Lviv Les Kurbas Academic Theater (Львівський академічний театр імені Леся Курбаса). A contemporary professional theater troupe founded in Lviv in March 1988 under the name Lviv Ukrainian Youth Theater-Studio, with Volodymyr Kuchynsky as artistic director, Andrii Matsiak as director, Andrii Humeniuk as designer, and a cast composed mainly of young actors who had left the Lviv Ukrainian Drama Theater. One of the most experimental and innovative of Ukrainian theaters, the Kurbas Theater concentrates on teaching and developing the Les Kurbas method of ‘image transformation,’ enhanced by contemporary theatrical approaches, workshop study, and experimentation. Its productions are expressive; they integrate poetic metaphor, psychological character interpretation, music, mime, and modern stage design, scenery, and choreography; they often undertake staging of philosophical works, such as Hryhorii Skovoroda’s Narkis (Narcissus) and Blahodarnyi Erodii (The Grateful Erodius) as well as two plays based on treatises by Plato. The repertoire also includes poetic interpretations of the works of Vasyl Stus; Lina Kostenko’s Sad netanuchykh skul’ptur (The Garden of Unmelting Sculptures), Nich u Florentsiï (A Night in Florence), and Proshcha (A Pilgrimage, based on Marusia Churai); Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s Mizh dvokh syl (Between Two Powers) and Zakon (The Law); Lesia Ukrainka’s Na poli krovi (In a Field of Blood) and Kaminnyi Hospodar (The Stone Host); as well as works by Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and others. Among the leading actors have been Oleh Stefan, Oleh Tsiona, Tetiana Kaspruk, Andrii Vodychev, Nataliia Polovynka, and Oleh Drach. In 1989 the theater was the first recipient of the Vasyl Stus Award and, since then, has been granted many awards and distinctions in Ukraine and abroad.
[This article was updated in 2016.]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine