Its founder was Marko Kropyvnytskyi. The Theater of Coryphaei is not just a theater building, and even more so, it is not an industry term. Marko Kropyvnytskyi had an idea, gathered like-minded people around it, and led them. And this all-Ukrainian national idea found its embodiment in such an artistic phenomenon.
In 1882, the first performance of Ukrainian theater took place: “Natalka Poltavka”.
Here, the stars of the first Ukrainian theater became famous: Hanna Zatyrkevych-Karpynska, Ivan Tobilevych (Karpenko-Karyi), Panas Saksahanskyi, Mykola Sadovskyi, Mariia Sadovska-Barilotti, and Mariia Zankovetska. By the way, she was offered by Russia to move to its stage. But Zankovetska refused: “I have one Ukraine, and I cannot leave it, I will stay with it.”
The Theater of Coryphaei sparked a cultural revolution, and Ukrainian artists were able to defend their own voices and language. At that time, there were Russian laws banning the Ukrainian language: Ems Ukaz and Valuev Circular. Ukrainian-language performances were banned and suppressed. And Marko Kropyvnytskyi found how to maneuver, gaining support from other influential people.
25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Kropyvnytskyi, you can see “Khutir Nadiia” — the former estate of Ivan Karpenko-Karyi, a Ukrainian writer and playwright. Now it is a nature reserve with a park and a museum. More than two thousand exhibits — household items and manuscripts — are stored here. Karpenko-Karyi wrote 11 out of 18 pieces here. For many of his works, the playwright was inspired by his work in the police force.