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". ..."

Creative Youth Club

"... And then a Creative Youth Club appeared in Lviv. The story behind it was as follows. Les Taniuk came to stage "Thus Huska Died". In the end, he was banned from staging the play, but he set up this Creative Youth Club headed by Mykhaylo Kosiv. I was a member of the presidium, and our task was to organize some sort of cultural soirees. Well, the first one was dedicated to Lenin, of course, like a ‘steam locomotive’. The second one was a serious piece – a soiree in honor of Lesya Ukrainka. And that was when I met Bohdan Stupka. ..."

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 ..."

Wagner’s Opera Staging

"... There were moments when one of such bold conductors would bring out of the woodwork something like Wagner’s "Tannhäuser", which was considered one of Hitler’s favorite operas and was staged in the Lviv Opera only under the Germans. It was not easy to do that in the Soviet times, but the staging itself was very interesting. I think it marked a milestone for the theater and for many soloists. ..."

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 ..."

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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.