«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 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 where 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».
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 magical existence of actors on the stage. The categories of «mystical» and «the other world» are understood by the director within the traditions of J. Grotowski and A. Artaud, they have become synonyms of that special «rituality», which the Polish theatre theoretician wrote about, or, as A. Arteu expressed «alive, genuine theatre», which is destined to «find out the true sense of human being through the destruction of occasional forms» (A.Artaud .Theatre and its double). The theatre for Fedotov is not only a «conditionality», not only a space for the meeting of the «enlightened people»: «Some of them are engaged in the composition of words and gestures, and the others know that theatrical performances are to be attended» (J.Grotowski. Theatre and ritual). The only way to overcome that is to return the theatre to its ritual nature, to the ancient image of live dialogue between the actors and the audience. Sergei Fedotov’s performances are built within the logic, bringing back to the sacrality of live interaction, almost «primeval» energy exchange between the stage and the audience.
It’s not by chance that the concept of atmosphere of Mikhail Chekhov, along with Grotowski’s and Artaud’s ideas, acquires utmost importance in Sergei Fedotov’s theatrical method. The atmosphere links the actors and the audience, melts the worlds of the author and the director into one whole emotional space that brings all the participants of the theatrical «rite» from the sphere of «the sense, always cold, always alienating» (M. Chekhov) and immerses into the space of meaning and subconscious, gives an opportunity of joined cognition and sensation. The leading part is played by improvisation which is a part of the performance and rehearsals – this is exactly what opens the way to creating together, helps to discover the variety of meanings. The uniqueness of the «U Mosta» Theatre’s system is also in the rehearsal process, which never stops even after the opening night and each performance is being discussed and analyzed by the actors and the director.
Another important distinctive feature of the performances of the Theatre «U Mosta» is their composition in relation to the actor’s figure – the director’s most complicated instrument in the dialogue with the audience.
Acting within a unified ensemble creates the multi-level structure of the performance. The director is building the stage world in such a rigid way that the actor becomes its integral part and begins to feel the unspoken laws of existence of a certain story, keeping the genre content, the logic of the events and the author’s artistic world from being misinterpreted. Such attention to the literature text in the Theatre «U Mosta» is partly because of following the theatrical method of Anatoly Efros, for whom the performance is, first of all, a cognition of the nature of the author’s feelings and artistic world. In Fedotov’s performances, as well as in the rehearsing process, the figure of the playwright and the process of keeping the borders of his world become the main aim of the work. During the tours and festivals (Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belarus, Austria, Germany and many cities of Russia) Sergei Fedotov always carries out workshops for theatre students, young actors and directors. The training is an original author’s transformation of exercises and principles of the actors’ existence invented by M.Chekhov. The Perm director demonstrates exercises for developing attention, imagination, inner and outer dynamics of the atmosphere, improvisation. All these components in Fedotov’s understanding help to master the new type of playing relationship, a new manner of the actor’s existence – original, paradox, grotesque, creating an opportunity for the actors and the audience to immerse together into the space of the irrational, sensual, unconscious, mystical.