“We Are Eternal Tenderness of Each Other…”

Ivan Timofeevich Andreev was a director, teacher and head of the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School (now the Vologda Regional Training School of Culture) in Kirillov. He was born in the Konetskaya village of the Babaevo district on May 2, 1934. He was the fourth, youngest, child in the family. After the death of his father at the front in 1942, he became the support of his mother and three sisters and took on his children’s shoulders all man’s housework.

Since childhood, Ivan Andreev was notable for his diligence and thirst for knowledge. In spite of the fact that the school was located far from his house and the conditions of post-war life were hard, Ivan didn’t miss lessons and got high grades. Craving for knowledge bore fruit soon. At the age of 9, Ivan began to work as a head of the village reading room and later as a secretary of the rural council. His character was formed in that atmosphere. The inquisitive and curious boy wanted to continue his study.

In the 1950s, Ivan entered the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School. Study, concert activity and rather bold dreams – to organize theatrical business in the small district centre – Kirillov – so that life of its residents could be as interesting as in the capitals. Ivan always had a lot of friends and like-minded persons. He attracted creative and ingenious people like a magnet. There were students of the school, teachers, young specialists – doctors and teachers who were assigned to Kirillov.

When Ivan studied at the Regional Cultural and Educational School, he met Olga Krygina, student of the Conducting and Choir Department. It was difficult to recognize the yesterday’s village laddie in the blue-eyed blond man. Olga was a beautiful girl with “the waist of Lyudochka Krylova from “The Carnival Night”. Everybody thought her to be a general’s daughter.

Olga Krygina was born in the large family of the natives of Samara that were subjected to repression and were exiled to lumber camps in the Archangelsk region. After leaving school, she worked as a turner at the plant in Nizhny Tagil and got the sixth (highest) rank of turnery. She studied in the technical institute during four years, but the desire to be an artist made her change her fate.

On graduating from the Regional Cultural and Educational School, Ivan Andreev was appointed the head of the Kirillov District Cultural Centre. Olga taught conducing and choir subjects in the school and worked in a part-time position at the Cultural Centre.

Ivan and Olga continued their study in Leningrad. Ivan Andreev entered two higher education institutions: Leningrad State Institute of Culture named after Krupskaya (the department where heads of amateur theatre groups were trained) and Leningrad University named after Zhdanov (the law faculty). But he chose the institute of culture. He was persuaded by such maitres of theatre pedagogy as Pavel Pavlovich Milyutin and Boris Vasilievich Sapegin.

Olga Krygina also entered Leningrad State Institute of Culture choosing the department of academic choir. Combing work and extramural studies, Olga and Ivan decided to start a family. They registered their marriage in the registry office in the Palace Embankment of Leningrad at the request of the bride.

Having returned to Kirillov, the young creative family launched a kind of “cultural revolution”. They repaired the Cultural Centre, made “a dance hall, a crush bar with cakes and sparklers like in the theatre, panels with inlay like in the capitals”. The best creative idea of Ivan Andreev was most likely the folk theatre. Its performances became a phenomenon of the cultural life not only in Kirillov, but also in the whole Vologda region. Its repertoire was as good as in the Moscow Sovremennik Theatre. Ivan Andreev taught in the Regional Cultural and Educational School, headed the Cultural Centre and worked in the folk theatre at the same time.

Their daughter Elena was born in 1963. The girl grew up in the creative surroundings and absorbed all talents and striking traits of her parents.

Ivan Andreev who was young and full of ideas became famous in the cultural circles far outside the provincial town of Kirillov. A number of articles about the active head of the Cultural Centre were published in the press. The folk theatre of Kirillov became famous not only in the Vologda region. The most interesting performances staged at the period were “Ever-Living”, “A Ring to the Empty Flat”, “Nightingale Night”, and others. This theater company was notable for the high repertoire subject-matter. Ivan Timofeevich Andreev managed to involve students – graduates of Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS) – in the performances.

Thanks to his efforts, a new specialty was introduced in the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School - “Head of the amateur theatre group”. The first graduates of this department became the pride of the Vologda region. Pupils of Ivan Andreev called the just and tactful teacher “their own father”.

The irrepressible man didn’t stop at what had already been accomplished. He entered Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS) to study at the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors during two years. Upon graduation, Ivan Andreev received alluring offers to work in the professional theatres of Klin and Vladivostok, but he returned to Kirillov. Soon the young and talented director was offered to head the Vologda Regional Cultural School. He devoted a lot of efforts to the development of the educational institution in Kirillov. Its material and technical base was considerably improved thanks to him.

The second daughter, Anna, was born in the 1971. Everything seemed to be excellent: the Andreevs got a flat in the newly-erected building, their creative plans and dreams were fulfilled…

The disease was revealed too late… The doctors said that he wouldn’t live longer than two months… He didn’t want to leave his family, wife, children and the plans he couldn’t implement. Ivan Andreev fought against his disease during half a year. He came to his native school several days prior to his death, went along its corridors, entered the rooms and seemed to bid farewell to them. He died on May 1; he was only 41 years old.

Ivan Timofeevich Andreev lived a short, but an amazingly entertaining life and could leave a good memory behind. His creative activity became an important page in the culture of the Vologda region. As Roman philosopher Seneca said: “The life like a play is estimated according to its content, but not length!”

Olga Ivanovna Andreeva became a widow at the age of 37. She grew up her daughters with dignity and continued the activity of her husband in the school and in the folk theatre. When a new specialty was introduced in the Vologda Regional Cultural School – direction of club and mass events, she was entrusted to enroll first students. Olga Andreeva, always bright and unusual, cultivated in her daughters, students and other people love of art and all beautiful. She loved her husband till her dying day, but was full of zest, was a woman of humour and was always in the focus of public life in Kirillov.

The pupils of Ivan Timofeevich Andreev continue his work. Among them there are such famous people in the culture of the region as Sofia Andreevna Minullina and Galina Alexeevna Dudina who headed the folk theatre in the Vologda Palace of Culture. The Festival of Folk Amateur Theatres named after Ivan Andreev has been held in the Vologda region since 1998. It unites and helps to reveal the best folk theatre groups of the region, revives and preserves theatre traditions in memory of those times when the Vologda region was called the centre of dramatic art in the North.

Ivan Timofeevich and Olga Ivanovna Andreevs made an important contribution to the historical and cultural heritage of the Vologda region.

Their elder daughter Elena graduated from Leningrad State Institute of Culture in 1984 and taught in the Vologda Regional Cultural School. She lives and works in Murmansk since 1987. Elena Krynzhina is the founder of one of the largest children’s theater schools in the North-West. It is included into the encyclopedia “100 Best Schools of Russia”. Over 120 pupils of Elena Ivanovna graduated from the drama and art universities and the Vologda Regional Cultural School. One of her pupils Svetlana Tsipina is a children’s teacher in Cherepovets. Elena Krynzhina is known in Murmansk as a stage manager of city and regional festivals, a director of concerts and theatricalized performances, an author of over 300 scripts, books of verses and dramatized versions. She is the member of the Union of Theatre Workers, the Honoured Worker of Culture of the RF. Her name was mentioned in the Russian edition of the British encyclopedia “Who is Who”. Elena Krynzhina has two sons. Her elder son Kirill graduated from Leningrad State Institute of Culture. His specialty is guide-interpreter. He lives and works in Moscow at present. Elena’s younger son Ivan leaves school in 2014.

Anna Ivanovna Andreeva, younger daughter of Ivan and Olga Andreevs, graduated from Archangelsk Medical Institute. She started her medical career in Kirillov. Many people know and remember her. Now Anna is a doctor of one of the medical centres in Vologda. Her two sons proudly bear the surname of their grandfather. They want to connect their life journey with medicine like their mother.

The exhibition of the museum presented photographs, copies of the documents and memorabilia connected with Ivan Timofeevich and Olga Ivanovna Andreevs.

I.A. Gostinshchikova, research officer of the Exposition and Exhibition Department

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