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Entries / Tovstonogov G.A., (1913-1989), director

Tovstonogov G.A., (1913-1989), director

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

TOVSTONOGOV Georgy Alexandrovich (1913-1989, Leningrad), director, pedagogue, theatre worker, People's Artist of the USSR (1957), Hero of Socialist Labour (1983), corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of GDR (1983). Graduated from the Production Department of the State Institute of Drama Arts named after A.V. Lunacharsky (GITIS) in 1938. Started his theatrical career in 1931 as an actor and director's assistant at the Russian Young Spectators' Theatre in Tbilisi, and in 1938-46 worked as a director for the Griboedov Russian Drama Theatre in Tbilisi. In 1939-46, he lectured at the Rustaveli Theatre Institute in Tbilisi. In 1947-49, worked in various Moscow theatres, in the capacity of art director at the Touring Realistic Theatre in 1947-48, and director at the Central Children Theatre 1948-49. Lived in Leningrad from 1949. In 1949-56 he was the main director at the Lenin Komsomol Theatre (see Theatre-Festival Baltic House). In 1956-89, he was the main director at the Bolshoy Drama Theatre. Tovstonogov also staged plays at the Leningrad Pushkin Drama Theatre, Komissarzhevskaya Theatre, Comedy Theatre, Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre, Students Theatre of the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music, and Cinematography, as well as for Leningrad TV and Radio studios. His work at the BDT is considered his main achievement. Tovstonogov's productions were characterised by deep psychological development of characters, polyphony of director's stage directions, an authorial interpretation of dramas, a high awareness of culture, and attention to the play's history. His original interpretation of classic plays and prose was based on a foundation of deep-seated tradition. The director brought out the individual talents of the BDT's leading actors, and combined it with a careful and efficient coordination of the entire ensemble, negotiating between the actors' psychological expressiveness and the metaphorical nature of the separate mise en scenes. From 1958, he lectured at the Institute for Theatre, Music, and Cinematography (see Academy of Dramatic Arts; Doctor of Art in 1968, Professor, 1960); and in 1970 became the head of the Production Department. Produced performances in Alma-Ata, Yerevan, Kiev, Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Sofia, Helsinki, Drezden, Hamburg, Belgrade, and Berlin. In all, Tovstonogov staged over 200 plays at over 30 theatres. Tovstonogov is the author of six books (translated into many languages), and over 300 published articles and essays. In 1992, the Bolshoy Drama Theatre was named after Tovstonogov (65 Fontanka River Embankment; memorial plaque installed). Tovstonogov won many awards, including the Stalin Prize (1950, 1952), the Lenin Prize (1958), and the State Prize of the USSR (1968, 1978). In 1967-89, he lived at 4 Petrovskaya Embankment. Buried at Necropolis of Artists.

References: Рыбаков Ю. С. Г. А. Товстоногов: Проблемы режиссуры. Л., 1977; Премьеры Товстоногова / Сост. Е. Горфункель. М., 1994.

A. A. Kirillov.

Griboedov Alexander Sergeevich
Kirov (real name Kostrikov) Sergey Mironovich
Komissarzhevskaya Vera Fedorovna
Lunacharsky Anatoly Vasilievich
Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich
Rustaveli Shota
Tovstonogov Georgy Alexandrovich

Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 65
Petrovskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 4

Рыбаков Ю. С. Г. А. Товстоногов: Проблемы режиссуры. Л., 1977
Премьеры Товстоногова / Сост. Е. Горфункель. М., 1994

The subject Index
Tovstonogov Bolshoy Drama Theatre
Alexandrinsky Theatre
Komissarzhevskaya Theatre
Akimov Comedy Theatre
Mariinsky Theatre
Theatre Art Academy
Necropolis of Artists