We Are Discovering New Dimensions in World Classical Dramatic Art


Today, the famous Ukrainian actor, Ostap Stupka can be seen more often at filming location in Poland. However, our spectators will have a chance to appreciate the premiere of his play “The Broken Jug” in November too. Ostap Stupka told “FD” about Ukraine, theatre, politics and personal life.

We are currently preparing a premiere for my anniversary. This is a play by Heinrich von Kleist from the era of German Romanticism — a philosophical comedy “The Broken Jug”. It has never been put on the stage. There was a precedent when it was translated by Ivan Franko. It is unknown whether his work was preserved. For our project it was translated by Yuri Andrukhovych. I did not want to take any well-known textbooks. That way we discover new dimensions in the world of classical dramatic art.

I am surprised when the actors say: “Oh, I’m dreaming to play Hamlet so much.” Moreover, I do not dream of playing Hamlet. I do not think it is obligatory. I am interested in classical dramatic art, but which is unknown to Ukrainian viewer. It is not about in my character to become fond of anything specific.

We Are Discovering New Dimensions in World Classical Dramatic Art

I am dreaming of playing something even more different in the theatre and cinema.

I have changed. I am 50 years old and something switched over — some kind of clamp in the head or subconscious. You are becoming different. Maybe you are going over into another quality, as a person, as an actor. You look differently at the environment, people who are around. You are getting calmer, wiser. This happens to everyone — to someone earlier, to someone later.

What will I be at 70? Let’s live to see, and today we have to think about tomorrow.

Cinema and theatre vary in the ways of existence. In the cinema, it happens to play the final scene on the first day of the shooting, where you should have already obtained the emotion and gone through the movie. In addition, in the theatre, you come on stage at seven and live up with your character until ten o’clock.


When I am asked what is closer to me — a movie or a theatre, I respond as my father did. He said in the words taken from the play by Ivan Karpenko-Kary: “I have two souls and both are in pain.” They are completely different. The cinema has its own magic. The theatre has completely different one.

I was not criticized for the role. I was condemned for participating in projects. It was a long time ago and fell off the edge of the earth, as it is said. Our society interlaces politics in everything. We have a strange mentality — this is bad and that is not good. We need to be more united, because we are divided. However, fragmentation is a weakness. Moreover, weakness is a problem. They prevent from being self sufficient and not dependent on anyone, although we have many achievements.

Today, I am filming in Poland more.

Since the beginning of the war in 2014, the number of Russian actors has decreased in Ukraine — it was awkward to invite them. Nowadays, a hundred of people are filming, many in the lead roles. Probably they are loyal to Ukraine. Nevertheless, if they are involved, then one hundred Ukrainian actors are without work. We have no trade unions. Ukrainian actor is not protected.

There should be 100 percent of the Ukrainian product on the radio and television. No quotas. Is it hard to learn the language? The problem is factitious. Our territory was torn and kept on the alert. And it is still continuing.

Ukraine lacks a modern character in the cinema. Cinematography should focus on films about our history. And they shoot: she loves him, he loves the other one, and she is pregnant. And people watch it. They spend money on that. The State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting stands aside. “Roksolana” for some reason is filmed and is shown to us by the Turks. “Taras Bulba” — by the Russians. Bohdan Stupka said in such cases: “One thing is to blab, and the other one is to pull a plough”. “Taras Bulba” had to be filmed. It was not done. The Russians filmed.

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I had a very good political experience. When I stood in elections to the Verkhovna Rada, I wanted to implement a law on patronage. If you support the culture, you are exempted from paying taxes. The law was not accepted, therefore, there are not enough patrons. Our party did not get into the Parliament. I do not want to go to politics today.

The communist regime is stuck in our land. It is told: de-communization, change of names. A person has to start changes from themselves. It is necessary to deconstruct oneself in the soul. There is such an impression that the lawn has been cut and it is said: there is not communism any more. But the roots are left. You have not done anything to them and it sprouts again from time to time. For example, the field of culture. It appears that we have a plan in the theatre, as in the factory. We have to complete a plan on money, on premieres, on staging. A plan?

We Are Discovering New Dimensions in World Classical Dramatic ArtUkraine moves gradually. These steps are not big, but something is happening.

After the revolution in 2004, I was asked: “How has human life changed?” But life consists of trifles — whether the trolley bus arrived on time, whether there is a paper in a public toilet, or whether the conditioner is working in the underground carriages. Everyone talks about global changes. However, we must start with trifles, and then the life of the citizens will change.

There is such an impression that we are trying to invent a Ukrainian bicycle in all areas. It has square wheels so far. Because in fact the bike has been there for a long time. We must take a positive world experience and implement it in our country. But we are optimists. We have to break through in all the areas, because Ukraine is a self sufficient state. We can live very well. Meanwhile we are interfered with this.

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Many talented young people are trained to be actors. Our land gives a huge amount of talent.

There is a problem — many people escape from here. They are going to the West. We must make such conditions, so that our citizens stay here.

The Ukrainian theatres have to go on tour abroad. I am often asked about this. We have what to show and there is a demand for our actors. The theatre can show the world another Ukraine.

I have two advisers — my mother and wife. Wives are changing, but the number of advisers remains the same.

My father did not apply for work instructions. He spoke about the things of the technical field. How to speak so that the voice sounds on the stage. Because if the words are not heard — it is a catastrophe.

Everyone does stupid things. They should not be talked about. The main thing is not to regret doing them.

We Are Discovering New Dimensions in World Classical Dramatic Art


Ukrainian actor of theatre and cinema. Born in Lviv, on September 2, 1967, in the family of prominent Ukrainian actor Bohdan Stupka. Mother Larysa Stupka is a soloist of the Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Kyiv Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Shevchenko.

He studied at the acting faculty of the Kyiv State Institute of Theatre Art named after Karpenko-Kary. A year after graduation began to work at the National Academic Drama Theatre named after Ivan Franko. He plays in theatres; he is filmed and works on television. He has starred in almost half a hundred films.

He has the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine, the winner of the «Kyiv» Art Award named after Ambrose Buchma. He has become the best actor of the year in the «Person of the Year 2006» Award. In 2017, he received the Order of Merit of the III degree.

He loves wearing vyshyvankas (Ukrainian bordering cloth). He collects teapots and stamps.