Saturday, May 10, 1930, was the opening day of the Odessa Theater for Children ( that was his first name). At 14:00, in the former Northern Theater, there was a premiere of the play “Fritz Bauer”. The play told about the miserable life of a political refugee and his family during a strike in Germany (director S. Manuilovich).
The theater always gives close attention to classical drama but also doesn`t lose sight of the best works of modern writers. In the theatrical life of the city in different years, the performances of the theater became well-known events. There was “Marriage” by N. Gogol, “Forest” and “Thunderstorm” (based on A. Ostrovsky), “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (based on A. Pushkin), “Guile and love ”(based on F. Schiller), “Undergrowth”(based on D. Fonvizin),“ Lone sail whitens ”and“ Son of the regiment ”(based on V. Kataev),“ Trap 46, 2nd growth ”(based on Y.Shchekochikhin), “Passion for Shakespeare (author of the play – V. Shulakov) and others.
Over the years, such stars of the stage as People’s Artist of Ukraine Yuliy Bozhek and Henry Ostashevsky, Honored Artist of Ukraine Galina Ostashevskaya, the director – People’s Artist of Russia, laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation Vladimir Pakhomov and others worked in the theater.
Andrey Gonchar is an acknowledged master of the theater. He is People’s Artist of Ukraine and laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine named after T.G.Shevchenko. Together with him in the troupe works Honored Artists of Ukraine E. Sevyrina, I. Okhotnichenko and V. Gubskaya, actors V. Gulchenko, V. Radu, V. Gordienko, I. Tiltikov, A. Lyushina, S. Frolov, E. Nogaeva, L. Lanets, N. Mashukova, Z. Skalskaya, Y. Krylova, E. Shavruk, O. Burlai-Piterova, S. Demchenko, V. Salnikov, V. Piterov, O. Shevchuk, M. Malitsky, O. Sayapina, V. Kostyka, L. Kareva, A. Kochetov, M. Buber, I. Zhelyaev and others…
Since 1986 and to the last days of his life, Vladimir Naumtsev was the main director of the Odessa Theater of the Young Viewer. (11/8/1934-31/12/2011). He was known as the famous master of theater and cinema.
In the creative tandem with him worked the Honored Artist of Ukraine Nikolay Vylkun.
In AUTUMN 2014, SVETLANA SVIRKO became the MAIN DIRECTOR. Because of her plays, in Moscow and St. Petersburg they told about her as an interesting and talented interpreter of the classic and the original plays, as a great director of contemporary drama. On the stage of Odessa Theater of the Young Viewer, her first work was an experimental play “Uncle’s Dream” based on the work by Fedor Dostoyevsky, which immediately attracted the close attention of critics and the public. Then Svetlana Svirko staged the performance “An Amazing Event” that was presented at the Gogol-Fest festival in Kyiv in 2015.
The play “Potap Urlov” brought a huge success to the theater ( the premiere date- 2010). The play afterward was recognized as one of the best dramatic performances in the country. It received wide international fame and was shown on television screens of all continents. For this work, director Vladimir Naumtsev, co-author of the stage version Yevgeny Zhenin, stage designer Nikolai Vylkun, and lead actor Andrey Gonchar were nominated for the International Deribas Award (Germany). For playing the central role in this performance, Andrey Gonchar received the prize of L. Bugova and I. Tverdokhlib (USA-Ukraine).
The project Warsaw Melody (2012) was a huge event in the theatrical life not only of Odesa but of the entire Ukraine. The popular theater, film and TV star, the Honored Artist of the Russian Federation Nonna Grishaeva was a constant participant of the project.
In the last years, the theater troupe has been awarded by the International Scarlet Sails Festival, the International Youth Theaters Festival, the International Art Festival GLORIA (France-Italy-Spain-Germany-Austria-USA-Israel-Russia-Ukraine).
The main director of the theater- the Honored Artist of Ukraine V.M. Naumtsev, chief artist – Honored Artist of Ukraine N.M. Vylkun and theater director E.B. Buber received the special award ” For many years of loyalty to the romantic direction in the education of children and youth on the ideals of kindness and justice”.
The current successes and achievements of Odessa Theater of the Young Viewer are associated with the new young and energetic director Evgeny Buber. He is a popular actor, graduate of Mikhail Shchepkin Higher Theatre School, who later became a well-known manager in the art field. In 2015 he received the title of Honored Art Worker of Ukraine”.
With the success of Potap Urlov, on the initiative of the director, the theater offered to its audience a drama version of an immortal The Nutcracker – the play The Princess Pirlipat. This play was recognized as the best play for children in 2011 and brought to its creators the Main Prize of the Children’s Jury at the International Festival of Youth Theaters.
The Creative Lounge has been opened based on the Odessa Theater of the Young Viewer. The central and young regional and foreign artists participate in their programs.
The Odesa Theater of the Young Viewer became one of the co-founders of the Association of Children’s Theaters of Ukraine and successfully integrates into the European Association of Children’s Theaters (head office – Zagreb, Croatia).
While appreciating the history of theater and its current special role in developing the mentality of new generations, it should be noted that the Odesa Theater of the Young Viewer believed that their audience is children and adults of all ages. The repertory of the theater has performances for all ages: from the plays particular to preschool children and primary school children to performances for teens, students, and adults.
So the program, that systematically and consistently performed by the troupe of the theater, actually creates a family theater. Every viewer could expect the meeting with interesting theatrical performances exactly for him. In other words, there was created a symbiosis of the Theater Palace for children and the largest Culture Center for adults at the same time.