Anatoly Alexandrovitch Vasiliev (Russian: Анато́лий Алекса́ндрович Васи́льев; born May 4, 1942, Penza Oblast) is a noted Russian theatre director and one of the leading European contemporary stage directors. He is artistic director of the Moscow Theatre "School of Dramatic Arts", Théâtre de l'Europe, and professor of drama in Lyon, France.
Vasiliev was born in the Soviet Union and graduated from the faculty of chemistry at Rostov State University. In 1973, he received a degree in directing from the State Institute of Dramatic Art (GITIS), where he first worked with painter and sceneographer Igor Popov. This collaboration would continue throughout most of Vasiliev's professional life.
As director-Intern for the institute, he staged A Solo for a Clock with Chimes, which first brought him to the attention of Moscow theatre-goers. Subsequent productions of The First Draught of Vassa Zheleznova, in 1978, and The Grown Daughter of a Young Man, in 1979, (both staged at the Stanislavski Theatre) sealed his fame in the theatre community.
Taganka Theatre and School of Dramatic Arts
Vasiliev and the group of actors that had gathered around him left the Stanislavski theatre in 1982. In 1985, Yuri Petrovich Lyubimov invited him to work at the Taganka Theatre. The result was that Vasiliev directed a production of Cerceau, by Victor Slavkin, which was voted best performance for the 1985–1986 Moscow theatre season.
In 1987, Vasiliev founded the theatre "School of Dramatic Art", bringing with him many of the actors who had worked with him at the Stanislavski Theatre. The theatre's website sums up Vasiliev's vision for the theatre as follows: "The theatre 'School of Dramatic Art' created by Anatoly Vasiliev is a unique model of theatre from the point of view of its artistic, intellectual, professional and ethic relations. The concept of the 'theatre – laboratory' gives the opportunity to make the research and experiment."
Since its formation, Vasiliev has taken the theatre company on frequent tours, traveling to numerous cities around the world. Among these have been Berlin, Belgrade, Brussels, Budapest, Helsinki, London, Munich, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, and Stuttgart.
Now in his 60s, Vasiliev still directs and takes an active part in the workings of the theatre. While, in an interview for his 60th birthday, he said that he did not believe he could continue directing much past the age of 70, it remains to be seen whether he will retire at that age.
In 2010 Vasiliev started a three-year course for the training of theatre pedagogists. The course is based in Venice, takes place during two months each year and is mainly for Italian professionals but also combines pedagogists, actors and directors from all over the world. In mid-2011 Vasiliev will begin a Research seminary on acting techniques at the Grotowski institute in Poland.
Vasiliev was awarded the laureate of Russian Stanislavsky Premium in 1988, he received the Order of the Cavalier of Art and Literature from France in 1989, the laureate of the premium "Nuove Realita Europee" in Taormina, Italy, in 1990, and the Chaos and Pirandello prizes in Agrigento, Italy, in 1992. In 1993, he received the Honoured Art Worker of Russia award, followed in 1995 by the laureate of the premium of Stanislasky Fund award for contributions in developing theatre pedagogics.
With Igor Popov, he received the 1999 State Premium of Russia award in the field of Literature and Art for the creation of Moscow theatre "School of Dramatic Art", and the 2001 National Premium "Triumph" award.
In December 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Italian UBU award, for his three-year "Island of Pedagogy" project (2010-2012) in Venice.
- Anatoly Vasiliev: Biography – from International University Global Theatre Experience
- History of the Theatre "School of Dramatic Art" – accessed on June 8, 2007
- Tracing Roads Across, Entry for the Theatre "School of Dramatic Art" – Accessed June 8, 2007