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

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. ..."

Opanas Zalyvakha’s Exhibition

"... I decided to arrange Opanas Zalyvakha’s exhibition in Lviv (…) I invited television. So they come, and Panas, you know, is a handsome grey-haired man, well-behaved. They start talking to him, “Well, Opanas Ivanovych, we’ve read your biography, you were there and there, studied in Saint Petersburg with such and such famous people, etc. etc. And what did you do in this specific period?” And he says, “I was in Siberia for five years.” “Was it some sort of Komsomol package holiday or what?” “Heck, no, I was in the camps there.” This material was shown on TV anyway. They just cut out this piece ..."

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 ..."

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 ..."

The Most Difficult Phase of an Artist’s Work

"... And the last phase (at least the way I see it) is the most terrifying one. I’m not sure about other set designers, but I always stock up on sedatives during the last week when everything comes together on stage: all the props and costumes must ‘be brought to a common denominator’; grooves must fit into grooves; you don’t want actors to step on their costumes. Moreover, it all must look beautiful from an artistic point of view and create a nice artistic image. ..."

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.