Wandering Camera

Album 364
(Translated by Victor Varganov)


Today we will speak about the TyuZ Theater Theater of Young Spectators named after A.A. Briantsev.
For some strange reason I had always believed that the abbreviation of the theaters name can be deciphered as Theater of Young Spectator. However after a thorough check of sources I have to admit it is indeed Spectators (plural) Weird!


The TyUZ is located just off the Zagorodny Prospekt, near the Pusjkinskaya metro station and the Vitebsky Railway Station. The square in front of the theater is called Pionerskaya (Young Pioneers) Square.

In the early days of St. Petersburg was a an exercise ground for the Semenovsky Regiment of the Royal Guards, where soldiers were drilled and regimental parades took place.

In 1881 the square saw the public execution (hanging) of revolutionaries from the Peoples Will organization, who had successfully assassinated Emperor Alexander II

Among those executed were Alexei Zheliabov, Sofya Perovskaya, N.I Kibalchich, T.M. Mikhailov and N.I. Rysakov.

In 1888-1891 part of the square was used as a Hippodrome for horse races and special spectator stands were constructed there.

In 1893 the square saw the unveiling of St. Petersburgs first Velodrome cycling track (then called a Cyclodrome) with spectator stands fro 2000 people.

Finally, in 1957-1962 the square was fully redesigned and was named Pionerskaya Square in honor of the 40th anniversary of the All-Union Organization of Young Pioneers, (the Soviet Unions version of boy scouts and girl scouts, with ideological emphasis).

In the center of the square stands a monument to 19th write and poet Alexander S. Griboyedov.

Sculptor V.V. Lishev, 1959.

But let us return to the theater itself.

The theater company was founded in 1921 by Alexander A. Briantsev - actor, director and acting professor. From the very outset the theater was aiming at children audiences and was then located on Mokhovaya Street in the historic center of the city.

The current building that you see now was designed by architect A.V. Zhuk and built in 1962. Mr. Briantsev himself actively participated in designing the theater.

An architectural similarity of the theater with the (same period) building of Finland Railway Station is easily identifiable.

(The picture to the right shows the opening ceremony of the new theater on May 19, 1962. Photographer: V. Fedoseev)

Limestone sculptures were made by A.M .Ignatieva and L.M.Kholina.
Mosaic panels in facade niches (depicting Childhood) were made by A.A.Mylnikova and A.L.Koroleva.
The Order of Lenin once awarded to the theater by the Soviet authorities - decorates the left side of the facade.
The main theater hall can seat up to 1000 spectators
The back side of the theater building is expressly practical and functional.

Pionerskaya Square links the theater with Zagorodny Prospect and Gorokhovaya Street.



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