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Entries / Komissarzhevsky F.F. (1882-1954), actor and director

Komissarzhevsky F.F. (1882-1954), actor and director

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

KOMISSARZHEVSKY Fedor Fedorovich (1882-1954), director and theatre teacher. The son of F. P. Komissarzhevsky, opera singer and teacher, and the brother of actress V. F. Komissarzhevskaya. He lived in St. Petersburg from his early childhood until 1910. He graduated from the Academy of Arts with a major in architecture. A shareholder and a member of the board at Komissarzhevskaya's theatre from 1904, he translated plays by A. Strindberg, G. Bar, K. Hamsun, F. Grillparzer, and C. Goldoni for the theatre. He was in charge of backstage staff in 1906-07 and worked as a director in 1907-09. Though criticising the predominance of the decorative approach applied by V. E. Meyerhold, he actually followed Meyerhold in that he paid attention to stage decoration and started as a director with a popular production of A. M. Remizov's Devil Show in 1907. Working at Komissarzhevskaya's theatre in 1908-09, he staged plays by M. Maeterlinck, L. N. Andreev, F. Grillparzer, O. Wilde, F. Hebbel, and C. Goldoni. In 1909-10, he worked as a director at the New Theatre and the Merry Theatre for Aged People that he established together with N. N. Evreinov. He developed his own vision of theatre - transformation of reality by an artist's inspiration - and program of synthetic theatre and universal actor by the end of the age of St. Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1910 to work as the chief director at K. N. Nezlobin's Theatre in 1910-12, a director at Moscow's Imperial Theatres in 1913-15 and S. I. Zimin's Moscow Private Opera in 1915-19 that was renamed as Theatre of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies in 1917. He was a teacher at his own studio from 1910 that he transformed into Komissarzhevskaya Studio Theatre in 1914. The theatre existed until 1918 when he founded another studio and theatre, which was attached to the Art and Education Soviet of Workers' Organisations. After emigrating to Great Britain in 1919, he worked at various British theatres, as well as in the USA, France, Italy, Germany and Canada. He was a teacher at the Royal Academy of Drama Art in London. He settled in the USA in 1939 where he worked as a teacher at Yale University and had his own studio. He wrote many articles and books including Theatre Preludes published in Moscow in 1916; Actor's Work and the Stanislavsky Method published in Petrograd; and The Theatre and I, the English version published in London in 1919 and the Russian version in Moscow in 1999.

Reference: Алпатова И. Л. Вечное во временном // Комиссаржевский Ф. Ф. Я и театр. М., 1999. С. 7-57.

A. A. Kirillov.

Andreev Leonid Nikolaevich
Bar German
Evreinov Nikolay Nikolaevich
Goldoni Carlo
Grillparzer Franz
Hamsun (real name Pedersen) Knut
Hebbel Christian Friedrich
Komissarzhevskaya Vera Fedorovna
Komissarzhevsky Fedor Fedorovich
Komissarzhevsky Fedor Petrovich
Maeterlinck Maurice
Meyerhold Vsevolod Emilievich
Nezlobin Konstantin Nikolaevich
Remizov Alexey Mikhailovich
Strindberg Johan August
Wilde Oscar
Zimin Sergey Ivanovich

Алпатова И. Л. Вечное во временном // Комиссаржевский Ф. Ф. Я и театр. М., 1999

The subject Index
Academy of Arts
Academy of Arts
Komissarzhevskaya Theatre