Person of the Week: Natalya Sats
Published: September 10, 2019
In honor of the United Nations Year of Mendeleev's Periodic Table and Russia's national Year of Theater, this summer at Lesnoe Ozero was themed around theater and scientific discovery! Starting this week, we will feature a Russian-speaking scientist or dramaturg each week!
This week, our feature is Наталия Сац (Natalya Sats), a Russian stage director and theater founder. Sats was born on the 27th of August, 1903, to a Jewish family in Irkutsk. Her family moved to Moscow a year later, where her father, a composer, became the music director of the Moscow Art Theater. Sats began as a producer of puppet shows, but was soon invited to stage multiple operas on international stages.
In 1936, Sats commissioned famous Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to compose the peice Peter and the Wolf, which was meant as a way to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra. In August of 1937, Sats’s husband, and subsequently Sats herself were arrested and exiled to Siberia. However, following the death of Stalin, she was allowed to return to Moscow where she helped found the Moscow Theater for Children. She went on to write and direct numerous productions before her death in December of 1993.