moved to M. Yermolova’s Theater when it was led by Valery Fokin, and then created his own theater-studio entitled “Nash Teatr” (Our Theater) where Boris Kiner also joined. In the early 1990s the theater ceased to exist.

Mikhail Tsitriniak was elected President of the Association of Theater Studios of the Soviet Union.

Mikhail did much teaching abroad: in Ireland and Holland, staged plays in Germany, worked as a senior lecturer at Shchukin Drama School, directed popular TV programs “Old Apartment” and “Big Repairs” as well as the TV series “Better Be Born Lucky.”

In 2009-2011 he was a creative producer for film companies Mostelefilm and Versia Film Studio.

At the Vakhtangov Theater he staged several plays: in 2011 – “Medea” after G. Anuya, in 2012 – “Games of the Lonely” after N. Simon, in 2014 – “Crawfish Cry” after D. Marrell. His plays engage the leading actors of the theater: Yulia Rutberg, Grigoriy Antipenko, Elena Sotnikova, Olga Tumaikina, Andrei Ilyin and others.

The key to Tsitriniak’s success as a director is probably the feeling of great respect that he has towards the actor.

Mikhail Grigorievich has given a free pass to professional career to many well-known actors including: Amalia Mordvinova, Alexei Kravchenko, Masha Anikanova, Grisha Siyatvinda, Olga Ponizova, Max Kubrinsky, Maria Golubkina and many others.

For 10 years he has been performing on the stage in a duo with the composer Boris Kiner.

He is the author of stage versions of various plays which are shown in Russian theaters.