Smile History

Edward Shornik: My «Smile Story»!

I graduated in 1982 and got a bachelor’s degree in teaching English and German.

I had worked for 1 year at a state school, but I was not happy there — too much Red Tape.

In 1983 I was drafted into the army. Ater my service in the Soviet Army,  in 1985, I went to work as an Artistic Director in one of the colleges and taught English privately.

And in 1988 I decided to start something completely new: organize an English-speaking theater -studio.

We started out on March 1, 1988, when we: the future actors — ages 5 to17 and I, met for the first time and started out on our journey;

Hans Christian Andersen adaptation Swinehearder

Our breathtaking experience started when we began our work on the joint US\ USSR musical project “Lullaby for Tomorrow”; 20 American teens with their peers and 40 Smile students had worked together for a week. The premier took place on June 29 and 30th, 1989 on the stage of Novosibirsk Youth Theater in Novosibirsk. Then we travelled to perform in Irkutsk(East Siberia) and Kiev ( Ukraine). Our American premier took place in Seattle on August 20th and a few days later we flew to Washington DC and played our parts during the Children’s Festival, August 31-Septemebr 3.

Musical “Lullaby for Tomorrow” promo clip
Musical “Lullaby for Tomorrow” finale

What a fabulous start we had had then!

As a Founder and Director of Theater Studio «Smile», my colleagues and I had a main focus on teaching and developing fluent speakers of English through theater arts (drama, dance and vocal), focusing on youth and young adults since March 1988 till March 2020.

My teaching success with more than 5 000 students over 35 years validates the theory that teaching English through Drama is highly effective and that I am a proficient teacher in this method.

We had a great 32 years’ history with domestic and international cross cultural educational travel opportunities for the participants both within Russia and outside of the country, to Europe, United States, Canada, Finland and Malta.

30 theater productions, 6000+ concerts and participation in 5 international festivals.

Our projects and educational mission did prove that we had successfully accomplished our mission!

We would like to welcome you and watch some of our videos:

“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” (as the proverb goes)

Our highlights:

1991 The festival in the USA

1993 – our FIFTH anniversary 

«3 Little Pigs»(musical ”The Magic of the Smile”)

1999 the festival «Magic Music Days» Disneyland, California

Russian folk song “Poryushka Poranya”

Mickey Mouse dropped in to say «hello»


“Mozart and Salieri”, Alexander Pushkin

March 2013 –  we celebrate our 25th!

Hound Dog

2018 – оur 30th anniversary

Drama deals implicitly with pronunciation, intonation, register, contextual vocabulary, real language and all in character, real or imagined.  Entering into the world of imagination offers the student a rehearsal for real life as he safely explores situations that he will face later in life. Learning cooperation with others, tolerance and empathy enriches and reinforces the student’s more traditional school experiences.

Rehearsal and performance: the fairy-tale by R.Kipling «The  Elephant’s Child» Dec.2, 2015


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