Small Theater with an Avant-Garde History - ProBa Russian Language School
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Small Theater with an Avant-Garde History

There are a few theatres located nearby ProBa School. One of them is just across the street – simple 2-storey neo-classical building “squished” between two others. Today it hosts Maly Drama Theatre which received this building in 1956. But not everyone knows what kind of theatre appeared here initially. 

Maly Drama Theatre, Rubinstein str. 18

The theatre was open on November 30, 1911 with the name of Troitsky theatre of miniatures after Troitsky street which is called Rubinstein today. It is one of the central streets which is connected to Nevsky prospect, has many famous sights in close proximity and a few metro stations.   

The owner of the theatre A.M.Fokin was an owner of a sport store and a cycling champion. He decided to create a new place in the city where different sides of art will be shown. The program was stated as the following: “Humor. Satire. Music. Colors”. Small plays, ballets and artists’ avant-garde disputes – a few events could take place during one evening. During the breaks there were cinema screenings. The theatre could allocate 350-400 people. The 1910s was a time of active experiments among artists. The Russian Avant-Garde stepped in with its ideas for the new art – brave, with wide colors breaking all the academic rules. At disputes artists were presenting their theses about contemporary art that was followed by active discussions, sometimes scandalous. 

David Burlyuk, Horse-Lightning, 1907. Example of Avant-Garde painting

And just across the street from ProBa School such new important ideas in painting and literature were brought to life by Malevich, Burluk and Mayakovsky and many others artists and poets. We invite you to feel this artistic energy and plunge into the cultural life of St. Petersburg, visit theatres, museums and many important historical sights. As ProBa School is located in the center, you can easily reach any of these places after your Russian class!

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