Nobody knows when the first fairy tale has been written but there is probably no person in the world that doesn’t like them. Fairy tales became a wonderful textbook of life, the first step to wisdom, and most of them start with magical words "Once upon the time…" With these words an exciting journey of Zerkalo Musical Theater has started. At Russian Kids House, language school in Reston, VA, creative director Olga Predit opened a theater studio called "Zhyli Byli" which means "Once Upon the Time" in Russian. Zhyli-Byli’s first premier took place in November 2010.
Theater art became an essential part of young actors’ lives, and 2011-2012 graduates chose to continue doing what they loved. They convinced their teacher to have their classes going and to create a theater. Children came up with a name for the theater, identified their mission, and the family of Ittai Kan and Julia Karpeisky generously agreed to have rehearsals in the basement of their house. Zerkalo Musical Theater started its existence and young artists began to encourage their audience to look at the mirror of human relations and to give evaluation of internal qualities of their characters.
In 2013 for the first time theater brought their play "On Trails Unknown" ("Там на неведомых дорожках") to the large stage of the III International Festival of Russian-Speaking Children's and Youth Theaters in Washington, DC. Young actors did a fabulous job performing short stories of Alexander Pushkin, and Aaron Kan received an Award for the Best Artistic Reciting for playing an educated cat.
Since then participation in the festival became a great tradition and every year young actors treat the Washington, DC audience with new shows.
The theater got awards in a few nominations - Revelation of Inner Human Values, Best Artistic Design and Best Comedy, and the young actors got awards in the following nominations – Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress.
Over the last five years Zerkalo Musical Theater family got bigger and currently it has 3 groups of actors of various ages. Olga Predit continues her partnership with Russian Kids House and future actors of the theater start learning performing arts at that school.
The groups are made of bilingual children, and shows are done in both Russian and English languages. Young actors adapt and translate scripts from Russian into English. Over time theater group performed with the following shows:
- Farther Frost Morozko ("Морозко")
- The Wolf and Seven Young Kids ("Волк и семеро козлят")
- The Cat’s House ("Кошкин дом")
- Little House ("Теремок")
- How The Puppy Was Looking For Happiness ("Как щенок счастье искал")
- Summer Fair ("Летняя ярмарка")
- Ivan Krylov Comedy Fable Medley ("Комедийное попурри по мотивам басен И. Крылова")
- Nutckacker ("Щелкунчик")
- Cinderella ("Золушка")
- Thumbelina ("Дюймовочка")
- The Twelve Months ("Двенадцать месяцев")
- The Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors ("Королевство Кривых Зеркал")
- Star Child ("Звездный мальчик")
- Stories From Storage ("Сказки на всякий случай")
- The Little Humpbacked Horse ("Конек-горбунок")
- The Little Red Rascal ("Рыжий, честный, влюбленный")