Ferdinand Vanek Award 2017 > A Breathing Exercise > Varvara Fajer - about the author

Varvara Fajer - about the author

Varvara Fajer
Her true name is Galina Siňkina. She was born in 1965 in Moscow. In 1993 she finished her studies of journalism at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) and after that she studied film direction at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), where she graduated in 1999. Three years later she met Michail Ugarov and Elena Gremina, the founders of Teatr.doc, who significantly influenced her work. As a participant of the first seminars on verbatim theatre, organized by British playwrights in Moscow, she got interested in documentary methods since she could use her university background in journalism. Her play Crimes of Passion (Prestuplenia strasti) from 2002 was based on face-to-face conversations with women prisoners. She directed her first authorial project and played the main character.
In the same year she made a documentary film about the founder of Teatr.doc called Michail Urgov. Documentary Theatre. In 2004 she directed a documentary play by Jelena Isejevova The Third Grader Aloysha (Tretjeklassnik Aljoša). In 2004 and 2005 she acted in Teatr.doc productions Sober PR (Trzevyj PR) and September.doc (Sentjabr.doc). In 2006 she was awarded for direction at the Holywood festival Docs without Borders Film Festival (DWBFF) for the film Unusual (Osobennaja) about a prisoner, who was set free because she wrote a successful theatre play.
In 2011 she started to focus on political drama, in Joseph Beyus Theatre she directed the stage reading Ulicka- Chodorkovskij. Correspondence (Ulickaja – Chodorkovskij – Perepiska).In 2012 she directed several plays at Teatr.doc, in which direct witnesses of the events presented themselves (the so-called witness spectacle – svidětělskij spektakl): What happened to my Friend. The Case of Leonid Razvozžajev (Slučaj s mojim drugom. Dělo Leonida Razvozžajeva), A Rude Court. A Continuation. (Chamsud.Prodloženie), Pussy Riot. A Continuation. (Pussy Riot. Prodloženie). Her most significant work in 2012 was the adaptation of Dario Fo’s Double-Headed Anomaly and the production BerlusPutin. Despite being banned from all theatres in Russia, she earned a nomination for BerlusPutin in the category of experiment at the festival Golden Mask. Her next controversial play Bath Attendant (Banščik), which she wrote together with the actors at Pskovsk Theatre in 2015, was also banned and never performed. At present it is possible to see her plays Aunt Katya’s Watercolours (Akvareli tjoti Kati) and Spruce. Andersen (Eľ. Andersen) at Teatr.doc.