Yevgeniy Simonov

People’s Artist of the USSR, The RF State Prize Laureate The Art Director of the Vakhtangov Theatre (1969-1987)Yevgeniy Rubenovich Simonov was born on 21 June 1925 in the actors’ family: father — Ruben Nikolayevich Simonov — Y.B. Vakhtangov’s student, an outstanding actor and director; mother — Y.M. Berseneva (nee Polivanova), an actress of the Vakhtangov Theatre.In 1947 he graduated from the Schukin Theatre School, V.K. Lvova’s course.In 1948-1954 he was the art director of the Workers Theatre of the “Kauchuk” club.Since 1958 — a director of the Vakhtangov Theatre.Being still at the Theatre School Evgeniy Simonov displayed a keen interest in directing: he directed independent student works, staged vaudevilles, organized student celebrations and concerts. He was a brilliant master of parody, composed music.His first works at the Vakhtangov Theatre were favourably met both by critics and the audience: comedy “The Summer Day” of Ts. Solodar (1950), “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” by Shakespeare (1952), “He who fears difficulties won’t see happiness” of S. Marshak (1954).In 1962 Yevgeniy Simonov was appointed on the post of the art director of Maly Theatre.In January of the year 1969, after R.N. Simonov’s death, Yevgeniy Simonov became the chief director of the Vakhtangov Theatre. After a number of articles had appeared about problem situation at the Vakhtangov Theatre, about decrease in the quality of repertoire and direction, Evgeniy Simonov was removed from the post of the art director in 1987, and M.A. Ulyanov was elected on his position. After the election meeting Yevgeniy Simonov left the troupe and became the head of the artistic department of the Peoples’ Friendship Theatre and Central House of Workers in the Arts.Yevgeniy Rubenovich Simonov wrote several plays (and staged some of them):John Reed (Maly Theatre, 1967)Alexey Berezhnoy (the Vakhtangov Theatre, 1962)New Acquaintance (the Vakhtangov Theatre, 1964)Tragedy in verse The Death of Pavel I (The Ruben Simonov Theatre, 1990)Dramatic trilogy about three poets of different epochs — The Middle Ages, Renaissance and the present (a fragment “Prodigal Son” – The Ruben Simonov Theatre).Y.R. Simonov wrote a number of articles about Vakhtangov and his method , about problems of modern dramaturgy and the present-day repertoire, about theatre criticism, young directors, literary portraits of actors of the Maly and Vakhtangov Theatre.He was a customary participant of artistic evenings, author of skits, inspired orator and reciter.Yevgeniy Simonov also paid his artistic contribution to television and radio (among his works — a TV drama “Faust” with Y. Yakovlev as Mephistopheles and L. Maksakova as Margaret).Y. R. Simonov staged more than 100 plays of different genres during his artistic career (one of his articles was called “I advocate variety of genres”), but supposed Shakespeare and Chekhov to be the closest to him authors. Many performances he staged jointly with the artist I. Sumbatashvili.As a professor Yevgeniy Simonov headed the Directing Department of the Schukin Theatre School (apart from that, he headed the Drama Department of VGIK and Higher Theatre Courses of GITIS).He considered teaching to be a part of director’s profession (“Lessons with students continue my work at the Theatre”). The graduates of the Schukin School in 1988 – Y. Simonov’s drama and directing course – acquired status of the Moscow Theatre-Studio named after Ruben Simonov under the direction of Yevgeniy Simonov. The building in Kaloshin Alley, Arbat (in the immediate vicinity of the Vakhtangov Theatre and the Schukin Theatre School) the Studio got after the death of the teacher.Yevgeniy Rubenovich Simonov died on 3 August 1994.

The USSR State Prize, 1981 (for directing works of the recent years)
The RSFSR Stanislavsky State Prize, 1975 (for staging the performance “Day in and day out” of A.L. Veytsler and A.N. Misharin)
Order of Red Banner of Labor

The Summer Day, 1950
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1952
He who fears difficulties won’t see happiness, 1954
Filomena Marturano, 1956
The City at the Dawn, 1957
Irkutsk Story, 1959
Little Tragedies, 1959
Children of the Sun, 1968
The Coronation, 1969
Antony and Cleopatra, 1971
Youth of Theatre, 1972
Little Tragedies, 1974(repeated performance)
The Expectation, 1977
The Thirteenth Chairman, 1979
Leshiy, 1979
Misteriya-Buff, 1981
Rose and Cross, 1983
Three Ages of Casanova, 1985(his own composition based on Tsvetaeva’s plays)

Meetings on the roads (Stanislavsky Theatre, 1960)
A Fellow from Our Town (Moscow Young Generation Theatre, 1962)
Filomena Marturano (Yerevan, 1971)
The Flood (Ivanovo, 1980)
Othello (Tashkent, 1984)
Guilty without Guilt (Theatre-Studio of the Film Actor, 1984)
Wolves and Sheep (Yugoslaviya)
Antony and Cleopatra (Poland)
Leshiy (Poland)