For the Riga Russian Theater (RRT), this performance has a special meaning, both symbolic and conceptual, since it is dedicated to Mikhail Chekhov, after whom the theater was named in 2006. This project was implemented with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia as a part of the program for the centenary of the Latvian state. The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation was the patron of the production (and this is the tenth project in the framework of the cooperation between the RRT and the Foundation).
"Why do I travel around Europe? I want to give the actors a key to theatrical magic”, Mikhail Chekhov once said. "The Keys to Magic" is the name of the play by Mikhail Durnenkov, a famous Russian playwright, who has received an order from the RRT to create a story based on the documentary materials, including the ones, specially collected in Latvian archives and museums. However, Marina Brusnikina, the staging director, emphasizes the viewers are not be presented with a biographical note about Mikhail Chekhov; instead, they will witness a development of a lively, emotional, "breathing" story: seven students of Mikhail Chekhov’s live the life of their great teacher - reminiscing, quoting, discussing, embodying...
The play is based on the historic documents.
Special thanks for materials and advice to Liisa Byckling, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Helsinki University, author of the book "Mikhail Chekhov in the Western Theater and Cinema" (St-Petersburg, 2000) and other works about M. Chekhov in emigration, and about the Finnish-Russian cultural relations.
The video of Riga in 1930s, used in the scenery, is presented by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Julien Bryan Archive.