Russian Theatre Workshop

Russian Theatre Workshop

"A fresh approach to the madness of Gogol"

Taylor Sutherland, Director

  • Actor, Studio Six, Moscow Art Theatre, NYC
  • Actor, Chekhov International Theatre Festival, Moscow
  • Teacher (Chekhov), Etobicoke School of the Arts
  • Playwriting Fellow, Edward F. Albee Foundation, NYC
Full Biography

June 2017: Four sessions spanning 2 weekends

  • Saturday June 10th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Sunday June 11th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Saturday June 17th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Sunday June 18th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Nikolai Gogol


We'll explore The Portrait, a short story by Gogol, one of the literary luminaries of nineteenth century Russia. His writing is dark and macabre, yet playful and hilarious at times. Gogol's characters yearn for truth and enlightenment while trapped in the jaws of a menacing society.

We'll build scenes from The Portrait using collaborative ensemble improv, collective movement and voice work. Actors, singers, musicians welcome!

This workshop is geared towards adults and young adults, all those passionate about theatre performance. Please contact the HCA if you have a query regarding the age of a young performer keen to take part and we'll discuss.


What to wear: comfortable clothes and footwear you can move in.
What to bring: notebook/pencil, recording device (such as a phone)


Registration can be done through fax, phone, email, or in person. Please call 905-528-4020 to have us fax you a copy of our registration form, or print it off from the links below. Payments are to be made in full by credit card, cheque, money order, or cash. To register for HCA Russian Theater Workshop, complete the Registration form and fax (905.525.3007), email ( or send to HCA (126 James Street South, Hamilton, ON L8P 2Z4).


Taylor Sutherland

Taylor Sutherland works in theatre, music and education.

Taylor’s thesis for his Masters in Text and Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and King's College London centred on the works of Bulgakov. Since graduating, he has worked as a performer with several Russian directors and theatre troupes in New York City and Russia, primarily Gogol Annex (NYC), Studio Six of the Moscow Art Theatre (NYC), and SounDrama (Moscow). The work of these ensembles is devoted to experimental and expressionistic storytelling that integrates movement, music, and sound with historical and literary adaptations.

Some favourite experiences:

Working with Studio Six, Taylor was part of an ensemble that created experimental adaptations of Ostrovsky, Chekhov, Gogol and Dostoevsky. Spider, a reimagining of Dostoevsky’s novel Demons, premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City. Russian-Canadian director Alexandre Marine centred his exploration on the disturbing yet pivotal chapter of the book that was expurgated from the original release of the novel. This production toured various cities in the US and Canada, ending its run at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre.

Gogol Annex’s installation performance of Antebellum portrayed some of the famed and notorious characters from pre-Civil War era New Orleans. This devised production incorporated historical texts, stylized movement and choreography with live vocal performances and an original soundscape. Antebellum was invited to the New Orleans International Fringe Festival as part of its curated showcase, followed by a New York City run at The Brick Theater in Brooklyn.

Taylor worked with Studio Six and SounDrama to create an original, award-winning Russian-American production entitled Gorod.ok, directed by Vladimir Pankov. Fusing Washington Irving’s A History of New York with Saltykov-Shchedrin’s History of a Town, the play became an apocalyptic mash-up, examining how governors abuse their citizens. The play was commissioned by and premiered at the Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Moscow, and was followed by a run at The Meyerhold Centre and The Mossovet Theatre in Moscow, as well as performances at the International Theatre Festival in Chisinau, Moldova.

Since 2006, Taylor has taught and directed the yearly Chekhov unit at his alma mater, the Etobicoke School of the Arts. He uses scenes from Chekhov’s major plays as well as his lesser known one-acts to explore ensemble work and improvisation with actors in the eleventh grade.

Taylor earned his A.R.C.T. in piano performance and maintains a music studio in Toronto. As a pianist in the Monster Concerts of Toronto, Taylor performed with a group of twenty pianists who played simultaneously on ten pianos, with many concerts in both Canada and Italy.

Taylor studied playwriting with Canadian playwright David French in the inaugural year of Duncan McIntosh’s PEI Conservatory, with British playwright and screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys at RADA, and with Edward Albee. Taylor was the recipient of a 2008 Playwriting Fellowship with the Edward F. Albee Foundation in New York.