Viktor Korkiya

Viktor KORKIYA, poet and playwright, was born June 12, 1948.

      He was one of the participants in the famous Alexei Arbuzov playwriting studio in the 1970s and 80s while also working in the poetry division of the influential journal Yunost (Youth). He was one of the founders of the Moscow Poetry Club. His self-styled paratragedy The Mystery Man, or, I am Poor Soso Dzhugashvili, enjoyed sensational success when it was staged by Yevgeny Slavutin at the Moscow University Student Theater in 1988. This play subsequently was performed in more than 70 theaters through the Soviet Union. Korkiyas connection to Slavutin and the Moscow University Student Theater has proved to be a strong one. Several of his plays have been staged, and continue to run, on its stage, including The Invincible Armada (after Lope de Vega); Lessons of Love, a tragicomic treatment of the Casanova myth written with the poet Alexander Lavrin; and The Trojan Virus, a version of Korkiyas tragedy The Goats Song. His The Devils Tragedy,a treatment of the Don Juan myth, was directed by Andrei Rossinsky at Moscows Stage Mirror Theater in 2002.

      Korkiyas poems and epic poetry were collected in the book Free Time (1988) and have been published in numerous leading journals in Russia and Europe. Three plays have been published in book form: The Mystery Man, or, I am Poor Soso Dzhugashvili (Moscow: Moskovsky rabochii, 1989); (Moscow: Globus, 2001); and Don Quixote and Sancho Panza on the Island of Taganrog (Moscow: 4-i filial Voenizdata, 2001). His Homeric tragedy The Goats Song was published in the journal Contemporary Dramaturgy (Sovremennaya dramaturgiya, No. 3, 2000) and The Devils Comedy was published in the almanac Commentary (Kommentarii, No. 21, 2001). His plays have been translated into English, French, German and other languages, and his work is discussed in a separate chapter in Irina Skoropanovas textbook, Russian Postmodern Literature (Russkaya postmodernistskaya literature [Moscow: Flint & Nauka, 1999]).

      Don Quixote and Sancho Panza on the Island of Taganrog was staged in 2001 by Oksana Mysina under the title of Quixote and Sancho as the inaugural production of the new theater, the Oksana Mysina Theatrical Brotherhood. Korkiyas latest play, Ariston, a modern treatment of the Oedipus myth, was written exclusively for this theater. It will open during the theaters 2003-2004 season.

      Korkiya, in tandem with John Freedman, founded a colloquium for the promotion of contemporary drama in 2003. This program will feature readings of new plays and translations into Russian by a broad spectrum of writers, and it will also include occasional seminar-style discussions of topics that especially concern contemporary Russian playwrights.


© Viktor Korkiya


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