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The subject index / Komissarzhevskaya Theatre

Komissarzhevskaya Theatre

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Theaters, Concert Organizations

KOMISSARZHEVSKAYA THEATRE (also called Drama Theatre under the Directorship of V. F. Komissarzhevskaya, and Drama Theatre of V. F. Komissarzhevskaya), a private theatre founded in 1904 by V.F. Komissarzhevskaya. In 1904-06 it was housed in the Passage at 19 Italyanskaya Street (memorial plaque installed), and in 1906-09 at 39 Ofitserskaya Street (today Dekabristov Street). The main partners of the Komissarzhevskaya at the Passage were the so-called neurasthenic actors K.V. Bravich and P.V. Samoylov, whose stage techniques were well-fitted to hers. The core of the repertoire included plays by M. Gorky, and playwrights of the Znanie Publishing House (S.A. Naydenov and E.N. Chirikov). A production of Gorky's plays Dachniki (1904) and Children of the Sun (1905) provoked a strong response from the public. But plays by H. Ibsen, G. Hauptmann, A. Strindberg, and A.P. Chekhov staged at the theatre were not considered outstanding artistic events. Komissarzhevskaya's strong point was its feature roles (for example, Nora in A Doll's House and Hilde in The Master Builder by Ibsen), with its artistic value restricted to its original acting. The theatre's productions by N.A. Popov, I.A. Tikhomirov, N.N. Arbatov and A.P. Petrovsky imitated the marginal side of early Moscow Art Theatre performances. Upon the theatre's move to Ofitserskaya Street and invitation of V.E. Meyerhold to become artistic director, its practice changed. Meyerhold continued the symbolist, stylised searches he launched in 1905 at the theatre-studio of the Moscow Art Theatre, strengthened the company with supporters from the New Drama Comradeship, drew members from the artistic collective called The Blue Rose (including N.N. Sapunov, S.Y. Sudeykin), reoriented the theatre toward symbolist drama (mainly that of M. Maeterlinck), toughened the requirements for its set imagery regardless of its expressive medium, and set the performance's objective on having a synthesized artistic unity. The director's innovative work counteracted Komissarzhevskaya; and her psychological acting technique and her leading role at the theatre, which led to Meyerhold's dismissal by the mistress of the theatre in 1907. That period's best productions did not include Komissarzhevskaya (Balaganchik based on A.A. Blok's play, 1906; The Life of Man by L.N. Andreev, 1907), and often the director's stylisation of her ecstatic acting wasn't even within the visible frame of the performance (like Beatrice in Maeterlinck's Sister Beatrice, 1906). After Meyerhold's dismissal, performances were produced by young directors N.N. Evreinov and F.F. Komissarzhevsky, who were not mature enough to establish a sophisticated programme. The public soon lost interest in the theatre and it was closed by its owner in 1909.

References: Рудницкий К. Л. Русское режиссерское искусство, 1898-1907. М., 1989; Громов П. П. Ранняя режиссура В. Э. Мейерхольда // Громов П. П. Написанное и ненаписанное. М., 1994. С. 13-117.

A. A. Kirillov.

Andreev Leonid Nikolaevich
Arbatov (real name Arkhipov) Nikolay Nikolaevich
Blok G.P.
Bravich Kazimir Viktorovich
Chekhov Anton Pavlovich
Chirikov Evgeny Nikolaevich
Evreinov Nikolay Nikolaevich
Gorky Maxim (Alexey Maximovich Peshkov)
Hauptmann Gerhard
Ibsen Henrik
Komissarzhevskaya Vera Fedorovna
Komissarzhevsky Fedor Fedorovich
Maeterlinck Maurice
Meyerhold Vsevolod Emilievich
Naydenov (real name Alexeev) Sergey Alexandrovich
Petrovsky Andrey Pavlovich
Popov Nikolay Alexandrovich
Samoylov Pavel Vasilievich
Sapunov Nikolay Nikolaevich
Strindberg Johan August
Sudeykin Sergey Yurievich
Tikhomirov Iosafat Alexandrovich

Dekabristov St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 39
Italyanskaya Street/Saint Petersburg, city, house 19

Рудницкий К. Л. Русское режиссерское искусство, 1898-1907. М., 1989
Громов П.П. Ранняя режиссура В.Э.Мейерхольда // Громов П.П. Написанное и ненаписанное. М., 1994

The subject Index
Passage, department store


Andreev L.N. (1871-1919), writer

ANDREEV Leonid Nikolaevich (1871-1919, Navol's house, near Mustamyaka, Finland; today Gorkovskoe Village of Leningrad Region), writer, dramatist. In 1891 he entered Faculty of Law of Petersburg University (dismissed for non-payment)

Anisfeld Boris Izrailevich (1878-1973), artist

ANISFELD Boris Izrailevich (1878-1973), painter and scenic designer. He studied at the Odessa School of Art (1895-1900) and St. Petersburg's Imperial Academy of Fine Arts (1901-09) under Ilya Repin and Kardovsky (1901-09)

Cabaret Theatres (entry)

CABARET THEATRES became widely popular in St. Petersburg from 1908 and occupied a prominent place in the life and art during the pre-Revolutionary decade. Modelled on western European cabaret theatres

Dobuzhinsky M.V. (1875-1957), artist

DOBUZHINSKY Mstislav Valeryanovich (1875-1957), graphic artist, painter and stage designer. He studied in the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in 1884-85, A

Drama Theatre (entry)

DRAMA THEATRE. The performances of the theatre of Tsar Peter the Great's sister, Tsarevna Natalia Alexeevna (from 1714) can be considered as the first attempts to establish a standing public theatre in St. Petersburg

Evreinov N.N., (1879-1953), director

EVREINOV Nikolay Nikolaevich (1879-1953), playwright, director, theorist, theatre historian. Lived in St. Petersburg in 1892-1925. Graduated from the School of Law (1901), mastered composition under N.A

Gardin V.R., (1877-1965), actor and director

GARDIN Vladimir Rostislavovich (1877-1965), actor, director, script writer, People's Artist of the USSR (1947). Worked in theatre from 1898. In 1904-05 he worked as an actor for the Komissarzhevskaya Theatre in St. Petersburg

Italyanskaya Street

ITALYANSKAYA STREET, running from Griboedova Canal to the Fontanka River. Known as Bolshaya Italyanskaya Street from 1871 to 1919, then called Rakova Street until 1991

Komissarzhevskaya V.F., (1864-1910), actress

KOMISSARZHEVSKAYA Vera Fedorovna (1864, St. Petersburg - 1910), actress. The sister of F.F. Komissarzhevsky. Studied in Moscow under her father, opera singer and pedagogue F.P

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

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

Korchagina-Alexandrovskaya E.P., (1874-1951), actress

KORCHAGINA-ALEXANDROVSKAYA (nee Korchagina, married name Alexandrovskaya, until 1895 her stage name was Olgina) Ekaterina Pavlovna (1874-1951, Leningrad), actress, People's Artist of the USSR (1936)

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

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)

Samoylov P.V., (1866-1931), actor

SAMOYLOV Pavel Vasilievich (1866, St. Petersburg - 1931, Leningrad), actor, Honoured Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1923). Son of V.V. Samoylov. Graduated from the Petersburg School of Commerce (1886)

Sanin А.А. (1869-1956), actor, director

SANIN (born Shenberg) Alexander Akimovich (1869-1956), actor and director. He graduated from Moscow University with a major in history and philosophy in 1895. He worked as an actor and director in the Society of Art and Literature from 1888 and at