Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Arts Program Professor Andrei Şerban's production of Uncle Vanya at the Moscow Arts Theatre in late November was nominated for three Golden Mask Awards (the Russian equivalent to the Tony Awards):
Best Performance of the Year in Russia
Best Director: Andrei Şerban
Best Scenography: Carmencita Brojboiu
The Golden Mask Awards are the national Russian theatre awards. They were established in 1994 by the Theatre Union of Russia, and are given to productions in all genres of theatre arts: drama, opera, ballet, operetta and musical, and puppet theatre.
During the performance of Uncle Vanya at the Moscow Arts Theatre (MAT), Şerban was offered famed Russian actor and director--and MAT founder--Constantin Stanislavsky's personal seat.
The performance was produced by Alexandrisky Theatre of St. Petersburg. It was Şerban's first direction on the MAT stage.
Born in Romania, Şerban graduated from the Theatre and Cinema Institute in Bucharest. His student’s direction of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, staged in the traditional Japanese Kabuki manner, caused a true scandal, which made the young director famous overnight. In 1969, with the support of the Ford Foundation and personally Ellen Stewart, Şerban moved to the United States. In 1971, he studied in Paris at Peter Brook’s International Center of Theatre Studies. He directed Medea (1971) and Fragments of a Greek Trilogy (1974) after the three Euripides tragedies (Trojan Women, Electra, and Medea) at Stewart’s experimental La MaMa Theater. He worked at many major theaters of the U.S.: the New York Public Theater (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg), the Lincoln Center Theater (The Cherry Orchard by A. Chekhov and Agamemnon by Aeschylus), the Yale Repertory Theatre, the T. Gatry and American Conservatory’s Theater. He has collaborated with the American Repertory Theater, where he directed performances of diverse genres, including The Deer King by C. Gozzi, The Love of Three Oranges by C. Gozzi, Sganarel (an evening of Moliere’s farces), The Three Sisters by Chekhov, Philip Glass' opera Juniper, The Good Person of Szechwan by Berthold Brecht, and Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. He directed dramatic performances in France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Iran and Korea. From 1990 to 1994, he worked as Artistic Director of the Romanian National Theater in Bucharest. His direction of The Cherry Orchard at this theater was shown at the First International Chekhov Theater Festival in Moscow. A recognized master of opera direction, Şerban has worked at the opera stages of Paris, Geneva, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Vienna, and Houston. He has received Obie and Tony awards, and awards and prizes of the Avignon, Shiraz, and Belgrade festivals.