Teatrium on Serpukhovka Theater Directed by Teresa Durova

Nikolay Galkin/ТАSS
The theatre is currently managed by Teresa Durova, the daughter of well-known animal trainers from a famous circus family. As a child, Durova often performed with her parents. Aged 21, she left the circus to study at the Stage and Circus Directing Faculty of the Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS). The history of Teresa Durova's theatre dates back to 1991, when she organized the first International Clowns Festival in Moscow. The theatre has a broad and diverse repertoire catering mainly to young children. Most productions are based on well-known children's literary classics such as "Winnie the Pooh" ("Vinni Pukh"), "The Tinderbox" ("Ognivo") and "The Twelve Months" ("Dvenadtsat Mesyatsev"). Most performances are theatrical plays, although they always have a connection with circus acts such as clowns, pantomime, acrobatics and magic tricks. This is not high theatre; yet the clowns' performances are more complex and subtle than those in a circus. The Teatrium owes most of its fame to the foreign acts it showcases during festivals and other events. Since 2006, it has also been home to the Gavroche large and fascinating international annual children's theatre festival. As the main organiser of this event, the Teatrium attempts to cover diverse geographical areas when compiling the programme. In 2007, the festival saw a wide variety of French plays, in 2008 it included a wealth of Italian performances, and in 2009 the focus was on Sweden. Besides covering a full spectrum of old and new dramatic forms, the festival includes special projects for children with learning difficulties. The Swedish Silent Theatre, for instance, performs plays for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the XZART junior theatre from France allows children with Down's syndrome to enjoy theatre.