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Entries / Meyerhold V.E., (1874-1940), director

Meyerhold V.E., (1874-1940), director

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

MEYERHOLD Vsevolod Emilievich (Karl Kazimir Teodor Meiergold, before Orthodox christening in 1895) (1874-1940), director, actor, pedagogue, theatre worker, People's Artist of the Republic (1923). Graduated from drama courses at the Musical Drama School of the Moscow Philharmonic Society (1898). In 1898-1902 he worked as an actor at the Moscow Art Theatre, in 1902-05 and in 1906 as an actor and director for his own non-repertory companies, performing in the provinces. Lived in St. Petersburg in 1905-19. In 1906-07 he served as the main director at the Komissarzhevskaya Theatre, staging over 14 performances, including H. Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, M. Maeterlinck's Sister Beatrice, A. A. Blok's Balaganchik, and L.N. Andreev's The Life of Man. He developed and exhausted there a programme of theatrical symbolism which he launched in 1905 at the studio of the Moscow Art Theatre. In 1908-18 he worked as a director at the Alexandrinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Theatre (staged Don Juan by J.B. Moliere, The Storm by A.N. Ostrovsky, Masquerade by M.Y. Lermontov , Tristan and Isolde by R. Wagner, Orpheus und Euridyka by Ch.W. Gluck, and The Nightingale by I.F. Stravinsky). He applied theatre traditionalism for his stylised interpretations of classical plays. Concurrently, he experimented a lot on the stages of various clubs and studios throughout St. Petersburg under the pseudonym of Doctor Dapertutto (Lukomorye Theatre, Intermezzo House). He developed theories and implemented his ideas of stage stylisation and grotesque on conventional theatre. In 1918, with a mixed troupe he staged Mysteria-Buff by V.V. Mayakovsky in the Grand Hall of the Conservatory. In 1912, he published the collected articles On Theatre in St. Petersburg. He founded and edited theatrical periodical Love for Three Oranges, and The Journal of Doctor Dapertutto (1914-16). In St. Petersburg, he lectured at private drama schools, at the studio he founded in his own flat at 11 Zhukovskogo Street (1908-10), and at the studio at 6 Borodinskaya Street (1913-17). In 1918, he founded and headed Courses of Theatre Mastery (Kurmastsep, see Academy of Dramatic Arts). In 1918-19 he was the deputy manager of the Theatre Department of the Petrograd Department People's Commissariat of Education. From 1920, he worked and lived in Moscow, coming to Leningrad to produce various plays (a revival of Masquerade in 1933 and 1938, P.I. Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades at the Maly Opera Theatre, 1935). In Moscow, he headed the Theatre Department of the People's Commissariat of Education, and ran the First Theatre of Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1920-21); he also founded and headed the State Higher Production Courses (then, Theatre) Workshops (1921), which were reorganised into the State Institute of Drama Art (GITIS, 1922). Founder of theatre constructivism and biomechanics as an acting technique. From 1923, he ran the Meyerhold State Experimental Theatre Workshops (Gektemas); in 1923-38, he headed the Meyerhold State Theatre, in 1922-24 worked as an art director at the Revolution Theatre. In 1938-39 he was the main director of the Stanislavsky State Opera Theatre. In 1939, he was arrested in Leningrad on a trumped-up case, and in 1940 executed by shooting in Moscow. In St. Petersburg, Meyerhold lived at 2 Teatralnaya Square (1909-14; memorial plaque installed). His last address was at the Lensovet House at 13 Karpovka River Embankment (in 1934-39 he owned a flat there although he was a resident of Moscow).

Reference: Волков Н. Д. Мейерхольд: В 2 т. М.; Л., 1929; Рудницкий К. Л. Режиссер Мейерхольд. М., 1969.

A. A. Kirillov.

Andreev Leonid Nikolaevich
Blok G.P.
Gluck Christoph Willibald
Ibsen Henrik
Lermontov Mikhail Yurievich
Maeterlinck Maurice
Mayakovsky Vladimir Vladimirovich
Meyerhold Vsevolod Emilievich
Moliere Jean-Baptiste
Ostrovsky Alexander Nikolaevich
Stanislavsky Konstantin Sergeevich
Stravinsky Igor Fedorovich
Tchaikovsky Peter Ilyich
Wagner Richard

Borodinskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 6
Karpovka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 13
Teatralnaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city, house 2
Zhukovskogo Street/Saint Petersburg, city, house 11

Волков Н. Д. Мейерхольд: В 2 т. М.; Л., 1929
Рудницкий К. Л. Режиссер Мейерхольд. М., 1969

The subject Index
Komissarzhevskaya Theatre
Alexandrinsky Theatre
Mariinsky Theatre
Dom Intermedy, cabaret theatre
Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory
Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre