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David Chambers

David Chambers has produced, directed, and written for theatre, opera, and film in the US and Europe.  In addition, he is Professor of Directing at the Yale School of Drama.  As a producer, he has served at various theaters, most prominently The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, which he helped co-found, and Washington, DC's famed Arena Stage.  He has directed plays on and off-Broadway and at major resident theaters throughout the US, with longstanding relationships at Arena Stage, The Yale Repertory Theatre, and South Coast Repertory in California, where is an Artistic Associate.  At these theaters and others has directed numerous plays by Shakespeare, Moliere (whom he has also translated), Ibsen and premiered contemporary US and British writers. With the Saint Petersburg Theater Academy he co-produced and co-directed  a living reconstruction of Meyerhold's 1926 landmark production of Gogol's REVIZOR.  


"I find that I am drawn to the mid-size, arts-intensive cities of the world--Amsterdam, Prague, Kyoto, Barcelona, Petersburg--more than I am to the Berlins, Beijings,  Madrids, and Moscows.  But I had forgotten, after seven years away, how much Saint Petersburg is more than just a fascinating, manageable city with a highly complex culture and a fantastical beauty; it is all that, but it is also, I discovered, a kind of second home of my, dare I say it, soul.  Perhaps, I have wondered, I had a former life here, perhaps sometime around the dreadful and exuberant period of the revolution.  Possibly I was one of those romantic revolutionaries, drunk on poetry and promise, too innocent and febrile to see the horrors ahead.  So, as I keep coming back to know more about my relationship to this hypnotic place, the streets, parks, and ploschads feel familiar, even quotidien sometimes.  Yet mysteries abound around every corner and adventures of all kinds appear unannounced.  I realized we surely have more appointments ahead, this city of Piter and I.  So, the Likhachev Foundation's Fellows Program re-awakened a critical love affair I had left dormant too long.  We both had changed in those years, Piter and I, some for the worse some for the better, but there we were again.  And will be again.
Oh yes, the practical stuff.  Well, more than I could have imagined happened--which is as it should be.  My research on Tostonogov's refinement of Stanislavski's last inquiries--today known as "the method of physical actions" and "action analysis"--proved to be immediately rewarding: much transpired very quickly--interviews, on-site translation of books and articles, germane classes--due to the tireless and generous efforts of the Foundation and the Academy.  I know this work will have long-term implications for the future in my own directing, in my teaching of directors, and possibly in publication. Even more exciting was getting to know the Maly Drama Theatre better, not only the onstage work, but two key personalities there: the warm and hilarious Dina Dodina, and her world-renowned uncle, artistic director Lev Dodin.   The upshot is that it now looks quite likely that The Yale School of Drama/Repertory Theater will be hosting the Maly Drama Theatre of Saint Petersburg for an extended teaching and performing residency in the Fall of 2012."