The Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian theatre (RRT) – the oldest Russian drama theatre outside Russia – was opened on 2 October 1883. At that time the company consisted of sixteen actors and the season opened with a play by I. Shpazinsky “The Major’s Wife”, a very popular piece at the time.
When Latvia was annexed to the USSR in 1941, the creative life of the theatre endured sudden changes. The ideological pressure and control of the Party were new to the theatre and limited its potential.
Since 1996, the Theatre has been experiencing new creative freedom. It is continuing to preserve its traditions, but without neglecting the technological innovations that are an important part of any creative activity. A restoration project was presented on 5 July 2007, and a few years later, on 2 October 2010, the renovated theatre threw open its doors to the public with the première of W. Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, directed by Igor Konyayev.
Director Eduard Cehoval chose Clay Paky lights for the lighting system. Before the renovation, the Theatre already had a few Clay Paky Alpha Wash 575s, which had been chosen for their wide zoom, extremely silent operation, excellent colour mixing, additional colour wheel and general reliability. Clay Paky’s distributor in Latvia, SGS System Ltd, supplied a further 6 Alpha Wash 575s and 6 Alpha Wash Halo 1200s for the renovated stage.
The company’s repertoire includes classics from Russia and the rest of the world, as well as works by young playwrights. The large and small stages are suitable for all types of production, including plays for children and musicals. The Theatre is actively involved in tours and is very successful in festivals.
At present, the Riga Russian theatre puts on 5-7 projects per season. The production group is often international since the theatre draws creative resources from all over the world.