Lyudmila Razumovskaya’s DEAR ELENA SERGEEVNA Director: Vailisa Teplyakova

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Playwright: Lyudmila Razumovskaya
Director: Vailisa Teplyakova
Group: Nazarov’s Workshop Institute of Theatre Arts, Russia
Language: Russian
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
After the final exams at a regular school, four school children realize that they will not pass the exams and the result would be disastrous to their future career. The teenagers enter the house of their teacher Elena Sergeevna and demand the key to the safe in which the examination papers are stored. At first, they try to persuade the teacher and then they try bribing her, and in the end threaten to blackmail her. But the principled teacher does not agree to the deal and tries to explain to the school children all the meanness and baseness of their actions.

Director’s Note
In Dear Elena, the youth are four students and their hostage is their teacher, Elena Sergeevna. The student leader, Volodya, is a handsome and innocent looking kid, yet his mind is where his heart should be. He is ready to commit even rape to break Elena Sergeevna, and terrorizes her by saying that it would be out of ‘a purely sporting interest’. Complete rejection of morality and social norms has made him a sociopath. Part of the complexity of this play is that Elena Sergeevna herself is in a way compromised. She herself is a moral woman, but her fidelity is towards an indefensibly corrupt system. This story is not just about students and teachers, or kids and adults, it is about the modern Russian society and the conflicts between different type of people in Russia, and the conflict of different ways of upbringing in the modern society.

The Director
Vasilisa Teplyakova finished Gitis (Russian Institute of Theatre Art) as an actress in 2014. She works as an actress and director in different independent theatre projects, and as a teacher in the Institute Of Theatre Art, and is pursuing Ph.D. at Gitis.

The Playwright
Lyudmila Razumovskaya is a Russian playwright. She received an assignment from the Ministry of Culture to write a play about ‘difficult teenagers’. Hence she wrote Dear Elena Sergeevna. Although the ministry rejected it, the play was staged in Tallinn (in Estonian) in 1981 and in Leningrad Lenkom in 1982. The performance was a huge success, the play was accepted by more than 20 theatres of the country, but in 1983, by order of the Ministry of Culture, it was removed from the repertoire. Allowed again with the beginning of Perestroika in 1987, the play was staged a number of times abroad, including more than a hundred theatres in Europe. Since Lyudmila’s plays too openly reflect the state of the society, the Ministry of Culture allowed the performances only after censoring parts of the original text.

The Group
Artem Nazarov’s Workshop is a community of young, talented actors who have just graduated from the Institute of Theatre Art. The artists are experienced in acting on different type of stages, from small rooms to big auditoriums and also street stages. The group has six different plays in its repertoire and is always ready to play for charity. The actors annually take part in the festival of theatre schools of the BRIC countries, in performances by Valentin Teplyakov. These artists are young, ambitious, and most importantly, in love with Theatre.

Cast & Credits
Elena Sergeevna: Evgeniya Rozanova
Vladimir: Ivan Nabiullin
Pavel: Vladimir Rogachevskii
Viktor: Alexander Laptev
Lyalya: Anastasia Nyshpora

Playwright: Lyudmila Razumovskaya
Director: Vasilisa Teplyakova

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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