More Scenographer Than Just an Artist
It only seems that any child can easily be entertained, surprised, forced to view the theatrical performance, holding its breath, from the beginning to the end. Peculiarities of the perception of childhood are well known to the staff of the State Theater of the Young Spectator of Uzbekistan and its chief production designer Eugenia BISEROVA.
Let’s say a few words about our guest. She was born on September 2, 1985, graduated from the Republican Art College with a degree in theater props, and the National Institute of Arts and Design, specializing in theatrical and decorative painting. Her scenography includes more than 40 different productions. Eugenia also cooperated with the State Institute of Arts and Culture, the theater of the Lik (Face) movement, the theaterstudio Ilhom, the film studios Uzbekfilm and Uztelefilm. And Biserova is sure that the production designer is more than just an artist. Here the professional should be able to do everything by oneself - paint, glue, and sew costumes...
It is also important to ‘infect’ the workers of the theatrical workshops with one’s artistic thrust.
- With what mood are you meeting the time of renewal and our beautiful spring holidays March 8 and the coming Navruz?
- This year we have prepared thematic exhibitions in the foyer of the theater and a festive show program, which, I think, feels like a part of me, so much effort and experience is invested in it. In general, spring, we always are presented with a festive show on March 8, which is traditionally arranged by the men of the theater, and invariably cook sumalyak all day and night, and then eat it together. This is the time of rallying the collective, our great theatrical family.
And the spring itself is strongly associated with brightness and light. At the dawn of studentship, I helped my mentor Shuhrat Abdumalikov in the team of artists performing the decoration of the Navruz holiday in the Navoi National Park. Having prepared everything on the square, we stayed until the end of the show it was very interesting to see such a grandiose event. In the end, over the stage, fireworks were released ... from sequins. And when the guests were already dispersed, we, students, ran around, frolicked in these sequins (and on the stage they were on an ankle), rushed them, prolonging our holiday... Returning home, looking at blossoming aprons on the background of a clear blue sky, and in the distance there could be seen snow-covered mountains... That was one of the first spring holidays, designed with my participation, and it, like the following, left a feeling of infinite joy. Spring, the beginning of
which is marked by such two wonderful dates - International Women’s Day and Navruz – is the time of creativity and family, unity and warmth.
- What else does the theater live now with? Is there any renewal going on at the venue?
- The 89th theatrical season of the State Theater of the Young Spectator of Uzbekistan is in many respects very remarkable, including for our team. Thanks to the attention of the state, together with the Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications, the club “Friends of the Theater” has been created that includes representatives of that body and the theater. And since the beginning of the theatrical season, much has been done: in front of the entrance there is a big screen, on which announcements and photos from performances are broadcast. Also, the theater was outfitted with information equipment, launched its updated site. Such innovations, I think, effectively serve to popularize the theater, attracting to it more and more generations of Tashkent residents and visitors. And more importantly, the reconstruction of our building will be carried out for the coming anniversary season.
This season is also notable for the fact that the State Theater of the Young Spectator of Uzbekistan has become a full-fledged member of ASSITEJ (International Association of Theater and Children Workers). This organization unites, methodologically assists and supports its participants through trainings, seminars, festivals and meetings in order to develop them. Having recently become its full member, the theater has already received many proposals from different countries - to participate in the theater fair in Beijing in August this year, in the celebration of the anniversary of the Nodar Dumbadze Theater of Georgia in April, in the festivals in Denmark and India. Several opportunities for joint activities are already under consideration and project proposals for cooperation have been drawn up. In addition, at the meeting in ASSITEJ, the question was raised about holding the same meeting next year in Tashkent, which demonstrates the high interest of the world community in our theatrical art and in the country itself.
- The big premiere of the season was the fairy tale “The Magic Lamp of Aladdin”. The play, directed by Sherzod Ahmedov, comes with the use of projection capabilities, because the modern world offers new ways and solutions. This applies to materials and techniques, and ways to influence the viewer, and to find topics for conversation with them in the theatrical language. This performance we did together with the club “Friends of the Theater”. It turned out bright and dynamic. But even such innovations as the projector do not revoke the importance of the scenery, light, props... Every detail is important, which sometimes is invisible from the auditorium. Take, for example, costumes. Almost all our performances are very dynamic; they have a lot of music, dances. Actors who move a lot need to feel comfortable. And this must also be remembered while creating a stage costume. I believe that the costume designer must feel for himself and actor’s work, and the nuances of the stage movement.
- Fabulous stories and characters, it is probably easier to embody on stage, isn’t it?
- I love this world, in which children’s fantasy is so easily felt. In my soul I’m a child, and I like to invent new worlds. However, it is not easy to persuade little spectators in a fairy-tale image today, because children are ‘shod’ with a huge amount of information – motion pictures and animation films on all familiar subjects, and an example is “The Magic Lamp of Aladdin”.
Let me remind you that the performances are held in Uzbek and Russian. This is a requirement of time and the viewer. And sometimes, as in field performances (for example, the play “Baby and Madagascar”) - in two languages at the same time.
- As far as I know, you are one of those young professionals who are actively looking for a variety of ways for professional development...
- I have represented Uzbekistan at various international events. For example, took part in the International Costume Design Exhibition in Moscow, Costume Design on the Turn of the Century, dedicated to the development of theatrical costume at the turn of the millennium. And also in the Youth Theater Forum of the countries of Asia and the Baltics, and in a similar forum in Baku. Every such event is a big step for me. After all, we not only demonstrate our personal capabilities on them, but, above all, we are representatives of the culture of our country.
What does participation in such events provide? Real, lively impressions and experience contribute to the growth of the theater professional. What is important, participating in these forums, I always make sure: in Uzbekistan there is a strong school of scenography, and working on yourself and the theatrical experience of productions make the director only better and stronger. We have something to be proud of, and what to show on the world stage. The main thing is to work without stopping and learning everything new.