«I perceive the theatre as a riddle and a mystery, as some mystical area, plunging into which the actor and the audience start to exist in quite a new outer space. In the other world there is black and white, there is God and Devil. Everyone chooses his/her own. I have chosen God. Everyone has a guardian angel, no doubt. I surely have one, anyway. He guards not only me but people close to me as well; He helps me in such situations when it seems there is no way out. That is why I am absolutely calm. Everything goes as it should. I simply do my job as a magician».
In 2004 Sergei Fedotov was recognized as the Best Director of the Czech Republic for staging of «Heart of Dog» based by the novel of M. Bulgakov and became the first foreigner in the history of the Czech National Award who received this highest award. In March 2006 the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic handed the prize of the «Prague news» newspaper to Sergei Fedotov for a special contribution into Czech culture. On the 11th of January, 2011, on the day of the 50th anniversary, Fedotov was granted with the Joseph Jungmann Czech medal. On the 18th of May, 2012 the Fedor Volkov Russian Government award was given to Sergei Fedotov for the contribution into the development of the Theatre art.
Sergei Fedotov was born in 11.01.1961 in the city of Perm. He was educated in Perm State Institute of Arts and Culture at the directing faculty. The Nytva Youth Theatre Studio (city of Nytva, Perm region), founded in 1983 by Sergei Fedotov, became the «first final rehearsal» of the future «U Mosta» Theatre. There was exactly the place where Sergei Fedotov’s artistic experiments and search of his own directing language began. Soon Fedotov’s performances – bright and original in the manner of acting and directing – became known outside the city of Perm. The audience from different cities of Russia came specially to watch these performances. From 1984 to 1986 Fedotov joined the Army in the Far East near the city of Khabarovsk where he organized the first soldiers’ theatre in Russia. After finishing his service he got an invitation to work in Perm State Arts Institute as a teacher at the directing faculty.
In 1988 the «Nytva» and «Far East» rehearsals were completed with opening of a new theatre in Perm. Initially the theatre got its name due to the close location to the Bridge of the Kama river, but gradually the mysterious word-combination «Theatre «U Mosta» (at the bridge) became a brand, expressing the theatre’s artistic concept. Fedotov’s productions are, in point of fact, a bridge between the real and the supernatural, the usual and the mystical, the conscious and subconscious. The exclusivity of the artistic method of the Theatre «U Mosta» is mainly formed from the combination of schools of Mikhail Chekhov, Jerzy Grotowski and the aesthetics of Antonen Artaud, i.e. from the systems aimed at the development of the actor’s psychophysics, as well as his ability to work with the inner energy and subconscious. Fedotov, the mystique and fantasy creator, has offered the audience a new game relationship, a special manner of acting - extraordinary, paradox, grotesque, creating a possibility for immersion of actors into the «other world» on the stage. The mystic in his interpretation is not a subject matter, not an approach, but a special mindset. Fedotov’s performances may be comic and tragic, but there is always the element of mystery and magic, when the supernatural forces enter the stage. This expresses the director’s specific view on the theatre, on the laws of human being, the relationships between the inner «me» and the outer world, fate, predetermination, the power of some super forces over people.
Victor Shraiman, member of the Jury of the «Golden Mask» National Theatre award, Vice President of the «Kuk-Art» International festival said during the open discussion of the performance «The Cripple of Inishmaan»: «It’s amazing how Fedotov’s idea is spread over the actors in such a way that it seems they are playing in a unified ensemble –a particularly rare thing today – and creating a really special world on the stage. They enter the psyche of their incredible weird characters and transform themselves into their characters not only in appearance, but from inside as well, which is even more rare. Everyone speaks of it but it is long ago forgotten how to do it in practice... This is a riddle and a mystery for me how Fedotov manages to do this. I have been in this profession for a long time; I see and know the directing technique. But in this case it is impossible to understand the mechanism of this miracle. Fedotov’s performances are astonishing in all respects: the integrity, the organic combination of all components: costumes, scenery, music and ensemble. It could seem that everything has been put into the play by the author – you only have to pronounce the text and the story will begin on its own. But this is an illusion; everything is invented by the theatre and done together with the author. The play is opened in its sense, but opened with the heart, not with the mind… this is a very Christian play after which you start to reconcile with the mankind and forgive …»
Marina Timasheva, observer of «Svoboda» radio, has called Sergei Fedotov one of those few directors, who do not accept simple invention of an artistic means and imposing it on the play: «Sergei Fedotov’s performances are as deep as the plays he stages. Fedotov is a very attentive reader who can analyse the text in all details and pass it to the audience in all its beauty, but presenting not himself, but his actors and perfect ensemble. The outline of each role is grotesque and exaggerated, eccentric, but filled with a psychologically true character. And the main thing is that this incredible ensemble reveals us the huge inner content of the action happening. It amazes, astonishes and charms. Only Fedotov can show McDonagh in this way».
Anatoliy Smelyanskiy, Chairman of the Jury of the «Golden Mask» National Theatre award, Rector of A.P. Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre School, professor, handing the Special Jury Award to Sergei Fedotov noticed that he was holding a really special prize: «The first Special Jury Award goes to Perm Theatre «U Mosta» , which was found and has been leading by Sergei Fedotov for 22 years. There are lots of periphery theatres in Russia and many of them lead a hard life, they are lost, do not know which way to go. There is no directing, no assistance, no ideological tasks as there used to be. It is not known why do they exist, but that’s definitely not for staging «The Married Taxi Driver» … So when you see a theatre from the city of Perm, the «U Mosta» theatre, a theatre with a stunning repertoire, a theatre, in which Russian and world classics have been staging for over two decades, a theatre that presents not only the repertoire, but the excellent actors as well. This Theatre is an Artistic Phenomenon, it is some kind of a Lighthouse and support for the Russian periphery theatre, which – as it turns out – can live dignified, consciously, sensibly and artistically».
The productions of Sergei Fedotov have been awarded Grand Prix at different international festivals: «The Golden Lion» (Ukraine), «Young Theatre» (Latvia), «The White Lady» (Estonia), «Theatre search» (Germany), «Collisions of Theatres» (Poland), «Experimental theatre» (Austria), «Theatres of the European region» (the Czech Republic) and others. In 2008 the performance «The Lonesome West» (M.McDonagh) was nominated for the «Golden Mask» National Theatre award and was presented in Moscow among the best performances of Russia. In 2010 the «U Mosta» Theatre took part in the main festival of Russia with the performance «The Cripple of Inishmaan», became the winner of the «Golden Mask» National Theatre award and got the special Jury prize. Fedotov’s performances have been shown at 148 theatre festivals. Fedotov has produced over 170 performances in Russia and abroad. 15 performances in the Czech Republic (Prague, Hradec Kralove, Karlovy Vary, Brno, Ostrava etc.), 8 performances in Poland (Jelenia Gora, Bydgoszcz, Gorzow Wielkopolski etc.), in St.Petersburg, Kiev, Nalchik, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, Samara and others.