Gennady Shugurov

Director, principal director of Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok (since 1999), honored artist of Russia, honored cultural worker of Russia.

He worked as an actor in Chelyabinsk Puppet Theatre, when Valery Volkhovsky was the head of the company; he was also actor and director of the theatre Svyataya Krepost’ [Sacred Fortress] in Vyborg. The production Bolero, which Shugurov directed together with Yuri Labetsky, was nominated for the National Theatre Award THE GOLDEN MASK.  He taught puppet theatre acting in Saratov Conservatory, today his students are the young core of Saratov theatre company.

Teremok led by Shugurov is a puppet theatre with regularly renewed repertoire for adults, where one production logically continues the line of the previous one: New Pinocchio, The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Stag King, Don Juan, Two Journeys of Lemuel Gulliver. In these productions, as well as in children’s productions, Shugurov’s director’s style is very distinctive, his auteur theatre is ensemble-structured, energetic, and philosophical; also, it is rhythmically subordinate to music, which Shugurov always selects on his own.

The principal productions:

Bolero, Sacred Fortress Theatre, Vyborg (in collaboration with director Yuri Labetsky)

New Pinocchio – 2001, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

The Glass Menagerie – 2002, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 2005, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

Petruska at War – 2005, Belgorod State Puppet Theatre

Don Juan – 2008, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

The Stag King – 2009, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

The Bremen Musicians – 2010, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

The Little Stork and the Scarecrow – 2011, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok

Denis’s Stories – 2014, Saratov Puppet Theatre Teremok



Name. Shugurov Gennady Igorevich

Date and place of birth. 29 May, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia

Education. Higher

In a nutshell, please tell us about your career (who influenced you, where and how you started, who you worked with, which theatre you founded/became the head of, where you work now).
a) Nobody.
b) Theatre School in Gorky, LGITMiK. I had a good start.
Chelyabinsk Puppet Theatre.
Leningrad regional puppet theatre, Vyborg.
Puppet Theatre, Vladivostok.
Regional puppet theatre, Saratov.

Favorite authors, subjects, stories. Authors – those whose work resonates with me at the moment.

Favorite traditional system of puppets/ texture.  The one I find necessary.

Does a performance need text? Everything is needed. Word, silence, plasticity, static, dynamics, light and darkness. (Winter coat and t-shirt, felt boots and flip flops).

Is the expression “puppet theatre” relevant today? Puppet theatre has never been relevant.

What, in your opinion, is the difference between puppet theatre in Russia and the West? (Advantages/disadvantages, problems of professional school). Organization and pathetic remains of professionalism.

What can be useful about collaboration and cultural exchange? From my experience, nothing. Different symptoms and diagnoses.

Mass Media Feedback:

“Shugurov belongs to the strict part of the older generation of directors who are faithful to their auteur style and do not accept compromises. Here are the characteristic features of Shugurov’s signature style: rich intonation of the soundtrack, which he always selects on his own; the emphasized theatricality of action; the choice of complex subjects for evening performances; the literal trembling with which he approaches the characters – from agitation to horror.”

Alexei Goncharenko

Teatr chudes [The Theatre of Miracles]

“The best production was Petrushka at War by Belgorod Puppet Theatre <…> director Gennady Shugurov was not afraid of directing a funny production about puppet theatre companies at the front – in the city, which was virtually erased from the earth during the Great Patriotic War. Thus Gennady Shugurov became the best director of the festival. The characters of Alexander Zabolotny’s witty play are petrushkas and marfushkas, who, using simple ‘folk methods’ such as clubs, successfully beat up stupid fascist generals. The choir of petrushkas was a real tour de force of the Belgorod company. Four jesters encourage their buddy who is in the military – and the garrison cap suits him as perfectly as the red cap — with bold jokes and fast movements on top of the folding screen, performed in the rhythm of a circus act.”

Alexei Goncharenko

"St. Petersburg Theatre Journal"

“Gennady Shugurov continues his director’s line: puppets and actors work on stage in a union. The actors’ scenes are no less important than those of the puppets.<…>. The production is performed in such an admirable tempo, that the audience seems to dissolve and float on the magical waves. There is a lot of humor and irony. Lots of subtle allusions. It seems that the adults follow the turns of the plot much more closely than the children.”

Vladimir Akishin about the production "The Bremen Musicians"

Saratov regional newspaper

“… the nature of theatre is understood and conveyed by Gennady Shugurov and his actors, in our opinion, in a very precise, versatile, free, and talented manner. The actors are bathing in their stage compositions, sometimes falling into artistic verbosity and getting lost in logical connections and complexities, but this happens in such clear concordance with the primal theatre element that one decides to stop playing too smart…”

Olga Kharitonova

Saratov regional newspaper