1st Edition

The Modern Russian Theater: A Literary and Cultural History A Literary and Cultural History

By Nicholas Rzhevsky Copyright 2009

    This comprehensive and original survey of Russian theater in the twentieth century and into the twenty-first encompasses the major productions of directors such as Meyerhold, Stanislavsky, Tovostonogov, Dodin, and Liubimov that drew from Russian and world literature. It is based on a close analysis of adaptations of literary works by Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Blok, Bulgakov, Sholokhov, Rasputin, Abramov, and many others."The Modern Russian Stage" is the result of more than two decades of research as well as the author's professional experience working with the Russian director Yuri Liubimov in Moscow and London. The book traces the transformation of literary works into the brilliant stagecraft that characterizes Russian theater. It uses the perspective of theater performances to engage all the important movements of modern Russian culture, including modernism, socialist realism, post-moderninsm, and the creative renaissance of the first decades since the Soviet regime's collapse.

    Preface; Predisposition; I. Beginnings and Ends: 1900-1917; History; Literature, Philosophy, and Literary Criticism; Religion; Theater Criticism and the Conditions of Theater: A Little Tomfoolery; The Self, the Saint, and the Moral Charm of Crickets: The Petty Demon; Alexis, Man of God; Cricket on the Hearth; The Moscow Art Theater; Postscripts of the Self; II. Revolution and the Twenties; Political Bouffe; Commedia della Death; III. Adapting to Socialist Realism; The Peasant Hypocrite: Okhlopkov; MAT, Bulgakov, and the Art of Compromise; Bulgakov's Love Affairs; The Lessons of Socialist Realism; IV. The Age of Red Aquarius; The Cold Thaw; The Saving Idiot; At Full Voice; V. The Past Regained; Village Theater; City Theater; VI. The Strange Horse; Intrusions on Political Orthodoxies; The BDT and Tolstoy's Yardstick; In Dostoevsky's Corner: Brother Alesha; Lady Macbeth and Junona and Avos; A Tale of Inspection; VII. The End of Communism and the Survival of Theater; Debating Adaptations; Kharms's Absurdities; Sentimentalism, Musicals, and Bulgakov Return; Dostoevsky's Subversions of Sentiment; The Master on Stage Again: The Master and Margarita; The Performance of Absence: Vladimir Vysotsky; Adapting Tragedy; VIII. The Nineties and Beyond: Ends and Beginnings; Beyond Politics; Beyond Dostoevsky; Beyond Pushkin; Beyond Gogol; Beyond Chekhov; Beyond History; Notes; Bibliography; Index; About the Author.


    Nicholas Rzhevsky