Halyna Stefanova left the Kyiv Young Theatre (Kyiv), where she had appeared for the previous 12 years, in 1991. From that time on she has not had an interest in returning to a state theatre—the status of a “free artist” has given impetus for creativity and allowed for the realisation of diverse creative projects including: Varvara Repnina on the stage of the Actor Theatre in the play The Wall, Cleopatra in Yu.. Edlis’play of the same name, Elza in P. Kohout’s Stalemate, or the Game of Kings, and the solo plays Field Work in Ukrainian Sex and Palimpsest.
The actress often takes part in creative projects of various kinds, including Walter Mossman’s Music and Texts projects with the “Recherche” Ensemble of avant-garde music (Freiburg, Germany—Lviv, Ukraine), concert programs and poetry evenings, and appearances on radio and television.
In 1997 she was awarded the “Kyiv Pectoral” for best performance of a lead female role in the Actor Theatre’s production of The Wall. She is also a recipient of the Vasyl Stus Prize (2001) and the Dmytro Nytchenko Prize (2002).
Halyna appeared as Princess Varvara Repnina in Stanislav Klymenko’s feature film The Poet and the Princess.
About the play:
“The prolonged applause at play’s end can be “interpreted” in various ways, one of which is as follows: Ms Stefanova has offered the most effective “review” of the book in the ten years of its existence.”
Knyzhnyk-Review, №8, 2003
“The flurry of emotion and expression was simply titanic. Later, for those whose nerves remained unflustered, she began popping balloons scattered about the stage. The loud noise finally warmed up the audience, which responded with thunderous applause for two minutes—I counted.”
НThe Unofficial Newspaper of Kyiv University, May 30, 2003
“A woman who played herself, you, her, everyone alive on this planet with the good fortune of being called by a woman’s name. She was exhausted and frightful. Vanquished and tender, victorious and poetic, artistic and natural—she was submissive and punishing at the same time. She was made up of paradox. As every woman is….
Not knowing the author it would be possible to mistakenly assume with 99% accuracy that the actress was performing in her own play. Because, forgive me for the analogy, it’s quite unrealistic to bare someone else’s flesh in a way that would have everyone believe it to be your own. That evidently was the Ukrainian sex mentioned in the name of the play. From now on the Kama Sutra can be considered child’s play for Ukrainians.”
Vasilay Mohylianka Square, June 4, 2003
“Regretfully, whoever found time to see the play in the theatrical off-season was plunged into an abyss of Zabuzhkoesque foul language and sex…. For three nights in a row Halyna Stefanova simply screamed out “My circles aren’t yours. Hands off my circles!” You’d do better Halyna, to put away both Zabuzhko’s novel and this thankless female part for an extended time.”
For a Free Ukraine, September 18, 2003
“Interestingly, such a performance is in essence a mysterious, transcendental act in which the author, and most importantly, the actress act as mediums to an unseen larger Life, with no past or future, only a dimension of authenticity….”
“Grief and nervous trepidation, posturing and the grotesque, Brahmanic ecstasy and a rapturous solo performance of the lyrical “I”…. The feminine, filtered through prisms of the national, social, contemporary, and historical.”
Voice of Enlightenment, May 20-26, 2004