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.
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 ..."
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. ..."
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". ..."
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 ..."
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 ..."
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