Matei Vișniec

Date of the opening:

27 February 2021

Running time:

1h 20′


Main stage

Yuri Petrovski is a young, Soviet writer, who received a state award for his socialism praising work; in recognition, the Soviet Writing Association entrusts him with a difficult but noble task: to capitalize on his writing qualities by an adequate ideological teaching to the mental patients of the Moscow Central Mental Institution. “The mentally ill also have the right and duty to know the history of the Great Socialist Revolution and Communism,” and even “the proper retelling of the history of Communism can cure certain mental disorders,” says the director of the institute.

Gaining insight into the daily lives of the residents of the institute, the question arises: is there a substantial difference between the mental harassment of “patients” and the state of mind of the fanatically systematic doctors?

It was not uncommon in the Soviet Union that the opposition members were sent to sanatorium or to psychiatric treatment by the People’s Court. This fact inspired the piece: How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patient.


Costume designer: György Eszter

Directed by: Zakariás Zalán