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Michael McLain

Michael McLain is Professor of Theater in the School of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  As Literary Director and Artistic Associate, he collaborated in founding the Geffen Playhouse as the most recent of the major professional theatres to be established in Los Angeles.  Michael’s interest in Russian theatre began in 1973 when, as a member of Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, he participated in the first performances ever given by an American resident theatre in Russia, which were in Saint Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theatre and Moscow’s MXAT Filial.   In 1977-78 Michael developed his knowledge of Russian theatre further as the first theatre specialist to study in Russia under the Fulbright Scholar Exchange and he returned in 1989 as a member of the first exchange of faculty members in a program sponsored by the University of California and Leningrad State University.   With the goal of curating a series of events in Los Angeles that would highlight cultural achievements of Russia’s Silver Age, Michael met with academicians, museum directors, and theatre professionals during his Likhachev Foundation Fellowship.  

“By gathering in Saint Petersburg every year a group of scholars and professionals whose creative and scholarly projects stem from the fantastically rich soil of Russia’s cultural landscape, the Likhachev Foundation furthers the increase of knowledge of this extraordinary culture in other parts of the world.  At the same time the connections that are made between the Likhachev Fellows and Russian experts across a range of fields enables the dialogue of cultural exchange to continue into the future.  Even the links forged among current and past Likhachev Fellows as a group amplifies the impact of the Cultural Fellowship program around the world by drawing more closely together specialists from different fields with ongoing interests in Russia.  Bravo to the Foundation for its groundbreaking work in enabling this world-wide cultural dialogue -- Russian culture could hardly have a better champion.  I am certain that Academician Likhachev would be proud of the work that is done by the Foundation that bears his name.”