The album-book will be textual and graphic material combined under common idea of showing the role and significance of the Russian National Theatre for the Russian and world culture by the example of the State Academic Small Theatre. According to unanimous evidence of all leading specialists, art critics and historians, namely this theatre, founded in XVIII in Moscow, is the father of all the Russian theatres (including the national ones) which elaborated and strengthened the basic rules and the unique peculiarities of the Russian national theatre school. Namely in the Small Theatre, which from the very first days of its existence stated fundamental canons of connection with the great Russian literature and drama, were born the works (performances) that became the classics and pride of the native dramatic art. The legendary names of great actors and directors, pronounced today with trepidation by art critics, teachers and students of theatre colleges (M.S.Shchepkin?s, P. S. Mochalov?s, M. N. Ermolova?s, M. P. Sadovskiy?s and dozens of others), shine like bright stars on the sky of the Russian and world theatre history. They light up the road to the subsequent generations, passing on the baton of traditions and aspirations of domestic and national theatre.

These traditions remained unbroken in the Soviet period. So do they these days when the New Russia is being formed and consolidated.

The photo-artist L. N. Lazarev, together with A. Samohin, accomplished the unprecedented action of eight-year-long observation over life and work of the Small Theatre (from 1985 till 1993) in order to reflect the creative work of leading actors and directors. He fixed moments of the highest peaks of artistic penetration into images created by dramatic art of A.N.Ostrovskiy, N. V. Gogol, A. S. Griboyedov, M. E. Saltykov-Schedrin, A. V. Suchov-Kobylin, A,K,Tolstoi, A. P. Tchekhov, A. M. Gorkiy, V. Vishnevskiy, N. Pogodin and other classicists of Russian and contemporary literature.

The author met with such actively functioning giants of stage like Igor Ilyinstiy, Mikhail Tsaryov, A. N. Griboyedov, E. N. Gogoleva, N. A. Annenskiy, who became legends inter vivos and are loved by millions of spectators. They reflected formation and flourish of acting technique of Yuriy and Vitaliy Solominy, Victor Korshunov and many other outstanding actors, being today the pride of Russian dramatics and raising the worthy changing among the young generation of actors and directors who came from the theatre colleges.

Lazarev?s camera lens has embodied thousands of frames made during both performances on the stage and specially organized, somewhere repeated scenes for shoot, with luminous effects, foreshortenings, special features of using wide-angle and long-focal-length optics, etc. — with the purpose of the largest penetration into psychology of image and its actor-author.

The overwhelming majority of the frames photographed, i.e. stopped, captured moments, are unique, depicting culmination points of the highest creative strain of great actors, both still working and already dead, that have forever become the part of tablets of domestic and world theatre culture.

Thus, the photo-artist L. N. Lazarev in detail studied 27 performances observing eternally true, unique tradition of the Small Theatre?s school. They are considered masterpieces of the Russian classical drama — «Tsar Theodore Ioannovich», «The Wood», «The Guilty Though Guiltless», «The Dowerless Girl», «The Storm», «Even a Wise man Stumbles», «The Inspector General» and other pieces enriching the most valuable possessions of the Russian culture.

The album-book, according to its methodology and principally new graphically dramaturgic conception for shoot and model, has no analogs in polygraphic editions of such kind.

The presumable bulk of the book is 500 pages (40-60 publisher’s signatures), plus 1000 slides (photos).

The literary cover text will contain both historical fine art information and program opinions of the present artistic leadership of the theatre.

THE INSPECTOR GENERAL 1985 .