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Robb Hunter

Robb Hunter is a theatre professional in Washington DC who wears several “hats;” he is professor of theatre at American University, a Fight Director/Choreographer, Stage Combat instructor and the founder of the theatrical weapons company, Preferred Arms. He is currently in collaboration with American University, Synetic Theatre, the award winning physical theatre company in DC, and the Open World Leadership Center for a project that will bring five young Russian directors to Washington to explore the translation of text into the physical language. The Open World project will match up AU students, professional actors, and directors from St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl and Moscow to stage vignettes from The Good Doctor, a play by Neil Simon which was inspired by the early comic writings of Anton Chekhov. This is Mr. Hunter’s first visit to St. Petersburg during which he will interview and begin selection of candidates for this project.


The experience was an incredible immersion in the theatre scene of St. Petersburg, the hub city of Russian culture and I gained a great deal of insight into the theatre world of our largest cultural counterpart. My visit was filled with performances, discussions and meetings with theatre managers, directors, choreographers and artistic directors of companies great and small; from Russia’s oldest, the Alexandrinsky Theatre, to its young up-and-coming theatres such as the ON Theatre, which has already garnered wide-spread critical attention. Meetings with several St. Petersburg directors put me in touch with a number of candidates for the Open World project, three of whom we have now selected to bring over to the U.S. in the fall. Additionally, I was superbly hosted by Vice Rector Nikolai Pesochinsky of the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy who allowed me to sit in on classes and speak with the instructors about their processes. Thanks to the generosity of the Likhachev Foundation, I have come away with a vast store of ideas, inspirations and, most importantly, long term friends in the international theatre world.