Amur Regional Drama Theatre, Blagoveshchensk, Amurskaya oblast, Russia 

The theater as art emerged in Blagoveshchensk in 1860 with the production of the first amateur performances. December 26, 1860 in one of the barracks of Blagoveshchensk: the lower ranks of the linear battalion and artillery battery showed the play “Stationmaster” (according to Pushkin).

She represented a drama in three acts, remade by N. I. Kulikov from the novel of the same name by A. Pushkin, far from its original ideological and artistic merit.

Such ideas were renewed with the arrival of another enthusiast, in love with the theater. Blagoveshchenskoe society, consisting mainly of officers, merchants, officials and their families, was revitalized.

In the winter of 1883, after the well-played performance “The Inspector General” for N.Gogol, the Public Assembly decided that it was necessary to acquire its own building, since the rent was prohibitively high – 3500 rubles a year.

The building of the Annunciation was erected in 1889 on voluntary donations of entrepreneurs, merchants and citizens of different estates. Money for construction was collected by the whole world.

The Governor-General Baron ANCorf issued a loan to the Public Assembly for 5 years – 3000 rubles – and appealed to the gold mining companies and large businessmen asking for help in building the theater building of the Public Assembly.

The call responded and collected 10,000 rubles. The spouse of the governor, having made the donation, collected about 4000 rubles. Members of the Public Assembly also contributed 5000 rubles. The construction was also attended by a collection of dramatic art lovers, and some citizens paid 100 and 150 rubles for places. In total, they collected 30,000 rubles.

So, in the best part of the city, on Bolshaya Street (now – Lenina Street), in the deepening of the city garden, according to the newspapers of that time, “an unusually beautiful 2-storey stone building” has grown.

Conditions for scenic work were excellent: excellent acoustics, a deep scene, comfortable artistic latrines.

At that time there was still no stationary troupe. The wandering troupes of actors, all kinds of guest performers, entrepreneurs (I.M. Arnol’dov, ONChernskaya, E.M.Dolin, V.N.Chernova) … We ran one or several seasons, the troupe went on.

Epic Russia Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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