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Entries / Pisarev Modest Ivanovich (1844-1905), actor

Pisarev Modest Ivanovich (1844-1905), actor

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

PISAREV Modest Ivanovich (1844-1905, St. Petersburg), actor and writer. He graduated from the law department of the Moscow University (1865). He performed in amateur clubs of Moscow in 1860s, the Society of Lovers of Dramatic Art, and in provincial troupes. One of the most educated actors of his time, he played the roles of every day dramatic repertoire. In Moscow he played in the People's Theatre of the All-Union Polytechnical Exhibition (1972), the Actors Circle (1876-77), the Pushkin Theatre of Anna Brenko (1880-82), the Theatre of F.A. Korsh (1882-83), and in the Drama Theatre of Mikhail Lentovsky (1883-84). In 1883 and 1884, together with Vasily Andreev-Burlak, Pisarev organized the tour of the First Association of Russian Drama Actors in the province. He taught at the Moscow Theatre School of Peter Shostakovsky (1883-85). In 1885 he came to St. Petersburg to play in the Alexandrinsky Theatre (until 1904). His theatre life is closely connected with Ostrovsky's plays where he played his best parts: Neschastlivtsev in Forest, Ivan Grozny in Vasilisa Melentyeva, Krasnov in Sin and Sorrow Are Common to All, Bruskov in Hangover from Another’s Wine, Flor Fedulych in The Final Victim, Dosuzhev in Profitable Post, and Knurov in The Dowerless Bride. Eventually, the educational populist thrust of his acting made way for psychological insights, understanding and rhythm (Bayev in Saltykov-Shchedrin's Pazukhin's Death, Pimen in Boris Godunov, Melnik in The Murmade and Baron in The Miserly Knight by Alexander Pushkin, and Dorn in Chekhov's Seagull). In 1904 he had to leave the stage due to health problems. He exercised a strong influence on Polina Strepetova (Pisarev's wife in 1877-90). He performed as elocutionist frequently. Pisarev taught at the Theatre School of the Literary Society (from 1885), at the drama classes of the St. Petersburg Theatre School (from 1888). He was a well-known writer, published from 1860. In his works he supported Ostrovsky's trends; he prepared and commented on the first full collection of Ostrovsky's works of ten volumes. (St. Petersburg, 1904-05). He is buried at the Nikolskoe cemetery in his family crypt. In 1936, Pisarev was reburied at the Necropolis of Arts with a new gravestone.

References: Витензон Р. А. Модест Писарев. Л., 1977.

A. A. Kirillov.

Andreev-Burlak Vasily Nikolaevich
Brenko Anna Alexeevna
Chekhov Anton Pavlovich
Korsch Fedor Adamovich
Lentovsky Mikhail Valentinovich
Ostrovsky Alexander Nikolaevich
Pisarev Modest Ivanovich
Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich
Saltykov-Shchedrin (real name Saltykov) Mikhail Evgrafovich
Shostakovsky Peter Adamovich
Strepetova Pelageya (Polina) Antipievna

Витензон Р. А. Модест Писарев. Л., 1977

The subject Index
Alexandrinsky Theatre
Theatre College
Nikolskoe Cemetery
Necropolis of Artists