St. Petersburg is such a treasury for curious minds, it’s always a choice where to go next week. I have customers interested in St. Petersburg theatre life, theatre museum and history of theatre in general, so today I plunged into the world of theatrical art. My 6 year-old daughter, who recently discovered theatre and who’s keen on dancing and ballet joined me for this visit.
St. Petersburg Theatre Museum Starts with…
Everybody knows that a theatre starts with a cloakroom. For a museum cloakrooms are certainly a necessity, but any museum starts with the way it greets the visitors.
Tickets purchased, coats checked in – we are ready to see the museum. The main exhibition is located on the 3rd story. Elevator or stairs – what to choose? We opted for some exercise and took the stairs. No mistake: here we found what the Theatre Museum starts with shiny glass steps with signatures of Tchaikovsky, Anna Pavlova, Nizhinsky, Marius Petipa, Mussorgsky, Shalyapin, Shostakovich and many others.
Interactive History of Theatre
Theatre is an amazing thing in itself. Its history is sometimes funny, sometimes sad and tragic, sometimes exciting, sometimes it resembles a detective story – it’s anything but boring. St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre has succeeded in showing history of theatre in the most colourful way.
There’s something special in each room:
- Have you seen the smallest violin ever?
- What about stage sets and gimmicks to make theatrical scenery work? Would you like to try and move the scenery yourself? Some showcases are arranged exactly like them for the visitor to move them out and in.
- Do you prefer to be a spectator viewing the exhibition from a box-seat or dance on the stage?
- Try on ballet shoes and practice ballet positions at the bar (by the way, the bar from the ballet school – the one that saw Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina, Matilda Kshesinska, Galina Ulanova and many others)
- Climb a weird stage of an early Soviet theatre surrounded by ominous-looking propaganda posters.
- Sit on the time-machine chair and try to see the theatre of future…
Trust me, my daughter and I did all that! It doesn’t make us the history of theatre experts, of course, but it’s certainly made all the following theatre visits even more special.
St. Petersburg Theatre Museum for Kids
St. Petersburg Theatre Museum is definitely worth visiting, especially for theatre-lovers. It will also be interesting for kids. The museum offers interactive programs for kids but even without ordering a guided interactive tour, there’s an opportunity to have a great time with kids. There’s a little quest with tasks for kids (and parents) in every museum room that will help you make the introduction to the history of theatre fun and memorable.
St. Petersburg Theatre Museum: Practicalities
Tickets for St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre cost 150 roubles per adult (this is under 3 USD) and 80 roubles per school student (a little over 1 USD). Kids under 7 years old have a free visit. Quest map with tasks for kids cost additional couple of dollars. Unlike many other museums of St. Petersburg, your tour guide will be required to purchase a ticket too.
Audio-guides are available only in Russian. All the labels are in both English and Russian.
Unfortunately this museum is not fully accessible. There’s an elevator and a special bathroom for physically impaired visitors. But a flight of stairs at the entrance, although little, may turn an obstacle.
Museum opening hours are: Thursday – Monday 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.,1 p.m.- 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Tuesday is a day-off, last Monday of the month the museum is closed for a clean-up day.