Series of lessons based on an interview with Veniamin Smekhov

Russian actor and director Veniamin Smekhov, famous for his work on the stage of Moscow's Taganka Theater and his roles on the silver screen, talks about the cultural significance of the Taganka Theater in the 1970s, his relationship with the Russian bard and actor of the stage and screen, Vladimir Vysotsky, and about the nature of censorship in the Soviet Union.

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Lesson Title Authors Short Description
Lesson 1: The Taganka Theater Victoria Thorstensson, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

In this lesson, students watch an excerpt of a video-taped interview with Veniamin Smekhov, read about the Taganka Theater, and learn about the importance of theater in Russian culture.  Students learn about the Taganka Theater, its repertoire, director, and actors.   Students also learn about rhetorical structures and cognates.

Lesson 2: Vladimir Vysotsky

Authors: Shannon Spasova, with Victoria Thorstensson, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This second lesson in the series consists of two video clips, in which Smekhov discusses Vladimir Vysotsky as an historical figure and personal phenomenon. Students learn about Vysotsky’s life, death, and about how he is remembered in Russia today.  Students also learn to interpret gestures and about word order in Russian.

Lesson 3: Censorship Shannon Spasova, with Victoria Thorstensson, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This final lesson in the series based on an interview with Veniamin Smekhov is based on a clip in which Smekhov discusses censorship and the Taganka Theater.  Students will learn about censorship in the second part of the 20th centrury, and in other periods of Russian and Soviet history.  Students will also learn to express ambiguity or uncertainty, and will practice using relative clauses.

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