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Arts director receives high honor in Russia

Rob Orchard

Oleg Tabakov, director of the Moscow Art Theatre, with Rob Orchard, executive director of Emerson's Office of the Arts and ArtsEmerson.

Rob Orchard, the executive director of Emerson’s Office of the Arts and ArtsEmerson, received a general recognition award from the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia on January 18, along with six other arts professionals.

The Savva Morozov Diamond Award is the theater’s highest honor, and was presented to Orchard by the theater’s artistic director, Oleg Tabakov.

Orchard has a longstanding professional relationship with Moscow Art Theatre, having developed programs with the group since 1985.

Orchard’s award is named after Savva Morozov, the theater’s original patron. It also is meant to honor the 150th anniversary of the birth of Constantin Stanislavsky, the pioneering Russian Empire actor and theater director, who most famously advised actors “to love the art in yourself rather than yourself in art.”

Orchard and 25 other theater members reflected on Stanislavsky’s life on stage during the award ceremony in front of 200 invited guests.

Orchard said that as a young actor, Stanislavsky changed his name in order to hide his performance activities from his parents.

“Perhaps,” Orchard said, “Stanislavsky’s legacy includes adding a level of respectability to the career of acting such that young artists no longer feel the need to change their names.”

Other award winners include artists F. Murray Abraham, Luc Bondy, Declan Donnellan, Trevor Nunn, Robert Falls and Peter Brook.

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