Адольф Шапиро


Adolf Shapiro was born July 4, 1939 in Kharkov. In 1962 he graduated from the Kharkov State Kotlyarevsky University of Arts and continued his work with Maria Klebel’s creative workshop.

In 1962-1992 was the head of the Riga Youth Theatre. This theatre is a unique structure of the former Soviet Union for its two independent casts from Latvia and Russia, and is the winner of numerous international competitions. Among the most important works: Ivanov and The Wood Demon by Anton Chekhov, City at Dawn by Alexei Arbuzov, The Forest by Alexander Ostrovsky, The Golden Horse by Janis Rainis, Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen, The Prince of Homburg by Heinrich Kleist, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertold Brecht, And tomorrow there was a war by Boris Vasilyev, The Democracy by Joseph Brodsky and other performances. For many years he worked in collaboration with a talented theater artist Mart Kitaev.
Adolf Shapiro taught at the Riga State Conservatory and prepared two acting and one directing classes.
He worked in various theaters in Estonia: Estonian Maly Theatre, Estonian Drama Theatre after Viktor Kingisepp, City Theatre in Pärnu, Tallinn City Theatre (Linnatheatre).
In Rome on the festival "Theatre on Screen" he won the Grand Prix and Gold Medal for the film The Waltz Invention after Vladimir Nabokov`s play.
By his art Adolf Shapiro gained international prestige, and in 1990 was elected the president of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), and since 1994 he is the president of the Russian Center of ASSITEJ.

Since 1993 Adolf Shapiro works as an independent stage director and drama teacher. Carried out performances abroad: in Venezuela — The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol, Nicaragua —The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, USA — The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Chekhov. Postskriptum, Poland —Danish History based on Hans Christian Andersen, Israel —The Threepenny Opera by Bertold Brecht, Last Love by Isaac Singer, France — An Actor's Work on Himself by Konstantin Stanislavski, Right You Are (If You Think So) by Luigi Pirandello, Brazil — Chekhov`s Space, Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, Greece — Rose by Michael Sherman, Old Times by Harold Pinter, China — Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov.
He has taught and lead workshops in the USA (Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Indianapolis, The University of Chicago), Germany (Berlin, Bad Pyrmont, National Theatre Munich), Poland (Teatr Ochoty), Israel (Gesher Theatre, Yiddishpiel Theatre), France (École nationale supérieure des arts et techniques du théâtre Lyon) and Italy (bi-annual festival METHODIKA 2007).

Resides and works in Estonia. In 2003 Shapiro was elected an Honoured Doctor of the Department of Performing Arts of the Tallinn Theatre Academy and Fine Arts College in Viljandi.

Adolf Shapiro worked in various Russian theatres.
Cooperates with the theatres of Saint Petersburg. At the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre (BDT) he has created performances based on works of Russian classics (The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, 1993, and The Forest by Alexander Ostrovsky, 1999, the artist Eduard Kochergin). At the Leningrad Theater of Comedy — The Easy Money by Alexander Ostrovsky (1985), at the BryantsevYouth Theatre — King Lear by William Shakespeare and Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.

In 1997, he participated in the joint work on the play The Seagull by Anton Chekhov in the International Michael Chekhov Workshop in Melekhovo with directors William Gaskill (England), Elmo Nuiganen (Estonia), Gytis Padegimas (Lithuania).

In Moscow, on the stage of the Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) Adolf Shapiro set The Cabal of Hypocrites by Mikhail Bulgakov (1988 and 2001), The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (2004), The Precipice by Ivan Goncharov (2010), Mephisto based on the Klaus Mann`s novel (2015, artist Maria Tregubova). At the Oleg Tabakov Theatre — Recent by Maxim Gorky (1995) and The Lower Depths by Maxim Gorky (2000); At the Vakhtangov Theatre — Kabanchik by Viktor Rozov, Dear Liar by Jerome Kilty (1994); at the Mayakovsky Theatre — In the Bar of a Tokyo hotel by Tennessee Williams (1995); in the Russian Academic Youth Theatre — The Princess of the Dream by Edmond Rostand (1997); at the “Et Cetera” Theatre — Fahrenheit 451 based on Ray Bradbury`s novel (2007); at the Maly Theatre — Children of the Sun by Maxim Gorky (2008, Grand Prix of the "Hit of the Season").
In 2010, his production of the opera Lucia di Lammermoor by G. Donizetti at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre (conductor Volf Gorelik, artistic director Andris Frejbergs, costume designer Elena Stepanova) became the winner of the Golden Mask National Theatre Award. In 2013, he staged the operetta The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe) by Franz Lehar at the same theater (art director Alexander Shishkin).

Adolf Shapiro is a playwright whose works are staged both in Russia and abroad. He is the author of Entr’acte and The Curtain Falls (Friendship of Peoples magazine award).

Adolf Shapiro’s achievements in theatre have brought him a lot national and international awards, including the State Prize of Latvia, the State Prize of the Russian Federation, the title of Honoured Artist of Latvia, the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Award, the Order “Pro Terra Mariana” Estonia, the Order of the “Three Stars” Latvia, the Stanislavski Award, the “Hit of the Season” Award. Adolf Shapiro is an honorary doctor of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the winner of the Baltic House Theatre Festival Award and Golden Mask National Theatre Award.