Urban Stories

This archive of interviews and conversations collected in the framework of various projects that have been implemented at the Center for Urban History from 2008 to today.

Selected Quotes

Puppet Plays for Adults

"... The theater’s repertoire used to include "The Night Before Christmas"..., back in the 1970s – early 1980s. When the Leningrad Company came with their adult performances, they revived "The Night Before Christmas" with the same actors that used to play in it in the past. It was very interesting. There was another interesting piece – "Mam'zelle Nitouche". Special puppets were produced, set designers and choreographers from Leningrad and Kyiv invited. You might think, “Puppets and choreographer… And what?” But that’s why those performances were so interesting because they featured choreographic scenes and some compelling plasticity solutions. The young actors also produced a very nice performance for adults – "Catch the Moment of Luck". ..."

A Studio in Maria Zankovetska Theater

"... So I came to the theater, and they looked at me puzzled, a big question mark on their faces. Why so? I came wearing a military uniform, tarpaulin boots, and a garrison cap. I guess they thought, “Why did she come dressed like that?” Well, I didn’t really have anything else. Romanytskyy, People’s Artist of the USSR, who was sitting at the table, said, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. We will dress you up.” And he called someone over (not sure who that was) and said, “Bring the costume designer here.” And that person did. And the costume designer dressed me up. She even supplied me with shoes. ..."

Psiacha Buda (Dog House) Café

"... “Psiacha Buda” was a coffee place on Kostomarova Street. Now it’s Rodynna Kovbaska (a meat shop), across from a waste paper collection point. It was a hall of about two meters… well, no, maybe four square meters. Auntie Sveta worked there (everyone called her auntie Sveta); she would make cezve coffee, and we would go out and hang around the place, you know. And we called it “Psiacha Buda” (Dog House). And we would always smoke and drink coffee there. We were still young and could drink as much coffee as we wanted. So we would hang out there and blabber… and then you sort of wanna leave, but another acquaintance joins and the chatting goes on ..."

Performance “The Drayman and the King”

"... Someone said once that a theater manager is like a mom for actors, which is true indeed. You love them all like your own children... There were a great many performances in our theater, even though at certain points someone for some reason was not on good terms with someone else, but there’s one piece that will remain deeply etched in my memory until the end of my days – "The Drayman and the King". It was an amazing performance in terms of atmosphere... the atmosphere in the theater on that day was special. Something different was happening in the theater. When we had that performance on stage, people talked in a different manner, they look at each other differently. That performance had a uniting power. ..."

Christmas Caroling at KGB

"... There were about fifteen of us. We would gather and split roles… a pseudo-vertep or something. We had a bell, and it was clear that we were not just walking on the streets, we were caroling. (…) Once we had an incident though. People really liked it when we came to carol. It was forbidden at that time, you know, but we dared anyway. So people would treat us to some booze, so we were quite wasted by the morning. Once, being drunk, we stopped by KGB to carol. It happened just like that. We were passing by KGB, and I said, “Let’s carol for them.” So we stopped by, opened the door, entered, but we were kicked out by the guard ..."

How to Work with Interviews

We really value the experience of those who agree to talk with us and want to make their voices heard. At the same time, we guarantee complete confidentiality to our interviewees. That’s why to get access to an interview, you are requested to read some excerpts from the Ukrainian legislation on personal data as well as ethical requirements and fill out a document equivalent to an informed consent form. We thank you in advance for your understanding and wish you pleasant reading and listening.