Oberlin College and Conservatory

Ilkhom Theater: First Free Theater in the USSR

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 4:30pm to 5:50pm

Mudd Center, Seeley G. (Terrell Main Library), Moffett Auditorium (room 50)
148 West College Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Imagine an independent (post)Soviet theater, which has five shows a week through the year, has 150 seats, and employs over 50 people, but doesn’t receive a penny from the government or any other sponsor or fund for 43 years in a row. Sounds impossible?

Meet the Ilkhom Theater, the first independent theater in the USSR and the only such theater in modern Uzbekistan. Ilkhom was founded in 1976 by innovative director Mark Weil, who claimed worldwide recognition and toured for over 20 years. Although Weil was killed by extremists in 2007, because of his artistic courage, Ilkhom remains a unique island in a hostile environment.

Nikita Makarenko, a journalist and a rock festival producer at the Ilkhom Theater, will tell its story and describe its unique methods of collective work, musical and theatrical performance, and composition, which were innovated at Ilkhom and are still in use today.

Event Type



Academic, Russian, Language, Literature and Culture, Theater, Russian and East European Studies



Photo Alternate Text

Ilkhom Theater performance (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

Contact Person

Ian MacMillen

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