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Trends in the repertoire of the Moscow Art Theater from 1917-1941 Weeks, Richard Arnold 1965

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THE TRENDS IN THE REPERTOIRE OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATER FROM 1917 TO 1941 by RICHARD ARNOLD WEEKS B.A., University of British Columbia, 1963 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Slavonic Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1965 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s thesis f o r scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of SLAVONIC STUDIES. The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date September, 1965. i l l ABSTRACT When the Moscow Art Theater appeared i n New York i n 1924, i t was the apostle of a new dramatic naturalism bent on depicting man's inner torment through an intense psychological probing. Some f o r t y years l a t e r , one of the world's greatest art theaters occupies only an i n s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i o n i n the world of a r t . Why i s t h i s so? I t i s the purpose of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n to answer t h i s question by a c a r e f u l analysis of the trends i n the repertoire of the Moscow Art Theater. An analysis of the rep e r t o i r e reveals several major trends i n the Theater's re p e r t o i r e a f t e r the Revolution of 1917. These trends are revealed through performances i n the following areas: (a) Russian c l a s s i c a l playsj (b) Adaptations of Russian c l a s s i c a l novels; (c) Translations of West European c l a s s i c a l plays; (d) Mikhail Bulgakov and h i s con t r o v e r s i a l plays; (e) Modern Soviet drama. An analysis of c a r e f u l l y selected plays from each trend reveals how the Moscow Art Theater was systematically sapped of a l l i t s inner v i t a l i t y and enslaved to a regime. The resultant loss of cr e a t i v e endeavour and the Theater's r e l i a n c e on the Russian c l a s s i c s i n the years following World War II confirms the i n d i v i s i b i l i t y of art and freedom. Some of the Moscow Art Theater's trends were established before the Revolution of 1917. This d i s s e r t a t i o n therefore, begins by t r a c i n g the Theater's r e p e r t o r i a l trends since the f i r s t performance i n 1 8 9 8 . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE Rights of Pu b l i c a t i o n and Loan i i Abstract i i i Table of Contents i v Introduction 1 CHAPTER I THE MOSCOW ART THEATER BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 3 Origins of the Moscow Art Theater 3 The Moscow Art Theater's F i r s t Production, Tsar Fyodor . 7 Chekhov and h i s Influence on the Repertoire 9 Contemporary Dramatists i n the Repertory 10 Gorky and his Influence on the Repertory 11 Early Experiments i n Allegory and Psychology . . . . . . 13 Gordon Craig and the Shakespearian Experiments 15 II RUSSIAN CLASSICS ON THE STAGE OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATER . . 17 Russian C l a s s i c s on the Stage of the Moscow Art Theater 17 The Burning Heart 18 Talents and Suitors 23 The Thunderstorm 27 Bread by Labour 30 The Three S i s t e r s 33 The Death of Pazukhin 37 The Enemies 42 V III ADAPTED RUSSIAN CLASSICS ON THE STAGE OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATER 49 Uncle's Dream . . . . . 49 The V i l l a g e of Stepanchikovo 50 Resurrection 52 Anna Karenina 55 My Apprenticeship 57 IV WEST EUROPEAN CLASSICS ON THE STAGE OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATER 61 Cain 61 The Mistress of the Inn 63 The Marriage of Figaro 64 The Pickwick Club 66 Tar t u f f e 67 The School f o r Scandal 69 V MIKHAIL BULGAKOV ON THE STAGE OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATER 71 The Days of the Turbins 71 Moliere 74 Dead Souls . . 78 VI MODERN SOVIET DRAMA ON THE STAGE OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATER 81 Armoured T r a i n 14-69 81 Squaring the C i r c l e 87 Fear 92 Plat on Krechet 97 The Orchards of Polovchansk 103 v i VII IN CONCLUSION . , 109 B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l Entries 113 V i t a 118 1 INTRODUCTION In the 1890's Russia experienced a remarkable period of i n t e l l e c t u a l fervor and renovation. It was i l l u s t r a t e d c l e a r l y by a modernist movement a l i v e with the l a t e s t i n a r t i s t i c tendencies and theories. The young men and women of the 1890*s were enchanted with the Western symbolists and decadents. They praised estheticism and art f o r art's sake and looked in t o the future f o r new modes of l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c expression. In a land of eternal snow, l i t e r a t u r e gradually returned to neoromanticism with i t s emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l . Individualism, a devotion to the f a n t a s t i c , refined s e n s i t i v i t y and sensualism a l l took diverse forms i n the various a r t s . In painting, the earthy and often tendentious canvases of the populist painters with t h e i r l i f e l e s s s o c i a l messages were replaced by experiments i n l i g h t and colour that leaned towards impressionism. In music, a c o n s t e l l a t i o n of national composers lead an era of new harmonizations and reform i n a dying operatic a r t . By the close of the nineteenth century, the foreign influence had l e f t i t s mark on Russian culture. The young bloods passionately discussed the French symbolist poets from Verlaine to Rimbaud, the Scandinavian dramatists and n o v e l i s t s from Ibsen to Hamsun, the German philosophers from Nietzsche to Wagner, and many other models. Despite the d i v e r s i t y of the movement i t was u n i f i e d by a common r e j e c t i o n of the past and an adventurous s p i r i t of search and discovery. There was 2 an intense desire f o r innovation i n a period that has been c a l l e d the "dying days of a delayed spring." In the theater, the discontent with the conventional repertory and worn out settings was accompanied by a f e e l i n g that production and acting were out-dated and had l o s t a l l of t h e i r o r i g i n a l c r e a t i v e force. There were many new ventures i n t o the realm of theater. Among these ventures were the Theatre Libre, i n Paris, and Germany's Meiningen Company. Both aroused a fervent in t e r e s t and seemed to point i n the right d i r e c t i o n f o r the Russian stage. Before these ventures, Russia had been i n the shadow of the ever present Imperial Theater. Both the Maly, i n Moscow, and the Alexandrinsky, i n St. Petersburg were t y p i c a l examples of conservatism i n repertory and production. A major freedom was f e l t , however, when i n the f i e l d of t h e a t r i c a l arts the monopoly of the Imperial theaters was abolished. Now there was an i n f l u x of young actors who had graduated from the newly established schools of theater which had been born i n the period between 1880 and 1890. These eager young people i n t e n s i f i e d the general atmosphere of expectation. I t was against t h i s background of excitement and expectation that the Moscow Art Theater was formed. 3 CHAPTER I THE MOSCOW ART THEATER BEFORE THE REVOLUTION Origins of the Moscow Art Theater On a cool evening i n June 1897, K.:S. Stanislavsky and V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko met i n a private room of the S l a v i c Bazaar Restaurant on Nikolskaya Street i n Moscow. The two men held an eighteen-hour non-stop a l l - n i g h t conversation the outcome of which was the Moscow Art Theater. Stanislavsky summarized t h e i r complaints against the mediocre theater of t h e i r time: We protested against the old manner of acting, against t h e a t r i c a l i s m , f a l s e pathos, declamation, a r t i f i c i a l i t y i n acting, bad staging and decor conventions, the emphasis on the new productions that spoiled the ensemble work, the whole system of presentations, and the i n s i g n i f i c a n t repertoires of the time.-'" Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko was a successful playwright. By 1897, he had written s i x successful plays. The people i n h i s plays are nearly a l l from the middle class - l i t e r a r y men, le c t u r e r s , young o f f i c e r s , but he developed a theme which Ostrovsky had f a i l e d to write on, the c o n f l i c t between the older and younger generations. The actors and actresses of the Maly Theater regarded him as t h e i r own dramatist. The plays were written i n the old s t y l e . Nemirovich-Danchenko supplied a dramatic exit f o r a Maly actor, Muzil, i n the t h i r d act of h i s play, Ultimate Freedom. At t h i s point i n h i s career as a playwright, Nemirovich-Danchenko had not reached the point where he could portray the t r u t h of l i f e on the Imperial stage. 1. S t a n i s l a v s k i i , K.S., Moia z h i z n 1 v iskusstve, p. 328. Toward the end of the 1 8 9 0 's, he was appointed to teach acting i n Moscow's Philharmonic School which had grown i n opposition to the Imperial Schools. Here he found that the actors were faced with the problem of f i n d i n g plays i n which they could be t r u t h f u l to l i f e . During the eight years he taught i n the Philharmonic, he produced some of the best of Ibsen's plays, which had never been produced i n Moscow. One of h i s pupils, Olga Knipper, had l e f t the Imperial Theater because she could not master the s t i f l i n g conventional s t y l e of acting. This woman, who was l a t e r to become Anton Chekhov's wife, was doomed to obscurity but the advent of the Moscow Art Theater was to make her famous i n pre-and post-revolutionary Russia. Other pupils were Ivan Moskvin and the famous post-revolutionary producer, Vsevolod Meyerhold. Nemirovich-Danchenko believed that teaching was an excellent way of learning. He became d i s s a t i s f i e d with the plays he wrote i n the old s t y l e and f o r the f i r s t time i n Russian h i s t o r y he held a dress rehearsal between 1894 and 1895, i n h i s play, Gold. Lensky, who headed the offshoot of the Maly Theater, the so-called "New" Theater supported him i n h i s experiments with new, fresh, c o l o u r f u l and t h e a t r i c a l l y relevant sets. Both Nemirovich-Danchenko and Lensky were aware of the decay of the Maly's h i s t o r i c a l supremacy i n the . Shchepkin t r a d i t i o n of l i f e - l i k e acting and the Gogol-Ostrovsky t r a d i t i o n of t r u t h f u l plays. In 1885, the Meiningen Company of German actors under the d i r e c t i o n of Kronek, arrived i n Moscow. This company had several good 5 actors but t h e i r ensemble acting was famous and was more important than t h e i r profound true to l i f e acting. They proved to the Russian stage that art could be true to l i f e . Both Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko were impressed. Stanislavsky wrote: I consider what the Meiningen people brought us to be good, that i s , t h e i r d i r e c t o r i a l devices f o r showing the essence of a production. For that, I s h a l l be most g r a t e f u l to them. It w i l l always l i v e i n my a r t . In the l i f e of our Society ( f o r Art and Literature) and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n myself, the Meiningen people 9 brought about a new and important phase. The Imperial censorship with i t s p r e v a i l i n g conservatism and control over the theaters made i t nearly impossible to express true to l i f e acting on the Russian atage. The poor professionals were fr u s t r a t e d i n t h e i r attempts to found a pr i v a t e theater. An amateur would help to change a l l t h i s . Konstantin Sergeyevich Alexeyev, came from a family of keen amateur actors. By 1897 h i s reputation as a b r i l l i a n t amateur and producer was well-known to Muscovites under hi s stage name of K.S. Stanislavsky. He was a superb showman, whose awe-inspiring presence and acting a b i l i t y made him a favo u r i t e of the Russian i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . In 1888, he spent a large part of h i s inheritance i n bringing i n t o being Moscow's Society of Art and L i t e r a t u r e . The purpose of t h i s organization was to stage amateur and other shows f o r the enjoyment of the upper middle cl a s s and the wealthy a r i s t o c r a t i c audience. 2. S t a n i s l a v s k i i , K.S., Moia zhizn' v iskusstve, p. 328. 6 Stanislavsky was not the f i r s t to e s t a b l i s h a new theater c i r c l e on new p r i n c i p l e s . He was aware of the existence of other troupes that made him quicken the formation of the Moscow Art Theater. In the provinces of S i b e r i a and the Volga d i s t r i c t a famous troupe had formed i n 1885, under the leadership of Pyotr Petrovich Medvedyev. Another famous troupe had been formed i n Kiev i n 1891 and was headed by N i c o l a i Nicolaevich Solotsov. Both troupes were famous f o r t h e i r f i r s t c lass ensemble presentations and t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l l y accurate interpretations of Count A l e x e i T o l s t o i ' s famous plays. With t h i s competition on the horizon Stanislavsky hastened to form h i s own art theater. Stanislavsky began h i s career i n art with great operatic ambitions. These ambitions were hurdles i n h i s attempts to perfect h i s acting. The great producer and theater h i s t o r i a n , Theodore Komissarz-hevsky had trained h i s voice and the famous Maly actress, G l i k e r i a Fedotova, had helped him i n h i s study of acting. At the professional Maly Theater, the di r e c t o r , A.P. Lensky, became alarmed at Stanislavsky's search f o r new heights i n a genuine true to l i f e a r t . The idea that anything new could be created was sa c r i l e g e . The Maly administration saw themselves as high p r i e s t s occupying the temple of Russian theater. Lensky c r i e d out that Stanislavsky would overtake and conquer the Maly. The f r e e man i n the fre e land of the new theater was to defeat the conservative bureaucrats i n the Department of Theater. The age of private theaters was beginning and a l l the great leaders would come from them. 7 The Moscow Art Theater's F i r s t Production, Tsar Fyodor A l e x e i Konstantinovich Tolstoy's Tsar Fyodor was a h i s t o r i c a l drama depicting the pathetic destiny of Prince Fyodor, the weak and d e l i c a t e son of Ivan the T e r r i b l e . Unlike h i s father, Fyodor was unable to reign and struggle against the intrigues of the power hungry n o b i l i t y , the Boyars. His downfall and the end of the Rurik's dynasty came when the Boyar, Boris Godunov ascended the throne. The task was to recreate the Moscow of the Time of Troubles. Actors, painters and members of the acting s t a f f organized expeditions to monasteries, l o c a l f a i r s and old p r o v i n c i a l towns, where they bought wooden plates, cloth, cups, dresses and objects of the 16th century. The troupe worked day and night i n museums and succeeded i n borrowing authentic robes and jewels. From the f i r s t rehearsals, both men had formulated and practiced the basic requirements. Stanislavsky's idea was of an a r t i s t i c ensemble shaped to perf e c t i o n by the organizing w i l l of the d i r e c t o r . A l l the elements of the performance must present a u n i f i e d harmony and nothing could be l e f t to chance or improvisation. Nemirovich-Danchenko conceived the play as an a r t i s t i c whole i n which the p i c t o r i a l , the musical and the verbal merged. Each actor was required to f i n d h i s po s i t i o n i n the whole. There were to be no outstanding s t a r s . Stanislavsky put an end to the routine of bu i l d i n g a production around an actor. 8 The Moscow Art Theater opened on October 14, 1898. Tsar Fyodor, was not only a h i s t o r i c a l play, but a h i s t o r i c a l event. I t was a revolutionary event i n the h i s t o r y of Russian theater. The crowd was astounded and enthusiastic over the production. The public saw on stage the exact r e p l i c a of the Tsar's quarters i n the Kremlin. Stanislavsky was capable of even more h i s t o r i c realism. He presented a scene where the disgruntled Boyars feast at plates of goose, beef, f r u i t and vegetables, while slaves r o l l e d i n b a r r e l s of wine and mead. Throughout the e n t i r e scene an i l l u s i o n to l i f e was created by natural conversations, the blending of gestures, costumes, words and perfect s e t t i n g s . An old beggar sang a song of ancient Russia. The music f o r the song was written by Alexander Grechaninov, a famous Russian composer. The a c t i n g was simple and true to l i f e . Ivan Moskvin played Fyodor, and the Tsarina was played by Olga Knipper. The play was a tremendous success despite the c r i t i c a l reviews of the era that accused Stanislavsky of "extremes of naturalism." The play ran to a f u l l theater capacity f o r over three years and over one hundred performances. This h i s t o r i c a l realism formed an important trend i n the evolution of the Moscow Art Theater. Throughout the development of the repertoire, i t w i l l remain a conservative feature of a l l the h i s t o r i c a l plays. The same method of research and a u t h e n t i c i t y was applied i n The Merchant of  Venice, J u l i u s Caesar, and Othello. In J u l i u s Caesar, the e n t i r e troupe went to Rome to wander the narrow streets and to gaze at the Forum. For Othello, the troupe v i s i t e d Cyprus with i t s ancient battlements. Af t e r the production of Tsar Fyodor, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko looked f o r success i n Shakespeare's plays, but these dramas were not well attended and the Theater l o s t money. In December 1898, the Moscow Art Theater produced Anton Pavlovich Chekhov's The Sea G u l l . Chekhov and h i s Influence on the Repertoire This was a departure from the h i s t o r i c a l play to the t r u l y modern play. The same p r i n c i p l e of r e a l i s t i c d e t a i l was used i n creating a psychological mood s t i l l within the p r i n c i p l e of " f a i t h f u l n e s s to life.™ In The Sea G u l l , which had been a f a i l u r e i n the Alexandrinsky Theater i n 1896, the Moscow Art Theater found i t s most d i s t i n c t i v e feature. In the course of years t h i s feature proved to be i t s most successful: the rendering of emotions and psychological nuances through a very s p e c i a l blending of s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l with a new manner of acting, supported by teamwork, a r t i s t i c settings and a thoroughly planned, meticulously organized production. Chekhov's plays met the a r t i s t i c a spirations of Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky. Chekhov, himself, saw i n the d i r e c t o r s and actors the only people who could understand and portray h i s own t h e a t r i c a l aims. It was a "marriage" between the playwright and h i s in t e r p r e t e r s . The Sea G u l l was a success, but the Theater ended i n 1898 with a 45,000 ruble d e f i c i t . The great m i l l i o n a i r e and philanthropist, Sawa Morozov, invested over 200, 000 rubles with the r e s u l t that a l l the shareholders doubled t h e i r investments. A l l the actors and Chekhov, were shareholders in the Theater. It became the custom of the Moscow Art Theater to stage only three to five new plays a year and i t relied largely on repeat performances of i t s well-established repertory. Chekhov's plays came to occupy a place of honour in the Theater's repertory. The Three Sisters was f i r s t performed on February 13, 1901. It was similar in mood to a previous play of Chekhov's, Uncle Vanya... The Three Sisters was written at a time when Chekhov was fu l l y aware of his own dramatic style and of innovations used in his plays by the Moscow Art Theater. Stanislavsky's producer's-copy of The Three Sisters reveals suggestions for alterations in Chekhov's script. Chekhov made the alterations in order to suit Stanislavsky's scenic presentations. The  Cherry Orchard was requested by the Moscow Art Theater. Chekhov worked long hours over this play relating the characters and scenes to the theater that portrayed his characters so well. Contemporary Dramatists in the Repertory After the success of Chekhov's plays, the Moscow Art Theater continued to choose plays by contemporary dramatists. The Theater presented nine dramas by Ibsen and four plays by Hauptmann. Most of these plays dealt with the struggle against injustice and the dream of improving human society. The Theater was thus instrumental in opening a window to the world of western democracy and the teachings of the socialists. In 1900, Stanislavsky staged Ibsen's, An Enemy of the People. 11 Stanislavsky f e l t that the hero, Dr. Stockman, was a just and honest man with an idea and a f r i e n d of h i s country. The Moscow Art Theater was not a great i n s t i t u t i o n of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l ferment. The Theater brought Ibsen, Hauptmann, Knut, Hamsun, and Gorky to the Russian people because i t wanted to be a "teacher of s o c i e t y . " The Theater defended the poverty s t r i c k e n and oppressed and indicated that a time was coming when Russia would have a system subordinated to the p r i n c i p l e s of s o c i a l j u s t i c e . Gorky and h i s Influence on the Repertory The T s a r i s t regime hindered the production of Gorky's f i r s t play, The P h i l i s t i n e s . The Moscow Art Theater was under suspicion; the author, under p o l i c e surveillance, and the play was forbidden by the Mini s t e r of Internal A f f a i r s . In 1902, the play was shown with corrections. In The P h i l i s t i n e s , Gorky showed the c o n f l i c t between the old, out-dated and bankrupt s o c i a l system and the new and more just one that should replace i t . Gorky came from the dregs of society, and h i s plays featured the poor, the humble and the oppressed. Gorky wrote f o r the Moscow Art Theater at Chekhov's suggestion. Gorky admired both the Theater and Chekhov who had been an i n s p i r a t i o n f o r him. Gorky's dreams were close to that of the Theater's. His plays, The P h i l i s t i n e s , and The Lower Depths, were protests against the gross i n j u s t i c e s of Russian society. 12 Gorky's second play, The Lower Depths, written on request of the Moscow Art Theater, was a t h e a t r i c a l triumph. I t i s a t e r r i f y i n g and gloomy play. The action takes place i n a flophouse inhabited by various human wrecks: pro s t i t u t e s , drunken actors, f a l l e n gentlemen, a low class locksmith and h i s dying wife, a Tartar, and many others. Nearly a l l the characters are influenced e i t h e r f o r good or e v i l , by a pious, but malignant "consoler" named Luka. Luka, i s a peasant p i l g r i m who raises hopes that can never be f u l f i l l e d . The atmosphere of d i r t , crime, and despair reminds one of Count Leo Tolstoy's The Power of  Darkness. Gorky did not attack these p i t i f u l characters, rather he attacked the society that made them. Stanislavsky merged the elements of n a t u r a l i s t i c d e t a i l s with a romantic halo. His company v i s i t e d various flophouses i n Moscow and the actors followed t h e i r r e a l - l i f e models. The flophouse s e t t i n g was so r e a l i s t i c that people i n the front row were a f r a i d of catching l i c e . Gorky's drama resembled Chekhov only i n i t s lack of a consistent plot and i n some impressionistic touches. Gorky's characters, however, were not shadows, but full-blooded and treated i n a romantically exaggerated way. Gorky possessed as a dramatist, a c e r t a i n b r u t a l i t y and roughness. His robustness, rhetoric, and s o c i a l passion contrasted with Chekhov's r e s t r a i n t and l y r i c i s m . The Moscow Art Theater went through several stages of experi-mentation. Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko were accused of copying r e a l i t y and portraying only realism. The Moscow Art Theater soon embarked on a course of l o f t y psychological realism. E a r l y Experiments i n Allegory and Psychology The Theater was the f i r s t Russian theater to experiment i n the world of fantasy, mysticism and symbolism. The plays of Hauptmann, Ibsen and Maeterlinck were staged i n a search f o r new forms of scenic expression f a r removed from the devices of naturalism. The Moscow Art Theater found the devices of the impressionistic stage. In 1 9 0 8 they staged Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird, a symbolistic play. The story revolves around a poor woodcutter's children, T y l t y l and h i s s i s t e r Mytyl, who seek the blue b i r d of happiness on Christmas Eve. They are accompanied by the a l l e g o r i c a l figures of Milk, F i r e , Water, Bread, and Light, as w e l l as by t h e i r Cat and Dog. They f i r s t hunt f o r happiness i n the past. In the land of memory they f i n d t h e i r grandparents kept a l i v e by the children's thoughts. They v i s i t the bingdom of the future where the Cat t r i e s to destroy them. F i n a l l y they a r r i v e home to f i n d the blue b i r d of happiness there. They give the b i r d to a s i c k c h i l d . The c h i l d receives joy, the c h i l d r e n have found happiness i n g i v i n g and the b i r d f l i e s away. The theme of the play grows as the c h i l d r e n search f o r happiness Throughout t h e i r journey they are watched by the dark forces of the Universe, waiting to throw humanity back into the depths of e v i l . Maeterlinck saw man's story as a lonely adventure i n a h o s t i l e world. A l l the symbolism was l o s t , however, i n the panoramic splendor of the Moscow Art Theater's production. The play was a f a i l u r e . In 1909, the Moscow Art Theater staged Leonid Andreyev's Anathema. It was h i s greatest play and r e f l e c t s the gloom and despair i n h i s own l i f e . In the prologue, Anathema s i t s at the gates of heaven demanding knowledge. He asks: "What kind of god has created t h i s world?" He receives no answer. He goes to l i v e with a s a i n t l y David Leizer, a Jew who gives h i s love, and four m i l l i o n ruble inheritance to the poor. David does good q u i e t l y and unobserved. The people seek him out and worship him. When hi s wealth i s gone, the mob stones him. The epilogue shows Anathema again at the gates. He i s t o l d that "David has h i s immortality," to which he r e p l i e s that David's name men w i l l be murderers. A f t e r thirty-seven performances the play was forbidden because i t gave a too favourable picture of the Jews, and a free w i l l ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of God was considered dangerous. The play was obviously a moral triumph f o r the Moscow Art Theater. In 1910, Nemirovich-Danchenko produced an adaptation of Dostoevsky's immortal The Brothers Karamazov. It was probably the zenith of the Theater's achievements i n subtle moods revealing the most complicated windings of human psychology. The staging was even more remarkable than the actors' presentation. There was an absolute economy of outer staging. The stage was almost barren. Nemirovich-Danchenko placed a tre e on the stage against a foreground of a lonely 15 path. These objects represented the decor f o r a f i e l d . A table, a dozen chairs, and a c l o t h suggested a dining room. The presentation was staged against a background of neutral cloths, hints and d e t a i l s that created a symbol no matter where the action occurred. A f t e r the 1917 Revolution, the Theater used t h i s technique to transmit a tremendous power of concentration on the inner revealings of the drama through the acting. The naked actor was exposed upon the moist s o i l of a naked earth. Gordon Craig and the Shakespearian Experiments The Moscow Art Theater continued t h e i r experiments into non-r e a l i s t i c presentations and i n 1911, Shakespeare's Hamlet was produced. Gordon Craig, a famous English d i r e c t o r and innovator, was i n v i t e d to Moscow to d i r e c t t h i s production which was probably the Theater's boldest experiment. Craig believed that an actor could be replaced by a supermarionette and he rejected experience as a c r i t e r i o n f o r the stage. On these points he d i f f e r e d with Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky. Craig was opposed to any f l a t decor. He believed that the actor's three dimensional body demanded a d e f i n i t e sculpture and arc h i t e c t u r e on the stage. Stanislavsky had overcome f l a t , dimensional decors long before Craig's a r r i v a l i n Moscow. Craig's contribution to the Theater and Russian theater i n general was the abstract primitivism of three dimensional shapes on the stage. 16 Craig's production of Hamlet i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g . The basic elements on the stage were screens of coarse, undecorated canvas. Sometimes these large sheets of canvas were decorated with gold. Various combinations of huge but narrow screens were used to hint at corners, towers, palace h a l l s , narrow streets, and other places. These v e r s a t i l e props of square and neutral shapes helped to augment Craig's excellent l i g h t i n g e f f e c t s . Craig i n s i s t e d that the music and l i g h t i n g and the movement of the a r c h i t e c t u r a l forms must present a s i n g l e musical q u a l i t y . Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko welcomed t h i s synthesis of l i g h t i n g , music and stage architecture that was completely new to the Russian stage. The Moscow Art Theater continued with the unreal presentations. In 1913, they produced Leonid Andreyev's Yekaterina Ivanovna. It was a success but the drive f o r the unreal was expended. The Moscow Art Theater returned to the c l a s s i c s such as Saltykov-Shchedrin's Death  of Pazukhin, i n 1915 and i n 1916-1917, an adaptation of Dostoevsky's V i l l a g e of Stepanctiikovo. CHAPTER II Russian C l a s s i c s on the Stage of the Moscow Art Theater A deta i l e d analysis of the plays i n the re p e r t o i r e of the Moscow Art Theater reveals f i v e d i s t i n c t trends which are not arranged i n a d e f i n i t e chronological order. These major trends are the presentation of; Russian c l a s s i c a l comedy and drama, adapted Russian l i t e r a r y c l a s s i c s , West-European c l a s s i c s , the plays of Mikhail Bulgakov, and modern Soviet drama. Within any one trend i t i s possible to l i s t many plays. For the purpose of t h i s t hesis only the outstanding presentations have been chosen from each trend. The f i r s t trend i n the repertoire represents the attempts of the Moscow Art Theater to portray the great plays of the c l a s s i c a l playwrights. Their plays continued to be shown long a f t e r the Revolution of 1917. The most popular c l a s s i c a l playwrights on the stage of the Moscow Art Theater were:- Alexander Ostrovsky, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin. Ostrovsky's plots, backgrounds and characters are highly dramatic and are drawn from the world of the greedy and headstrong merchants, the s e l f i s h gentry, a backward peasantry, and the corrupt officialdom. He deals with vices such as greed, l u s t , fraud, bribery and tyranny, coupled with crimes and strong passions. His plays expose the v i c e and stagnation of immense areas of Russian society. These plays are not problem plays but f i r s t and foremost t h e a t r i c a l dramas and comedies. Ostrovsky i s the most popular Russian dramatic 1 8 w r i t e r on the Soviet stage today but h i s plays are hardly known outside of Russia. The plays which I have chosen to represent the Russian c l a s s i c s on the stage of the Moscow Art Theater include the r e a l i s t i c s t y l e of Ostrovsky's: The Burning Heart, Talents and Suitors, The  Thunder Storm, and Bread by Labour. Each play represents a d i f f e r e n t class from the Sbcial m i l i e u . The Burning Heart During h i s l i f e t i m e , Ostrovsky wrote forty-eight plays f o r the Russian stage. Many of these plays revolve around the l i v e s of the merchant class and the off i c i a l d o m or ("chinovniki"). One of h i s most successful comedies on the merchant and "chinovniki" classes i s The Burning Heart. The playwright f a i t h f u l l y presented the l i f e of the merchant c l a s s . He s k i l l f u l l y portrayed t h e i r domestic l i f e and t h e i r r e l a t i o n -ship with other classes of society. The Burning Heart, i s reminiscent of one of h i s most famous dramas, The Thunder Storm. The action of both plays takes place i n the sleepy p r o v i n c i a l town of Kalinov on the banks of the Volga r i v e r . In both plays Ostrovsky c l e a r l y portrays the characters of the merchant petty tyrants or samodurs. In The  Thunder Storm, the 'dark kingdom' i s revealed. In The Burning Heart, the playwright reveals a grotesque on the petty tyrants and t h e i r way of l i f e . As the action of the play unfolds, the characters become t r u e - t o - l i f e . The main characters are the merchant samodur, Kuroslepov, hi s stupid and i l l i t e r a t e wife, Matrona, Kuroslepov's daughter, Parasha, 19 h i s clerk, Narkis, and a r i c h contractor, Khlynov, and the mayor, Gradoboyev. In the comedy, two forces c o l l i d e : the new awakening s o c i a l force i n the person of Parasha, and the force of conservatism, rude t r a d i t i o n s , and tyranny represented by Kuroslepov, and h i s wife Matrona. These opposing forces are the main c o n f l i c t throughout the play. Two generations also c o l l i d e and react i n the persons of Kuroslepov, the older generation, and the contractor Khlynov, a member of the young generation. The main f i g u r e i n the play i s Parasha, Kuroslepov's daughter. Parasha*s f a t e resembles that of Katerina, i n The Thunder Storm. The action of both plays takes place i n the town of Kalinov. Parasha i s surrounded by the rude, oppressive environment of her father, step-mother, and her f r i e n d s . Parasha only sees t h e i r rudeness, i n j u s t i c e and ignorance. Her stepmother, Matrona, devours her i n unbearable tyranny. Parasha*s p o s i t i v e character and l o f t y i n t e r e s t s are a sharp contrast with her negative rude environment. Parasha t r i e s desperately to break with the domestic tyranny around her. She t r i e s desperately to f i n d something new and refreshing. Freedom i s the most worthy goal for her and she i s prepared to meet i t by doing anything or going anywhere. Fe a r l e s s l y , and passionately, she f a l l s i n love with a young man, Vasya Shustry. In Shustry, she sees her only saviour and defender. Shustry, however, proves to be weak and i s incapable of 20 defending himself. For him, she i s ready to s a c r i f i c e her honour, everything she possesses, and to leave forever the home of her parents to follow Shustry i n t o a s o l d i e r ' s camp as a s o l d i e r ' s wife. Parasha i s not a f r a i d to meet hardships and d i f f i c u l t i e s . Unfortunately, she does not f i n d her answer i n the weak-minded Vasya. She becomes b i t t e r l y disappointed i n him and f i n a l l y chooses to l i v e with G a v r i l l a , an honest and f a i t h f u l c l e r k who works i n Kuroslepov's shop. She opposes the w i l l of her stepmother, Matrona, and bravely defends her-s e l f and her freedom. She finds a s u i t a b l e man i n G a v r i l l a and leaves the realm of the dark kingdom. Parasha's character i s sharply contrasted against the character of her stepmother, Matrona. Matrona i s the petty tyrant wife of a petty tyrant merchant. She i s uncultured, i l l i t e r a t e , rude, a cowardess, and a complainer. She t r i e s to dishonour, b e l i t t l e , and i n s u l t her stepdaughter. Matrona, h e r s e l f , i s dishonourable, u n f a i t h f u l , and involved i n a love a f f a i r with one of Kuroslepov*s clerks, Narkis. Narkis cheats her, i n s u l t s her, and makes her s t e a l large sums of money i n the form of blackmail from the unsuspecting Kuroslepov (his name means 'blind chicken* i n Russian). Narkis constantly threatens to reveal her i f she f a i l s to make a payment. She i s a f r a i d of him, and continues her a f f a i r s with him. Matrona causes other weak and innocent people to su f f e r f o r her t h e f t s . Her speech i s saturated with rude i n s u l t i n g expressions. She says to her husband: " T e l l me, you sleepy-eyed dog, i s n ' t that my business to look a f t e r her (Parasha)?" Another example i s : "Wasn't i t I who looked a f t e r your 21 d i r t y snout (to her husband)?" By h i s o r i g i n , Kuroslepov i s a son of degenerate generations of merchants. He i s well-known among the merchant c i r c l e s . He i s a drunkard and incapable of managing h i s property. The only joys l e f t to him are drinking and spending a l l day i n bed. At times, he becomes mad and i s completely incapable of t e l l i n g night from day. He eit h e r i s happy to see a new day a r r i v e or despondent at the thought that the sky might f a l l down, and he w i l l perish. Kuroslepov cannot understand or believe that h i s wife i s u n f a i t h f u l to him and steals hi s money. He p i t i l e s s l y attacks the weak and innocent Vasya Shustry, suspects him of theft, and sends him to j a i l . He has no respect f o r his wife or h i s daughter. His speech i s also f u l l of rude expressions. He wants h i s daughter to marry a wealthy merchant without even considering the g i r l ' s f e e l i n g s or the man she must marry. This i s the i r o n i c l i f e of the petty tyrant or "samodur". The representative of off i c i a l d o m or the chinovniki i n t h i s comedy i s the mayor of the town, Gradoboyev (his name means ' c i t y beater' i n Russian). Ostrovsky used the name of the younger brother of Gogol's Gorodnichy. Gradoboyev takes bribes, i s greedy and unjust. He knows that Vasya Shustry i s innocent but he w i l l not help him. He i s used to covering up the sins of the r i c h merchants and other people f o r a considerable sum of money. He i s not paid enough as a mayor, so he l i v e s on bribery. He cannot imagine another source of income and therefore he advises the helpless and defenseless Vasya 22 to be quiet. Gradoboyev l i k e s to boast how gallant he was i n the Turkish wars. He t e l l s f i c t i t i o u s s t o r i e s to make up f o r h i s inadequacies while eating and drinking at the expense of h i s hosts. He i s a parasite who fears the merchant class so much that he even thinks of q u i t t i n g h i s p o s i t i o n as mayor. The clerk, Narkis, i s a boor t y p i c a l of Russia during the 1840's. He i s a shop clerk a s s i s t i n g i n Kuroslepov's store. According to h i s own words he came from a poor coachman's job to h i s clerk's p o s i t i o n by cheating and blackmailing Matrona. He wants to marry the b e a u t i f u l h i g h - s p i r i t e d Parasha, and e n l i s t s Matrona's aid. He l i v e s with Matrona, i s i n love with Parasha, and dreams of becoming a merchant on Matrona's money. He r i d i c u l e s Matrona p i t i o u s l y . F i n a l l y h i s dark and d i r t y a f f a i r s are discovered and h i s hope f o r a happier l i f e and a career are destroyed. Khlynov occupies a prominent p o s i t i o n i n the comedy. He represents a new generation. He i s a young, wealthy, contractor with plenty of money and nothing to do. He i s unable to think up means of entertainment s u i t a b l e to h i s p o s i t i o n . Other people think f o r him and carry out h i s stupid pranks on unsuspecting innocent people. He b a i l s the hapless Vasya out of j a i l and turns him i n t o a clown. Khlynov's diplomacy i s to drink a great- deal and involve many of the townspeople i n h i s drunken orgies. He l i k e s to boast and show others the power of h i s wealth. Vasya Shustry i s shown as a weak and defenseless person. He i s the son of a bankrupt merchant. When Parasha t r i e s to persuade 23 him to go away with her and leave t h e i r environment, he finds himself incapable of breaking away and beginning a new l i f e . He i s constantly waiting f o r something to happen but he does not know what he i s waiting f o r . He hopes that h i s father's business w i l l improve and that w i l l make him happy. He does nothing to help h i s father, he just hopes the business w i l l improve. When he i s arrested f o r s t e a l i n g money, he goes to j a i l without any resistance or complaints. He i s innocent but prepared to serve i n the army as punishment. When Khlynov buys hi s freedom, he r e a d i l y becomes a minstrel and a clown. Khlynov orders him to play on a f l u t e and he begins to play i n front of h i s master and Parasha. Parasha, i n tears demands he stop t h i s nonsense. Vasya i s spineless and completely lacks a w i l l of h i s own. For these reasons Parasha leaves him and goes to l i v e with G a v r i l l a . G a v r i l l a i s a shy and honest person. This simple c l e r k loves Parasha and i s ready to follow her anywhere. He i s able to s a c r i f i c e h i s l i f e f o r her. When the play ends he i s v i c t o r i o u s and wins Parasha. The end of the play i s happy. The dark kingdom i s defeated and Parasha i s awarded with an honest, capable lover. The Moscow Art Theater f i r s t presented the play i n 1926. I t was a moderate success with Ivan Moskvin playing the part of Khlynov, and K. Yelanskaya playing the part of Parasha. Talents and Suitors In the second h a l f of h i s cr e a t i v e endeavour, Ostrovsky focused his attention on the theme of the Russian theater with i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c 24 small people: honest workers, "the raznochintsi", ( i n t e l l e c t u a l s who did not belong to the gentry), and poor actors. The p r o v i n c i a l actors l i v e d out a p i t i f u l existence. Ostrovsky wrote Talents and Suitors i n order to present a t r u t h f u l p i c t ure of an actor's l i f e . Ostrovsky i s supposed to have remarked to Dobrolyubov that there were many talented actors and actresses i n h i s time, but they spent t h e i r a b i l i t y and t a l e n t f r u i t l e s s l y . This comment describes Russian p r o v i n c i a l theater l i f e i n the 1870*s. It was common f o r the audience attending a theater not to fathom the value of talented actors or even art i t s e l f . Such people exist i n the play i n the persons of Prince Dulebov, Baken, and others. The people who managed the theaters had no conception of a true art theater. For instance, Migayev, the owner of the theater, i n order to please Prince Dulebov, asks the talented and innocent actress Negina to leave the theater. The reason for her dismissal i s simple. Negina, an honest s e n s i t i v e woman, refused to be the Prince's mistress. The Prince was reckoned as an important personnage not because of h i s a b i l i t y to evaluate art or understand i t , but simply because he was r i c h . The representatives of the actor's world have a moral substance and a sense of t h e i r own d i g n i t y which contrasts with the wealthy and p r i v i l e g e d people i n high s o c i a l positions. The actors i n t h i s play have a profound love toward t h e i r art which i s incomprehensible to the r i c h p r o v i n c i a l boors. 25 Meluzov, a raznochinyets, is portrayed as a positive hero. He is a poor man who constantly struggles against the society of the libertine noblemen. He goes about trying to teach the simple principles of enlightenment. He has his own world of happiness which is not under-stood by the empty and narrow-minded people around him. He has dreams and conversations on "the sci e n t i f i c movement" and the "success of c i v i l i z a t i o n . " His moral superiority over the e v i l environment which surrounds him is evident in these words: "I am enlightening you, and you are a l l libertines." The actress Negina and the raznochinyets, Melusov are two creatures in love with each other and art. They meet the inevitable d i f f i c u l t i e s in their l i f e which must separate them. In sorrow, she leaves her love, Melusov. The actress was attracted by a rich man, and runs away with him on a f i r s t class train. Her career would be finished i f she were to marry the poor student, Melusov. After she says farewell, Melusov leaves the impression of a man on the edge of a precipice who is going to lose his balance before he f a l l s into the abyss, "I am not yours my dear, i t ' s not possible Peter," she says. These words leave the audience with the feeling that there is no return to their past love. These famous words express her hardness of heart but at the same time they show a deep grief towards the inevitable. She leaves the man who offered to teach her. He is laughed at by her uneducated admirers and by everyone who attends the theater. She really enjoyed his teaching because her mind and l i f e were made better. 26 Her career, however, was more e s s e n t i a l than the love of Melusov, despite the f a c t she loved him as deeply as her acting. Melusov succumbs to a deep depression r e a l i z i n g that there i s an abyss between them. His soul i s tortured and only the words of the p r o v i n c i a l boor, Baken, drive h i s thoughts away from ending hi s l i f e . Baken says: "May be you want to shoot yourself, i t ' s usual f o r students to shoot themselves when they are unsuccessful." These words bring an immediate change i n Melusov and he i s determined to defeat h i s tormentors. Velikatov, i s the r i c h man who runs away with Negina. He i s a quiet man with c o n t r o l l e d emotions. He knows h i s own d i g n i t y i s evident i n h i s display of f i n e c l o t h i n g and a look of independence. In the scenes he always gives the impression that he thinks deeply before he acts. He has a soft, pleasant voice and h i s movements are smooth. He seems amiable and ready t o help others. His sharp penetrating look analyzes a man and without a mistake he defines the man's habits and p r i n c i p l e s . Velikatov moves slowly and surely towards h i s goal. This character i s reminiscent of Turgenev's Nezhdanov, a man who was super-fluous, yet aware of h i s destiny. In 1933, the Moscow Art Theater staged Talents and Suitors. Negina's r o l e was played by S i l a Tarasova. This was one of her best parts as she succeeded i n d i s c l o s i n g Negina's t r a g i c s i t u a t i o n . Despite i t s loose construction and i t s temporary theme, the play s t i l l enjoys huge audiences throughout the p r o v i n c i a l theaters i t portrayed so w e l l . •ri 0 -P •ri U o u • r l • u o o m O H <D r-i ft O CQ O Moscow. Moskovskii khudozhestvenny£ akademicheskil teatr. x Moscow art theater. mp6july66 27 The Thunderstorm Ostrovsky's greatest creation was h i s powerful tragedy, The  Thunderstorm. It was written i n 1859, i n the time of the s o c i a l uprisings before the peasant reforms of the 1860's. In t h i s play Ostrovsky raises one of the most important questions of h i s time: the emancipation of the Russian woman from domestic slavery. The play t e l l s the story of a young merchant's wife, Katerina, who i s unable to love her weak husband. She i s driven by her malevolent and ty r a n n i c a l mother-in-law to destroy h e r s e l f . She has an a f f a i r with a young man, Boris, who i s too weak to save her. This a f f a i r i s both a f u t i l e attempt to rescue h e r s e l f from the oppressive family atmosphere, and an impulse toward her own i n e v i t a b l e destruction. In the end, her e v i l mother-in-law drives her to sui c i d e . The l a t t e r f i g u r e dominates the play, and i s probably Ostrovsky's most f o r c e f u l character. Ostrovsky creates a picture of a l l that was a r b i t r a r y i n the t y p i c a l Russian society of h i s time. Katerina protests t h i s society. She i s joined by Kudrash, Varvara, and K u l i g i n . In the character of Ku l i g i n , Ostrovsky portrayed the s p i r i t u a l wealth and tale n t s of the Russian people. K u l i g i n i s f u l l of various good ideas and he could be cre a t i v e i f i t were not f o r the crushing power of the petty tyrants, the samodurs. The t i t l e , The Thunderstorm, i s s i g n i f i c a n t . One fe e l s the b u i l d up of oppressive atmosphere before the storm, the actual breaking i n suicide, and the subsiding. A l l these form an i n t e g r a l part of the scene structure. Soviet c r i t i c s G l a i m that Ostrovsky portrayed a coming s o c i a l thunderstorm i n discussing the changes i n the l i f e of Katerina. Nevertheless, t h i s thunderstorm must defeat the samodurs and release those who s u f f e r under t h e i r tyranny. The action of the play occurs i n merchant surroundings that preserve the old domestic ways of l i f e . The town i s Kalinov, on the banks of the Volga. Ostrovsky was an admirer of Russian natural land-scapes and introduced i t into h i s plays. This admiration sets the stage f o r the portrayal of h i s characters. The main figures i n the play representing the samodurs are Dikoy and Kabanikha. Dikoy i s a t y p i c a l samodur. He i s used to immediate obedience from everyone. He makes the l i v e s of those who surround him very miserable. The members of the family spend a l l day hiding i n c e l l a r s and a t t i c s . He r e a l i z e s that h i s nephew, Boris, i s dependent on him and thus, he tortures him. Dikoy i s not ashamed to r i d i c u l e and hurt others. He i s greedy and w i l l cheat anyone f o r money. He i s a coward and a b u l l y . He i s a f r a i d of those people who are stronger than himself. His speech i s f u l l of rude and i n s u l t i n g expressions. In short, Dikoy i s a despot, a t y p i c a l representative of the kingdom of darkness. Kabanikha i s another representative of the dark kingdom but more c r u e l . Kabanikha adheres to a l l the old p a t r i a r c h a l customs of ancient Russia. She i s Dikoy's s i s t e r and obeys a l l the laws her brother follows. She i s opposed to change and t r i e s to force everyone to l i v e i n the old manner, with a l l i t s tyranny. Kabanikha i s sup e r s t i t i o u s , rude, greedy, and uncultured. She never misses a church 29 holiday or service. She i s a canting hypocrite. On holidays she humbly gives alms to the town's beggars. Her despotism i s even worse than Dikoy's. She tortures her victims from day to day on a systematic basis. She causes her daughter-in-law, Katerina to commit s u i c i d e . Her son, Tikhon ("the quiet one") loses h i s a b i l i t y to think f o r himself. She knows that the old way of l i f e i s coming to a close and hard times are beginning f o r her kind. Katerina i s the c e n t r a l f i g u r e i n t h i s great play. She i s sharply distinguished against her surroundings by her character and i n t e r e s t s . I t i s unbearable f o r her to l i v e i n oppression. She suffers an intense l i f e drama. She i s the dreamer and lover of personal freedom. Re c a l l i n g her carefree days of maidenhood, she t e l l s Varvara, how her world of f e e l i n g s and moods was formed. In childhood she was happy with her gentle mother. Caring f o r b e a u t i f u l flowers, embroidering velvet, attending church and walking i n quiet gardens formed her e a r l i e s t impressions. With t h i s i n t e r n a l peace she comes to the home of Kabanikha. The c o n f l i c t n a t u r a l l y revolves around the t y r a n n i c a l environment nutured by Kabinikha, and the world of l i g h t and s p i r i t u a l freedom worshipped by Katerina. The c o n f l i c t i s i n e v i t a b l e but Katerina's tragedy i s complicated. Katerina i s married to a man she does not love. She t r i e s to be a f a i t h f u l and loving wife. She searches desperately to f i n d love and warm f e e l i n g s i n Tikhon's heart. She f a i l s i n her quest and suddenly meets a man who i s completely d i f f e r e n t from the others. 30 She f a l l s i n love with Boris. Her love f o r Boris became a means of escape and the only reason f o r e x i s t i n g . She loves him i n a d i f f e r e n t way and i s ready to s a c r i f i c e anything f o r Boris. She i s honest, and not a f r a i d of other people's judgment. This lack of fear aids i n her catastrophe. She cannot hide her love f o r Boris. The c o n f l i c t between the strong f e e l i n g s of love and her sense of duty ends when she confesses to her husband that she i s i n love with another man. She commits suic i d e by drowning he r s e l f i n the Volga - a f i n a l protest against the dark kingdom. The play has other i n t e r e s t i n g characters and events. K u l i g i n r e f l e c t s Ostrovsky*s opinions on the dark kingdom. He i s an observer, and a searcher of enlightenment. He represents the struggle of l i g h t * over darkness. The play begins i n l i g h t and ends i n darkness but the hope f o r the future d e f i n i t e l y l i e s i n Katerina and K u l i g i n . Bread by Labour This play i s devoted to the out-of-the-way place, to the land inhabited by Russia's poor. The main characters are a l l poor but they are honest, hard-working people who make t h e i r l i v i n g by the sweat of t h e i r brows. Ostrovsky portrays the poor as unhappy with t h e i r fate but never becoming dejected or prone to complaining. His play l i k e others i s r e a l i s t i c and a profound s o c i a l comedy. The p o s i t i v e heroes love l i f e and the hearts of the audience by t h e i r f a i t h i n progress and s p i r i t u a l c l e a n l i n e s s . 31 The play i s divided into four acts. In the f i r s t act the audience can already f e e l the message the playwright has i n mind. The scenery reveals a poor apartment with warn out fu r n i t u r e . The master of the apartment i s Iosaff Naumich Karpelev. He i s bull-headed, old before h i s age, bent over from hard labour, but maintains a pleasant a i r and a f r i e n d l y smile. His tone, movements and manners are always pedantic. By profession, he i s a teacher who exists on the money he obtains by giv i n g cheap private lessons. He i s not married i n s p i t e of h i s youth. He has wondered a l l his l i f e from v i l l a g e to v i l l a g e i n search of some-thing. He drinks heavily. He drinks because he f e e l s better when he i s drunk. He i s poor and often cannot a f f o r d to give the landlord, the month's rent. He i s not ashamed of h i s poverty, on the contrary, he i s proud of i t . He i s i n s u l t e d when Potrokhov offers him three rubles. He returns the money and t e l l s the doner that he i s poor, but not a beggar. He has a good education and t h i s places him above everyone else, including the conceited Potrokhov. He prefers to work hard rather than accept c h a r i t y . He raises and supports two orphan g i r l s and i s happy that he can do something useful i n his poverty s t r i k e n l i f e . One of the g i r l s i s Natasha, h i s neice on his mother's side. She i s twenty-five years old, b e a u t i f u l , and orphaned while a baby. She works very hard at keeping the apartment i n order. Her mother l e f t her a small sum of money which she has looked a f t e r a l l her l i f e . She guards the money i n f u l f i l l i n g her mother's wish that she give i t to her future husband. She needs the money very badly but she does not touch i t . She i s a simple g i r l with a narrow mind due to a lack of 32 education. She i s kind but very g u l l i b l e . She meets a man who cheats her, takes her money, and i s gone forever. This episode causes her to s u f f e r immensely. Zhenya i s the other orphan g i r l i n the play. She i s a distant r e l a t i v e of Natasha. She i s l i k e Natasha i n that both g i r l s have l i t t l e education and possess kind hearts. She suffers f or Natasha's loss and t r i e s to help her i n her own l i t t l e ways. She i s devoted to Natasha and s i n c e r e l y confesses that she loves Natasha more than anything i n the world. Zhenya loves a young man named Grunsev. For a long time she does not reveal her f e e l i n g s toward him. At the end of the play she announces her i n t e n t i o n to marry him. Pavel Sergeyevich Grunsev i s a young man who has recently graduated from the u n i v e r s i t y and i s looking f o r a p o s i t i o n . He i s handsome and dresses neatly and decently. Presently he can hardly "make ends meet." He teaches f o r a l i v i n g and i s so poor he cannot even buy a pound of candy f o r h i s beloved Zhenya. At the end of the play he obtains a position, proposes to Zhenya and they leave f o r the distant town. The second act of the play reveals the chinovnik and business man. Potrokhov i s a r i c h chinovnik, t a l l and very stout with a round face. He values people according to t h e i r wealth. A c c i d e n t a l l y he meets his old f r i e n d Karpelev. In a drunken stupor, he i n v i t e s Karpelev to h i s home but afterwards, he b i t t e r l y regrets doing so. He d i d not want to i n v i t e a poor man into h i s home. When Karpelev comes to v i s i t him he drives him o f f by o f f e r i n g him three rubles to go away. He treat s h i s old f r i e n d as a beggar. Potrokhov i s always boring and does not know what to do with h i s free time. He has a wife who i s narrow-minded and jealous of her husband's attention to the maid. Koprov, i s a young, handsome fellow with very refined manners. The one purpose i n h i s l i f e i s money. For the sake of i t he cheats the kind and innocent Natasha. Because of t h i s money and the deed, he shoots himself a f t e r f a i l i n g to cheat another g i r l . Chepurin, i s a storekeeper and the landlord of Karpelev's apartment. He i s always modest and concerned with the l i f e around him. He loves Natasha not as a woman, but f o r her money. The play was staged by the Moscow Art Theater i n the 1939-40 season. The play i s of note because i t was staged by the t h i r d generation of actors who had been raised under the creat of the Sea Gu l l , the Theater's emblem. The Three S i s t e r s No treatment of the trends i n repertoire of the Moscow Art Theater would be possible without an a r t i c l e on Chekhov and h i s creations. Chekhov gave the Moscow Art Theaterists most valuable g i f t s before the Revolution of 1917. Everything that i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n the pre-revolutionary h i s t o r y of the Theater i s connected with h i s name. Chekhov was the t h i r d founder of the Theater and h i s greatness was preserved when the Theater was c a l l e d "The House of Chekhov." Chekhov's plays are the most valuable and o r i g i n a l part of the e n t i r e r e p e r t o i r e presented by the Theater before the Revolution. His The Seagull, The Three S i s t e r s , Uncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard formed the c r e a t i v e method of the Theater. . These plays forced Stanislavsky to work out the problems of l i f e on the stage and to seek a new and marvellous inner technique of acting experience. The Theater transferred Chekhov's methods to other playwrights, both c l a s s i c a l and contemporary. Nowhere does Chekhov reveal the hidden beauty of Man's inner world than through hi s poetry of the commonplace i n The Three S i s t e r s . Perhaps the pressures created by h i s own confinement to the country gave him an insight into the boredom and f r u s t r a t i o n of small town l i f e . The desire to go to Moscow, coupled with a f a i t h i n the future, forms the plot of the play. The three s i s t e r s have an intense desire to break away from t h e i r petty p r o v i n c i a l l i v e s and take part i n the gaiety and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s of the c a p i t a l , Moscow. The eldest s i s t e r , Olga Prozorov, i s an old maid school-teacher who hates her work. Her l i f e outside the school i s completely barren. Masha, i s married to a commonplace husband, Fyodor Kulygin, an i n e f f e c t i v e high school teacher. She has a b r i e f a f f a i r with the Battery Commander, Vershinin. I r i n a , i s the youngest of the three s i s t e r s . She works i n a telegraph o f f i c e and i s engaged to Baron Tuzenbach who i s k i l l e d i n a duel. With the loss of her fiance she lapses into complete drudgery. The g i r l s have a brother, Andrey. The s i s t e r s have high hopes f o r t h e i r 35 brother. He, however, s e c r e t l y mortgages t h e i r property and marries a country g i r l Natasha. Natasha comes coyly into the Prozorov family and eventually reveals h e r s e l f as a vixen and harridan, d r i v i n g the s i s t e r s o f f . F i n a l l y she i s i n v i o l e n t c o n t r o l of t h e i r l i v e s . The s i s t e r s have l o s t any hope of escape from t h e i r s t i f l i n g existence. They begin to f i n d purpose only i n work u n t i l some time i n the future, the deeper purpose of l i f e w i l l be revealed to them. The three s i s t e r s move against a background of characters who make i t possible for t h e i r roles to be highlighted. Andrey Prozorov, i s the son of a high-ranking Russian army o f f i c e r . He i s the hope of h i s s i s t e r s , but he mortgages t h e i r property. He studies to be a professor but a f t e r h i s marriage f a i l s he turns to gambling i n order to forget h i s boorish wife, who has taken a l o c a l o f f i c i a l Protopopov, as a lover. He i s i n e f f e c t i v e and accomplished nothing. Ivan Tchebutykin i s a medical doctor and a long time f r i e n d of the s i s t e r s . He makes comments that reveal the state of a f f a i r s i n the Russian provinces. He i s incompetent as a medical p r a c t i t i o n e r and as such he i s confined to the province. Baron Tuzenbach i s i n love with I r i n a . As an army lieutenant he adheres to the old code of honour and m i l i t a r y e thics. He i s k i l l e d i n a duel by Captain Soleny, a r i v a l f o r Irina's a f f e c t i o n s . Irina's only hope f o r escape from the garrison town i s thus crushed. Alexander Vershinin i s an a r t i l l e r y commander. He does not worship the system of m i l i t a r y order and e t h i c s . He f i r m l y believes that the world and i t s people w i l l eventually get better. He i s i n love with Masha, but he cannot muster enough strength to leave h i s family f o r her. The three s i s t e r s ' movement through the play i s thus brought i n t o a c l e a r e r focus through the actions and f a i l u r e s of these weak-willed and i n e f f e c t i v e people. The abscene of a p o s i t i v e hero does not hinder the movement of the s i s t e r s from scene to scene. The Three S i s t e r s opened January 31, 1901. Olga Knipper played the r o l e of Masha. Chekhov was so taken by her performance that he l a t e r proposed to her and she became Mrs. Chekhov i n May, 1901. The play was an instant success and has been the most frequently performed of a l l Chekhov's plays. The Moscow Art Theater's presentation was world famous. In 1923 the troupe was given a standing ovation f o r t h e i r performance i n New York, of The Three S i s t e r s . The greatness of the play was f u l l y illuminated by the Theater's production. When the play was performed again i n Russia during 1940, i t was not a success. The play i t s e l f i s l i k e a huge sluggish r i v e r which by i t s e l f i s not e x c i t i n g to watch. But when such a play i s impelled by e x c i t i n g acting i t becomes a fearsome, potent force compelling the audience to remain i n awe. A f t e r the Revolution of 1917, Stanislavsky was under pressure to portray The Three S i s t e r s as a herald of the bloody events that had just occurred. The Bolsheviks were looking f o r any j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the Revolution. Stanislavsky did not wish to comply with t h e i r request and maintained that the characters could not be shown as heralds of coming s o c i a l upheavels. In the play, however, Irina's fiance, the Baron, who has never worked a day i n h i s l i f e exclaims: "The time i s at hand, an avalance i s moving down upon us, a mighty c l e a r i n g storm which i s coming, i s already near and w i l l soon blow the laziness, the indifference, the d i s t a s t e f o r work, the rotten boredom, out of our society. I s h a l l work, and i n another twenty or t h i r t y years every one w i l l have to work. Every onel" The events i n the play move q u i e t l y with wonderful r i c h comic moments steeped i n a Chekhovian pathos. Tragedy seems to lapse into a sense of f u t i l e d r i f t , and hope digs i n i t s spurs into the cloud-flanks of despair. The Three S i s t e r s causes the eyes of the audience to f i l m up with tears and at the same, brightening them with a v i s i o n . Through the three s i s t e r s i t i s possible to back in t o Russian h i s t o r y and share the f r u s t r a t i o n s and the enduring courage of people who r e a l l y l e f t the kingdom of darkness only to f i n d themselves thrown in t o a world of c o n f l i c t and the forces of change. The Death of Pazukhin Mikhail Evgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin wrote numerous works i n the f i e l d of s a t i r e . His play, The Death of Pazukhin, was written i n 1857 f o r i n c l u s i o n i n the newly established journal, P r o v i n c i a l Sketches. The play i s one of the most a r t i s t i c and profound of a l l h i s s a t i r i c writings and was forbidden u n t i l 1893, when the Alexandrinsky Theater staged i t . Shchedrin portrays a t e r r i b l e ;picture of the family r e l a t i o n s h i p i n Russian society. He depicts a c r u e l struggle f o r the estate of the wealthy merchant, Pazukhin, who has died and named no h e i r s . The play-wright focuses h i s attention on the revealing of the characters and the discovery of t h e i r miserable world, rather than events i n the play. The characters l i v e i n a world of "beasts of prey, " who constantly crowd each other out of existence. Ostrovsky had focused h i s attention on the merchants and t h e i r dark kingdom. Shchedrin found i t impossible to l e t these people escape h i s s a t i r i c pen. Ivan Prokofiyevich Pazukhin i s a seventy-five-year-old successful merchant. His e n t i r e l i f e has centered around trading and contracting. He appears on stage only i n the t h i r d act i n a wheelchair. He i s r i c h but paralyzed i n h i s old age. His l i f e was spent i n amassing a huge fortune through honest and dishonest means. He i s just barely l i v i n g out h i s l a s t days and cannot understand why he must come to an end. He possesses a pathetic hope to l i v e f o r another f i v e years. His own chi l d r e n and r e l a t i v e s cannot wait f o r the moment when he dies. The old man counts hiH money twice a day and hides i t under the bed i n an enormous trunk. The old man l i v e s i l l e g a l l y with Zhivoyedova, a woman who openly confesses that she has l i v e d i n s i n with him from the age of f i f t e e n . She does not need the old man. Nobody needs him a l i v e . He r e a l i z e s that everyone wants h i s fortune. His f i n a l t r i c k on the vultures i s to leave h i s wealth without any w i l l or any h e i r s . He even denies h i s own son, who at the f i n a l scene of the play becomes the h e i r to h i s fortune despite the machinations of the dishonest and ev&L Furnachov, Lobastov, and Zhivoyedova. 39 The above people plan to rob the old man and to cheat each other. Their attempts end i n defeat and shame. Old Bayev, discloses these deeds to the helpless son of the old Pazukhin, Prokofy Ivanovich Pazukhin. Prokofy i s the old man's son but he i s also a greedy beast of prey. Prokofy cannot wait u n t i l h i s father dies. He i s a f r a i d of h i s own son, G a v r i l l a , who also wants to obtain his grandfather's money. Prokofy i s 55 years old, constantly drunk, poorly dressed, and thinks only of h i s father's money. The only thing that makes him happy are his dreams about h i s father's gold. Prokofy i s married to a g i r l who married him with the hope that they might share h i s father's money. The old Pazukhin had refused to l e t h i s son marry the young g i r l , Mavra Grigoryevna. The son married without the father's permission and t h i s i s a reason f o r d i s i n h e r i t i n g him despite the fact he was i n h i s f i f t i e s when he married. Prokofy i s so desperate f o r the money that he enters into a conspiracy with the swindler, Lobastov. He promises that he w i l l force G a v r i l l a to marry Lobastov's old maid daughter, Yelena Lobastov. Lobastov wants to become a member of the family i n order to be e l i g i b l e f o r part of the money. Prokofy Pazukhin does not t r u s t Lobastov and conspires with Simyon Furnachov, hi s brother-in-law. He off e r s him . 150, 000 rubles i f they are successful i n obtaining the money. Furnachov, p u b l i c l y d i s c l o s e s the plot i n the presence of h i s father, the old Pazukhin. Prokofy Pazukhin i s a poor merchant with a poor shop. He i s incapable of running h i s own business, complains a great deal, and gets involved i n f o u l p l o t s . His son, G a v r i l l a , cannot stand h i s father or the l i f e he leads. He threatens h i s father with h i s f i s t and says; "What do you think? If you are my father, do you think I should even endure your e v i l ? " Prokofy's only reaction i s to complain about h i s unhappy l o t i n l i f e . Toward the end of the f i n a l act, Prokofy's p o s i t i o n suddenly improves. Old Bayev, outfoxes the swindlers who work so hard to obtain money that does not belong to them. He helps Prokofy i n h e r i t h i s father's money. Once Prokofy has the money, he forgives everyone, except h i s brother-in-law, Furnachov. Prokofy cannot forgive him f o r r i d i c u l i n g him before h i s dying father. In revenge Pazukhin, l e g a l l y r i d i c u l e s Furnachov a f t e r he catches him robbing h i s dead father. Prokofy promises to award everybody. He immediately r i s e s above his surroundings and f e e l i n g s of a f f e c t i o n appear i n h i s soul f o r h i s wife, Mavra. The two most f i e r c e beasts of prey are Furnachov and Lobastov. On f i r s t appearances these men seem completely d i f f e r e n t . In r e a l i t y they are s i m i l a r . They are both greedy, dishonest and i n c o r r i g i b l e l i a r s . Throughout the play, Furnachov acts a cultured, educated man who occupies himself by reading newspapers and t e l l i n g others the news. He l i k e s to show off h i s knowledge of p o l i t i c s and astronomy. He considers himself better than anyone around him. He t r i e s to show concern f o r the old Pazukhin by worrying about the old man's health. Everything about him i s a r t i f i c i a l and below the surface he i s a dangerous and d i r t y i n d i v i d u a l . He persuades the old man's mistress, Zhivoyedova, to help him i n h i s plot to take the old man's money. He promises to share the fortune with her but intends to cheat the stupid woman. He teaches her how to measure the keyhole of the old man's trunk f o r a new key. He forges a key and robs the old man as soon as he dies. He has great plans with the stolen money. He dreams of a cultured l i f e without h i s fr i e n d s . His plans are thwarted and the t h i e f i s r i d i c u l e d before the other beasts of prey. Lobastov i s the other prominent beast of prey. Lobastov t e l l s the old Pazukhin of Furnachov's plans to rob him. When Furnachov takes the money he i s surrounded by the other r e l a t i v e s who seize the money and take i t with them. Lobastov i s rude and v i c i o u s . He threatens Prokofy and does not hide the fac t he i s a f t e r Pazukhin's money. His main desir e i s to marry h i s daughter Elena to G a v r i l l a . He does not care about her happiness, he only wants money. A l l these characters serve to i l l u s t r a t e the rotteness of the old order. The Soviet c r i t i c s and censors demanded that the play be presented as a s o c i a l comment rather than a comedy s a t i r e . Stanislavsky presented the play before the Revolution of 1917 and continued to regard t h i s play as one of h i s favourites. The Moscow Art Theater has continued to place t h i s play as a favou r i t e stand by i n t h e i r r e p e r t o i r e because of Turchanov's famous presentation. The Enemies Maxim Gorky was probably one of Russia's greatest writers of revolutionary themes. One of h i s f i r s t revolutionary plays was The  Enemies. This drama was forbidden by the T s a r i s t censorship and was not staged u n t i l 1933, when the Moscow Art Theater decided to present i t . The plot of The Enemies revolves around a s t r i k e , complicated by the murder of a factory d i r e c t o r . According to the rules of the old regime, workers were forbidden to s t r i k e . S t r i k e r s were conscripted in t o the Imperial army while t h e i r homes were searched f o r propaganda l i t e r a t u r e and confiscated. The murder incident further complicates the p l i g h t of the s t r i k e r s . They cannot be t r i e d by a l o c a l judge and receive a f a i r t r i a l . The army held the r e b e l l i o u s s t r i k e r s i n check while the p o l i c e t r i e d to round up the murderer. The army captain Boboyedov, and the prosecuting attorney, N i k o l a i Skrobotov, bring out the play's action through t h e i r opposition to the s t r i k e r s . The action takes place i n the early years of the 20th century when socialism was a dangerous and forbidden thing. The word was pronounced s e c r e t l y on the l i p s of students and workers. One of the workers, Levshin, has more i n common with Lev T o l s t o i , than the theories of Marx. The r u l i n g middle cl a s s i n d u s t r i a l i s t s hated the s t r i k e s and had them put down with t e r r i b l e c r uelty or they would u n w i l l i n g l y make compromises, on the grounds of humanism. They could not see the workers demands to be s o c i a l l y and economically equal. 43 The extreme conservative and l i b e r a l points of view are shown against the background of hardships f o r a decadent i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . One of the characters i n the play i s Mikhail Skrobotov, the d i r e c t o r of the factory. He holds the workers i n the palms of h i s hands and t r e a t s them c r u e l l y . His partner, Zakhar Bardin, i s a l i b e r a l and cool toward the working man. He denies the conservative ideas of Skrobotov although he p a r t i c u l a r l y does not l i k e the working c l a s s . Mikhail Skrobotov gives many examples of h i s hatred and s p i t e of the working people. In the beginning of the play he says: "And down at the factory they're threatening to quit work a f t e r lunch! You can be sure that no good w i l l ever come of Russia, and that's a f a c t . I t ' s a land of anarchy! People have an organic disgust f o r any kind of work and a complete i n a b i l i t y to maintain order. There's not the s l i g h t e s t respect f o r law!" He i s concerned only with business, not j u s t i c e . The workers are s t r i k i n g because they want to have Dichkov, the foreman, removed. He goes about beating the workers with h i s f i s t s and chasing the women. Mikhail Skrobotov had to carry a revolver at a l l times. He i s f i n a l l y k i l l e d by t h i s same revolver. When he t r i e s to cheat the workers he i s k i l l e d by a red-headed man. This i s symbolic. Mikhail i s an excellent example of the love f o r power i n action. Tatyana, the wife of Yakov Bardin, gives h i s character i n the following words: "He reminds me of a policeman who often used to be on duty i n our theater i n Kstorma: t a l l and t h i n with bulging eyes.... This policeman too, was always i n a hurry. He never walked; he ran. He never smoked; he gobbled up c i g a r e t t e s . He had no time to l i v e at a l l . A l l h i s time was taken up by rushing somewhere, but not even he knew where." 44 In other words, the man's energy was misdirected. He was qjfite prepared to send f o r troops long before any s t r i k e even started. He says: " I t i s wonderful to f e e l that you get what you want." He was a true representative of the r i c h , callous, i n d u s t r i a l middle c l a s s . Zakhar Bardin i s h i s partner and owner of the factory. He sums himself up i n these words: "You know I am more a pomeshchik (land owner) than an i n d u s t r i a l i s t . Everything i s new and complicated f o r me. I want to be righteous. The peasants are more soft and kind than the workers, and I can get along w e l l with them. Among the workers there are many curious figures, but i n the mass, I agree they are very uncontrollable." Zakhar wanted to f i r e Ditchkov but Mikhail Skrobotov needed a cr u e l man to control the workers. Zakhar does not want revenge on the murderer. He wants only a f a i r t r i a l f o r him. He does not want the so l d i e r s to come and cause a tragedy. He wants to do something good and quiet. He thought that the decent l i f e was possible but the workers were suspicious of a r i c h man sympathetic with t h e i r cause. He i s a t y p i c a l representative of the old l i b e r a l land owner who philosophized h i s problems away. Tatyana i s the wife of Zakhar's brother, Yakov Ivanovich Bardin. She i s a good actress and a good wife. Throughout the play she uses t h e a t r i c a l metaphors which openly hint at the forthcoming revolution. She i s a s e n s i t i v e woman i n whom are combined physical attractiveness and mental c a p a b i l i t y . N i k o l a i Skrobotov says to her; "Everyone complains that the play i s boring. She r e p l i e s : 45 "We ourselves make i t so, and the extras and the stage hands are beginning to see i t . Some day t h e y ' l l d r ive us o f f the boards." This i s how she describes the a r t i s t r o c r a t i c l i f e and the impending storm. She gives many remarks on the superfluous, useless l i f e of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a of her times. She says of h e r s e l f : "I want a d i f f e r e n t kind of l i f e . . . I don't want to be superfluous." N i k o l a i Skrobotov i s the brother of Mikhail Skrobotov. N i k o l a i i s a cold, hard prosecuting attorney. He says: "I am a man of p r i n c i p l e , not a man of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . " He says that every man must s t i c k to a d e f i n i t e set of p r i n c i p l e s i n order to r e t a i n h i s culture. He i s a f r a i d of socialism and reports a l l suspicious people to the po l i c e . He watches everybody around him l i k e a hawk. He i s a true representative of the Pobedonostev period. He i n h e r i t s the factory a f t e r h i s brother's death. He has no feeli n g s toward h i s loss of a brother. He i s just as cold as he was. N i c o l a i Skrobotov says: "What can these people contribute? Nothing but destruction. And note that the destruction w i l l be more f e a r f u l here, among us, than anywhere e l s e . " At l a s t he says that a l l decent people seem to be s o c i a l i s t s . Mikhail Skrobotov's wife Cleopatra i s also cold and heartless. Her name i s symbolic of her many secret a f f a i r s and s i n s . She symbolizes the sins of the old regime. One of the most important heroes i n the play i s Sintsov. He i s one of Zakhar Bardin's c l e r k s . He organizes the workers. Sintsov-i s a decent man, i n t e l l i g e n t , e f f e c t i v e , and a p o s i t i v e hero. He l i k e s Tatyana and f e e l s that there i s a future f o r her, f o r she understands the poor working c l a s s . Sintsov c l o s e l y resembles Gorky and h i s philosophy. There are many revolutionaries i n the play. One of them i s old Levshin. He has observed the i n d u s t r i a l growth of a small v i l l a g e . The old man loves people and possesses Lev T o l s t o i ' s philosophy. He can see no reason to burn the factory that the hands of his predecessors had made. He i s a m a t e r i a l i s t and hopes that the workers' l i f e w i l l improve. He has h i s own pecu l i a r theories: "Everything human c a r r i e s the t a i n t of copper, miss. That's why your young heart i s heavy. A l l people are chained to a copper kopek-all but you, and so you don't f i t i n . To every man on t h i s earth the kopek j i n g l e s i t s message: 'Love me as you love yourself.' But that doesn't mean you. A b i r d neither sows nor reaps." The average worker i s represented by Grekov, a young man who saved some r i c h ladies from possible assault by drunken workers. He i s proud and refuses to accept money from the General f o r h i s services. This i n s u l t s the old General. Grekov i s proud of h i s poor or i g i n s and says that the r i c h w i l l never understand the poor. This young man symbolizes the future r e a l i s t movement. Captain Boboyedov i s a representative of the m i l i t a r y c l a s s . Gorky i s quick to s a t i r i z e the harsh cavalry captain. He says: "Everything i s found, we s h a l l f i n d , don't you worry...It i s the duty of every s o l d i e r to entertain society...Only c h i l d r e n and revolutionaries don't understand the law." He crashes through l i f e making mistake a f t e r mistake. He resembles 47 General Pechenegov, the uncle of Zakhar Bardin. The General also belongs to the same m i l i t a r y stamp and i n s i s t s on commanding the people around him and making jokes to r i d i c u l e them. Both m i l i t a r y men are superfluous but are capable of making people s u f f e r and die. Yakov Ivanovich Bardin i s one of the most complete characters that Gorky ever portrayed. He i s always drunk. He i s a representative of a dying decadent i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . Despite h i s perpetual drunkeness he c l e a r l y predicts the re s u l t s of the Revolution of 1917. He loves hi s actress wife, Tatyana, but the drunkeness separates them. He has a f r i e n d l y wit that captures the workers. They are fond of him. He gies some wonderful comments on h i s contemporary society: "....People are divided into three categories: the f i r s t consists of those who work a l l t h e i r l i v e s , the second of those who save money, the t h i r d of those who refuse to earn t h e i r bread because there's no sense i n i t , and can't save money because i t ' s f o o l i s h and beneath them. That's me -the t h i r d category. To t h i s category belong a l l the lazy l o a f e r s , the tramps, monks, beggars and other parasites of t h i s world." He can match anybody's wit. He i s d e f i n i t e l y a Isuperior mind. He comments to h i s wife Tatyana, the actress: "Talented drunkards, handsome loaf e r s and other members of the j o l l y professions have ceased to a t t r a c t attention. As long as we offered a contrast to the boredom of everyday v..--:. l i f e , people took an i n t e r e s t i n us. But now everyday l i f e i s becoming more and more dramatic. And people are shouting at us: 'Hey, you clowns and comedians! Off the stage!' But the stage i s your f i e l d , Tanya." F i n a l l y the audience i s introduced to a warm, happy, and aimable character i n the -.person of Nadya. She i s Zakhar Bardin's niece. The world s i t u a t i o n does not bother her. She has a f i n e heart and loves the poor people. She i s bored by the old order and f e e l s that the r i c h w i l l never understand or t o l e r a t e the poor. She symbolizes the end of the r i c h classes. The cu r t a i n i s c l o s i n g on t h e i r act. The revolutionaries are quiet. They are v i c t o r i o u s . They believe i n t h e i r future and the cu r t a i n f a l l s . The Moscow Art Theater gave the l i f e of pre-Revolutionary Russia i n the worst possible l i g h t i n The Enemies. In 1935, i t was staged and directed by Nemirovich-Danchenko. He f e l t that the message should be the pathos of the class struggle and the c o n f l i c t between two i r r e c o n c i l a b l e forces - the masters and the workers. He had M.N. Prudkin play the part of Mikhail Skrobotov. The character was to be shown with a "maximum of hatred f o r the working c l a s s . " Sinstsov, Levshin, and Nadya are the members of a revolutionary underground. They are the shining heroes who r e f l e c t the image of S t a l i n himself. Nemirovich-Danchenko was instrumental i n bringing the communist " s o c i a l command" to the Moscow Art Theater. He was opposed to one of Stanislavsky's basic p r i n c i p l e s - one ought to seek good even i n the worst characters. CHAPTER III Adapted Russian C l a s s i c s on the Stage of the Moscow Art Theater Between 1927 and 1939 the Moscow Art Theater staged thirty-two premieres. .Of these, f i f t e e n were c l a s s i c a l plays. The most outstanding of these plays were Dostoevsky's Uncle's Dream, V i l l a g e of Stepanchikovo, Brother's Karamazov, T o l s t o i ' s Resurrection, Anna Karenina, and Gorki's My Apprenticeship. Uncle's Dream In 1929, Nemirovich-Danchenko staged Dostoevsky's famous short novel, Uncle's Dream. The play i s an involved t a l e of intrigue, i n which a p r o v i n c i a l lady, Marya Alexandrovna t r i e s to marry off her proud daughter to a decrepit old man, Prince K. The Prince was only i n the town of Mordasov three days. During t h i s time Marya Alexandrovna i s involved i n constant scheming which ends i n a t e r r i b l e scandal. Her daughter, Zinaida Afanasyevna, i s forced to give up the man she r e a l l y loves. In r e p r i s a l f o r t h i s f r u s t r a t i o n , she rebels against her mother and assumes a t y r a n n i c a l power over the en t i r e household. Her nature i s proud, r e s e n t f u l and s e n s i t i v e . Zinaida i s also capable at times of a strong warmth and generosity. With t h i s d u a l i s t i c nature she i s thus, the f i r s t example of the double heroine i n Dostoevsky's l i t e r a r y works. The most s t r i k i n g q u a l i t y of the comedy l i e s i n the wonderful humor of unexpected incident which Dostoevsky was r i c h l y endowed with i n h i s e a r l i e r creations. In the novel, Prince K. has a t e r r i b l e dream i n which the inhabitants of Mordasov appear as grotesque, narrow-minded people. The adaptation of the novel, as presented by the Moscow Art Theater, showed a ruthless s a t i r e on the l i v e s of those who l i v e d i n pre-Revolutionary Russia. The prince was presented as a foppish i d i o t whose mechanical motions made him appear as a puppet. He represented the s p i r i t u a l and physical s e n i l i t y of the old Russian a r i s t o c r a c y . Indeed, the e n t i r e play smells of a strong mental and physical decay. The grotesque beggars who constantly surround him, waiting f o r him to toss them a ruble, appear as superfluous and p a r a s i t i c a l . The play was nothing more than a s a t i r i c a l exhibit of t s a r i s t Russia. The message was simple: these repulsive monsters had once ruled the destiny of Russia and t h e i r e x t i n c t i o n was absolutely necessary f o r the growth of a new society. The V i l l a g e of Stepanchikovo The Moscow Art Theater had chosen Dostoevsky's short novels as excellent subjects f o r adapted plays before the Revolution of 1917. From 1916 to 1918 the Theater had presented the f i n e s t of Dostoevsky's e a r l i e s t works, The V i l l a g e of Stepanchikovo. This adaptation of an excellent novel, describes i n almost excruciating d e t a i l the s u f f e r i n g endured by a sensitive, meek-spirited landowner, Colonel Rostanev. His t y r a n n i c a l mother i s responsible f o r h i s unnecessary s u f f e r i n g . She considers i t her son's duty to support her i n a l l her luxuries: toadies, pug-dogs, Pomeranians, Chinese cats, 51 and so on. Apart from these luxuries, "Madame l a Generale", so-named because she had married a general, kept a male companion, Foma Fomich Opiskin. She i s abetted i n her.tyranny by t h i s companion who i s a hypocrite and despot. Opiskin i s a r i c h l y conceived character. He i s worthy of ranking with the great hypocrites and parasties of world l i t e r a t u r e . Opiskin has f o r many years, sustained a lack of recognition from others. He was forced by a t y r a n n i c a l old general to play the part of a buffoon. He assumes t h i s r o l e to perfection but on the death of the general, he seeks v i n d i c t i v e revenge and becomes a s a d i s t i c tyrant himself. In the end of the play, he goes too f a r . His insinuations concerning the chas t i t y of a pure young g i r l bring the landowner to drive him from the house i n which he has l i v e d as a tyr a n n i c a l parasite. F i n a l l y , before the cu r t a i n f a l l s , he i s forgiven f o r h i s s i n s . He i s now thoroughly chastened and becomes a mere shadow of h i s former t y r a n n i c a l s e l f . The r i s e and f a l l of t h i s character i s the main d r i v i n g force behind a plot of many incidents and characters. This adapted play i s most s i g n i f i c a n t i n the h i s t o r y of Russian theater. In 1891, seven years before the founding of the Moscow Art Theater, Stanislavsky had staged t h i s play and played the r o l e of the uncle. For the f i r s t time i n his acting career, he experienced the boundless joy of blending himself with h i s r o l e . In other words, he brought the r o l e to l i f e and made i t s l i f e , h i s own. This f e e l i n g of accomplishment and p a r t i c i p a t i o n , made him wonder i f the t h r i l l he had experienced could be created f o r every r o l e with the a i d of c e r t a i n devices of i n t e r n a l technique. Could the genuine experience of a character's r o l e become a permanent f e e l i n g f o r the actor. This r o l e was the source of Stanislavsky's unending searches which p a r t i a l l y culminated i n h i s book, An Actor Prepares. In the seasons before the C i v i l War that followed the Revolution of 1917, Stanislavsky had the opportunity of experimenting with the inner technique of an actor which gave the Moscow Art Theater the a b i l i t y to blend the actor with the role, and to s t a b i l i z e the r o l e . The world owes the r e s u l t s of Stanislavsky's awakening to the r i c h l y conceived characters of Dostoevsky's novels. Resurrection In 1930, Nemirovich-Danchenko staged an adaption of Count Leo Tolstoy's Resurrect ion. The presentation was praised by Soviet c r i t i c s and condemned by western c r i t i c s who saw i t as a perversion of Tolstoy's c r e a t i v e genius. The presentation of Resurrection thus occupies a c o n t r o v e r s i a l p o s i t i o n i n the world of t h e a t r i c a l c r i t i c i s m . In order to understand the source of the controversy, a short explanation of the novel's o r i g i n a l plot and action i s required. The most developed of the p r i n c i p a l characters are Prince Dmitri Ivanovich Nekhludov, and Katerina Mikhailovna Maslova whose name i s abbreviated to Katusha. Nekhludov i s a gentleman. At a t r i a l i n which he i s serving as a juror, he i s astonished to f i n d that the the defendant i s the f a l s e l y accused Katusha, whom he had seduced i n the past. The judge sentences Katusha to hard labour i n S i b e r i a . Nekhludov r e a l i z e s that he has driven her into t h i s h o r r i b l e existence. His p i t y f o r her leads him into a period of self-examination. He emerges from t h i s mental exercise r e a l i z i n g that h i s l i f e i s empty and degenerate. He f e e l s an intense need to cleanse h i s soul. He decides to follow Katusha to S i b e r i a and marry her. He f e e l s himself purged when her sentence i s lightened to e x i l e . She, however, decides to l i v e with the man who loves her, Valdemar Simonson. Katusha i s an i l l i g i t i m a t e g i r l . She was seduced at the age of sixteen by Prince Nekhludov. As a res u l t , she becomes a p r o s t i t u t e and l a t e r i s f a l s e l y accused of complicity i n a murder. At the t r i a l she i s recognized by Nekhludov. Her appearance i s the device that t r i g g e r s h i s remorse. The Prince t r i e s to have her sentence commuted to e x i l e and succeeds. The twist of f a t e comes when she decides to marry Valdemar Simonson, rather than jeopardize her benefactor's happiness by h i s marriage to a woman l i k e h e r s e l f . There are many other i n t e r e s t i n g characters.who support Nekhludov and Katusha's r o l e . Probably the most i n t e r e s t i n g of these i s Selenin, a public prosecutor and an old f r i e n d of the Prince. Fundamentally, Selenin i s an i n t e l l i g e n t , honest man, but he has come to the place i n h i s l i f e where he makes society's standards h i s own. The Moscow Art Theater's adaptation and presentation was removed from the plot of the novel. The novel presents a cascade of r e l i g i o u s themes along with the reve l a t i o n of Tolstoy's own s p i r i t u a l and moral p u r i f i c a t i o n . These primary subjects were missing from the production. Instead, the Communist point of view and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Tolstoy was applied. Tolstoy's novel was presented as a book that m e r c i l e s s l y lashed the r u l i n g classes. The decadence and falseness of t s a r i s t society was revealed. Nemirovich-Danchenko had changed the venerable philosopher i n t o a vulgar Party s o c i o l o g i s t . Nekhludov i s stripped of h i s p o s i t i v e t r a i t s and Katusha's inner r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s completely absent. In place of character revelation, the ruthlessness oS- t s a r i s t courts appears as the main i n t e r e s t . Each member of the jury represents a s a t i r i c a l presentation of the banal, c y n i c a l , and despondent l i f e under the t s a r s . Nekhludov occupies himself with " s e l f c r i t i c i s m " i n the approved Party manner. The staging devices were used to portray the enormous contrast between r i c h and poor. The poor and desolate Russian countryside i s compared with the decadent luxury of Countess Charskaya's s i n f u l salon. The play was narrated by Kachalov who caused the play to be a success. His r o l e was to consolidate the various scenes and lead the audience through a t e r r i b l e h e l l that had been swept away By the force of the Revolution. There was no narrator i n the o r i g i n a l novel and Tolstoy did not intend to portray the squalor and decadence of the Russian peasants. The play was not presented as a profound tragedy of the human 55 s p i r i t . I t became a propaganda play exposing " t s a r i s t j u s t i c e " and the t e r r i b l e lack of morals i n t s a r i s t Russia. The great d i r e c t o r , Nemirovich-Danchenko, has succeeded i n es t a b l i s h i n g a p o l i c y of f a l s i f i c a t i o n of the great c l a s s i c s . The system of "physical actions" and "inner p o r t r a y a l " that Stanislavsky had worked so hard for, was subjugated and betrayed to Party commands. Anna Karenina In 1937, Nemirovich-Danchenko presented an adaptation of Tolstoy's great novel, Anna Karenina. This profound story became a melodramatic s o c i a l tragedy. In order to j u s t i f y t h i s accusation i t i s necessary to compare the o r i g i n a l novel with the Theater's presentation i n 1937. The Novel contains many i n t e r e s t i n g and well-developed characters. The p r i n c i p a l characters are Anna Karenina, Count Alexey Vronsky, and Al e x e i Karenin. Anna Karenina i s A l e x e i Karenin 1s wife. As a wife she i s be a u t i f u l but wayward. She meets the handsome o f f i c e r , Count Vronsky and f a l l s completely i n love with him. She f u l l y r e a l i z e s the consequences of her act of i n f i d e l i t y . In s p i t e of her love for her c h i l d , Sergey, she cannot give up Vronsky. She becomes estranged from her husband. This unhappy woman, who was once so generous and respected, has an i l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d and runs off with Vronsky. When his love wanes she commits s u i c i d e by throwing h e r s e l f into the path of an oncoming railway t r a i n . Count Alexey Vronsky i s a wealthy army o f f i c e r who eagerly returns Anna's love. He i s not a bad man. In fact, he i s a thoughtful and generous man i n many ways. He proves t h i s by g i v i n g part of h i s inheritance to h i s brother. He thinks nothing, however, of taking Anna away from her husband and son. Actually, t h i s behaviour i s part of h i s code of ethics which includes the patronization of h i s i n f e r i o r s . When Anna dies he becomes a gloomy seeker of painless death. Alex e i Karenin i s a public servant. He i s a cold-blooded and ambitious man whose main desire i s to r i s e to the heights of the government service. He seems to be incapable of jealousy or love. He loves himself, however, and permits Anna to see Vronsky away from home. He i s a f r a i d only that h i s reputation w i l l be blemished by h i s wife's i n f i d e l i t y . In s p i t e of t h i s obvious cold temperament, he i s a good o f f i c i a l who knows how to circumnavigate the red tape and bureaucratic i n e f f i c i e n c y . In the Moscow Art Theater's presentation of Tolstoy's great novel, Anna's tremendous passion i s contrasted with the h y p o c r i t i c a l morality of a decadent t s a r i s t society. Her passion becomes a natural freedom r e s i s t i n g the slavery of her society. The Theater presented the play i n t h i r t y - t h r e e scenes. The revelation of Anna's character was o r i g i n a l l y l e i s u r e l y and profound. This depth i s l o s t i n the abbreviated scenes. Tolstoy's basic b e l i e f that "vengeance i s the Lord's" i s replaced by a picture of a repulsive a r i s t o c r a c y i n the control of the e v i l monster, Karenin. Karenin i s the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of a ruthless and rotten bureaucracy and Anna i s the v i c t i m of t h i s 57 t e r r i b l e machine. Khmelev played the part of Karenin so sympathetically that he won the hearts of Soviet spectators and increased t h e i r admiration of Tolstoy's characters. The f i n a l blow to Tolstoy's genius comes when Anna i s portrayed as the incarnation of a sincere and simple g i r l with a pure and honest nature. She has tasted the sweetness of s o c i a l t r u t h and can no longer r e c o n c i l e h e r s e l f to the despicable hypocrisy and e v i l that permeated a l l of Russian society. My Apprenticeship One of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of w r i t i n g a thesis i n E n g l i s h when the discussion revolves around Russian writings, i s that t r a n s l a t i o n of t i t l e s i s not always accurate. My Apprenticeship, or Among People as i t i s c a l l e d i n Russian, i s part of a t r i l o g y w r itten by Gorky. The t r i l o g y consists of Childhood, My Apprenticeship or Among People, and My U n i v e r s i t i e s . These three volumes are a somewhat romantic and poetic autobiography. Since Gorky was seen as a prophet and embodiment of communism i t i s natural that h i s writings should become part of the re p e r t o i r e of the Moscow Art Theater. Gorky had been a f r i e n d of the Theater long before the Revolution. When Chekhov was making his appearance on the stage of the Theater, Gorky was i n the wings. Chekhov's plays had given the Theater the t i t l e of "House of Chekhov." More than a deeade a f t e r the Revolution, the Moscow Art Theater became the "House of Gorky." The great a r t i s t of the p r o l e t a r i a t , and leader i n Soviet l i t e r a t u r e , was the symbol of the Theater's acceptance of 58 the Communist message and i t s p o l i t i c a l presentation. A l l of Gorky's characters characterize pre-Revolutionary Russia. Gorky was an i d e a l w r i t e r to be immortalized i n propaganda plays. S o c i a l messages seem t r u t h f u l when given i n Gorky's pithy language, craftmanship and strong c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t s . A l l of t h i s i s fine, with fthe exception that Gorky did not intend his t r i l o g y as propaganda plays welcoming the a r r i v a l of m i l i t a n t communism. In 1933, The Moscow Art Theater, produced My Apprenticeship under the d i r e c t i o n of M.N. Kedrov. The adaptation was excellent i n that a l l the events lent themselves e a s i l y to scene constructions. Gorky's writings on unity were added to the Moscow Art Theater's p r i n c i p l e s of acting. The second part of Gorky's autobiography i s My Apprent iceship. The play i s a picture g a l l e r y of loosely assembled events with no ce n t r a l grandmother as i n Childhood. A f t e r leaving h i s grandfather's home, Gorky held a series of jobs. He was an errand boy i n a shoe store inhabited by simple, d i r t y people. Later he becomes a dishwasher aboard a steamer on the Volga. He leaves the ship and becomes a general helper i n a draftsman's establishment where he i s i n i t i a t e d into a l l the c r u e l and hideous facets of family l i f e . He leaves the shop and becomes a kitchen boy on another ship and then an assistant i n an icon maker's shop. Here he has an opportunity to show the hypocrisy of the society he serves. Much l a t e r , Gorky becomes a supervisor on construction projects at the great annual f a i r i n Nizhni-Novgorod. A l l of these events take place before the autumn of 1884 when at the age of sixteen, he leaves h i s apprenticeship behind him and goes to Kazan hoping to enter the u n i v e r s i t y there. These records of h i s t r i a l s and t r i b u l a t i o n s are a l l borne along by h i s intense c u r i o s i t y to learn more about his world. In each phase of h i s apprenticeship some character comes out who i s i n t e r e s t i n g and y i e l d s some knowledge f o r him. In many of the scenes or episodes, Gorky meets people who arouse h i s in t e r e s t i n books. He learns about Russia's Pushkin from Queen Margot, an unforgettable character, and becomes f a m i l i a r with Balzac. The senseless struggle between those who know and want to suppress knowledge and those who do not know and want to b e l i t t l e learning plus h i s varied b i t s and pieces of philosophy, compel him to take h i s journey to Kazan. The main reason f o r the presentation of My Apprenticeship by the Moscow Art Theater was to give the Communist treatment of pre-Revolutionary Russia. The Party p a r t i a l i t y i n depicting ancient Russia i s quite obvious. Semenov, the baker of Kazan i s portrayed as a f i n e example of the abuses of private property owners who were masters over t h e i r slaves - the p r o l e a t a r i a t . It i s true that Gorky was merciless with these e v i l men of Old Russia, but he did not interpret them as "class enemies." The very fact that Gorky was c r i t i c a l of the old system of "slaves and masters" provided excellent s o i l f o r propaganda. It also revived the Theater's discarded method of presentation - "external 60 t r u t h - t o - l i f e . " The Communist regime decided to support f u l l y the "House of Gorky" arid to canonize the Stanislavsky system. Some of Gorky's p r i n c i p l e s of acting had a c t u a l l y been incorporated by the Moscow Art Theater. The Moscow Art Theater with i t s excellent actors had the a b i l i t y to influence the e n t i r e population. The external naturalism of the great Theater was, by 1933, a device f o r creating a powerful i l l u s i o n that made the promises and tenets of Communism more and more palatable. When Gorky's plays were revived i n 1933, the Party entered the stage, occupied i t , and since then, has not l e f t . 61 CHAPTER IV West European C l a s s i c s on the Stage of the Moscow Art Theater In 1918 the Moscow Art Theater chose to produce Lord Byron's mystery play, Cain. Some c r i t i c s believe that Cain, with i t s story of f r a t r i c i d e was used to protest the f r a t r i c i d a l war that the Revolution of 1917 had unleashed. The play was severely c r i t i c i z e d by the Soviet c r i t i c s and was soon taken o f f the repertoire. Despite the fact that a western play had been taken o ff the boards, a trend toward the presentation of western c l a s s i c a l plays was established. Some of these notable presentations were Goldoni's Mistress of the Inn, Beaumarchais's Marriage of Figaro, an adaptation of Dickens's characters i n The  Pickwick Club, Moliere's Tartuffe, and f i n a l l y , Sheridan's School f o r  Scandal. Cain It i s natural that one of England's greatest rebel poets should create a drama of Cain, one of the e a r l i e s t rebels. Byron c a l l e d h i s drama a "mystery." He shows the son of Adam wondering why he must work because of another's f a u l t . He questions himself and then L u c i f e r . Cain must know what are God's purposes and arrangements of the world. Cain, i n a s p i r i t of complete revulsion, k i l l s h i s brother, Abel, because of h i s unthinking piety. Cain regrets h i s deed and goes into e x i l e with h i s s i s t e r Adah and t h e i r l i t t l e son, Enos. One scene depicts the gateway to the Garden of Eden, another 62 depicts a great f l i g h t through space toward H e l l as L u c i f e r disputes with the Angel of the Lord. This boldness and conception of a great drama with i t s r e l i g i o u s challenge has been the main reason why the play was never permitted to be produced i n England. Gain as a play i s nothing without the powerful tremor of Byron's verse and the conception of a rebel hero. L u c i f e r describes several r e s t r i c t i o n s placed upon the world before the creation of man. He says that there were beings on Earth long before Adam. These beings were more i n t e l l i g e n t than man and the Lord destroyed them a l l , except L u c i f e r whom he could not destroy. L u c i f e r i s a rebel himself, constantly defying the greater power. Cain i s above L u c i f e r because he i s pictured as the f i r s t thinking man and progenitor of a l l sadness from thinking. He precedes Job by thousands of years. Cain i s the questioner, brooding over the basic elemental e v i l s of the world. U n t i l Cain's questions are answered the play w i l l always have meaning to any generation and transmit i s tremendous message. Cain contained some of the new aims the Moscow Art Theater was to give to Russian theater. Here, as i n Anathema, Stanislavsky experimented with unreal forms. He posed questions on the s c u l p t u r a l method as applied to the a r c h i t e c t u r a l elements on stage. He f e l t that the e n t i r e action of the drama must dissolv e and re-appear i n a constant rhythm. The scene depicting H e l l , shows great statues of former beings scattered around i n a dim haze. Every f i g u r e was separately illuminated i n an eery l i g h t . The main lesson to be learned from t h i s presentation 63 was that sculpture and archit e c t u r e are a great aid to the actor's a t t i t u d e . The sc u l p t u r a l method opened an e n t i r e l y new era i n acting. Stanislavsky began to examine the speech, motion,, and rhythmic l i f e of the actors on the stage of the Moscow Art Theater. The Mistress of the Inn Goldoni wrote well over 200 plays i n I t a l i a n and i n French. Goldoni possessed a good, gay, sunny d i s p o s i t i o n which i s r e f l e c t e d i n h i s plays with t h e i r shade and shine of common l i f e . These q u a l i t i e s together with the pleasures and p r o f i t s of innkeeping are d e l i g h t f u l l y presented i n The Mistress of the Inn. The play t e l l s the story of the pretty, merry, and independent young Mirandolina, who i s wooed mainly f o r her wealth (she inh e r i t e d her father's inn). She i s wooed by the niggardly old Marquis de F o r l i p o p o l i and the eccentric Count de A l b a f o r i t a . Mirandola decides to tease the woman-hating Cavalier, the Black Knight of Ri p a f r a t t a . She wins the Count over slowly by ent i c i n g him with good food and f l a t t e r y . When he f a l l s f o r her, she immediately dispenses with him and decides to marry Fa b r i z i o , whom her dying father commanded her to marry i n the f i r s t place. Mirandolina knows that the only way she can have freedom i s to marry and look a f t e r a home. The comedy i s highlighted by the actions of two: actresses, Ortensia and Djaneira who a r r i v e at the inn. They put on a i r s as ladies of high bearing and q u a l i t y . At the s l i g h t e s t provocation 6 4 they are women of the evening, vulgar and crude. Mirandolina sees through t h e i r veneers and provides the opportunity f o r them to appear i n a l l t h e i r hearty, lusty, v u l g a r i t y . While a l l the fun and s a t i r e progresses through-out the play, Mirandolina s t u f f s her guests with food and f i l l s her money box with p r o f i t s . Goldoni saw his characters as dynamic and l i v i n g . Men could fashion t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s through t h e i r own w i l l power. This idea lends a powerful vigor to his figures and a v i t a l i t y that the Moscow Art Theater could work with. There are plenty of sit u a t i o n s where the characters can be f u l l y developed. Stanislavsky f i r s t produced the play December 2, 1898, a f t e r the founding of the Moscow Art Theater. He presented i t i n New York i n 1923. When he produced the play i n 1933, the c r i t i c s declared h i s presentation as f a l s e and unwarranted because i t did not portray the struggle of the I t a l i a n middle class against the a r i s t o c r a t s , and the n o b i l i t y with a l l t h e i r e v i l s . Goldoni was the father of the f r i e n d l y comedy of manners f o r the I t a l i a n theater of the 1750's. His play i s o r i g i n a l i n mood but i t s manner i s based on the work of Moliere. The Marriage of Figaro In 1927, the great event i n the Moscow Art Theater was Stanislavsky's staging of Beaumarchais*s, The Marriage of Figaro. The famous Figaro i n The Barber of S e v i l l e , becomes the center of i n t r i g u e i n t h i s play, The Marriage of Figaro. Count Almaviva has married Rosine but covets Figaro's fiancee, Susanne. The count t r i e s to push Figaro i n t o the arms of h i s aging housekeeper, Marceline. A rendezvous i s planned f o r the Count and Susanne, but Rosine intends to be there. Misunderstandings and surprises ensue. Marceline turns out to be Figaro's mother and the play ends happily. Figaro i s used by Beaumarchais to s a t i r i z e the abuses of the times, i n the s p i r i t of the impending French Revolution. As a servant, he i s superior to h i s master, the Count, except i n s o c i a l status. Figaro's courage and comic sense are the f o i l s to an order that was r i p e f o r overthrow. Stanislavsky considered the play as a comedy. He transferred the action to France on the eve of 1789. He used h i s famous crowd scenes to heighten the suspense. A l l the scenery, f u r n i t u r e , etc., were r e a l i s t i c depictions of the time. The play was o r i g i n a l l y a f i v e act comedy but i t was now divided i n t o twelve scenes situated on a revolving stage. Stanislavsky replaced the stereotyped characters with warm, true to l i f e characters. In t h i s play he introduced f o r the f i r s t time, new devices f o r the inner technique of acting. E x t e r i o r actions required an inner j u s t i f i c a t i o n . These experiments would soon culminate i n h i s method of "physical actions." The c r i t i c s f e l t that Figaro should have been portrayed as a Communist, waging a war against the class enemies. They forgot that the play exhibited a national character f i l l e d with a democratic s p i r i t . The play had a revolutionary q u a l i t y , but i t did not serve the needs of the Party. 66 The Pickwick Club In 1934, the Moscow Art Theater produced an adaptation from Dickens' Pickwick Papers. The adaptation was named The Pickwick Club. I t revealed the warmth of human hearts and did not show any s o c i a l messages or contain any revolutionary content. The Theater was severely c r i t i c i z e d f o r not revealing the moral chaos of the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution. This adapted play i s right i n the stream of West-European presentations since The  Mistress of the Inn had been shown only a year previous. One of the main characters i n the play i s Mr. Samuel Pickwick. He i s a stout, amiable founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. He i s an observer of human nature, a lover of good food and drink, and an excellent t r a v e l l i n g companion. He t r a v e l s about the countryside with his friends, accepting i n v i t a t i o n s from l o c a l d i g n i t a r i e s . He pursues Mr. A l f r e d J i n g l e , and t r i e s to thwart him i n h i s d e v i l i s h schemes. The height of Mr. Pickwick's development comes when he a r r i v e s at the Fleet Street Prison, where he observes human s u f f e r i n g and learns to f o r g i v e h i s enemies. Mr. Nathaniel Winkle i s a sportsman, inept and human. He finds himself involved i n hunting misfiortunes, romances, and duels. F i n a l l y , he marries A r a b e l l a A l l e n , h i s true love. Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, i s the poetic member of the Pickwick Club. He keeps extensive notes but never writes any verses. Eventually he wins h i s sweetheart Emily Wardle a f t e r many v i s i t s to Manor Farm. There are many other characters. No d e s c r i p t i o n however would be complete without including Mrs. Martha Bardell, Mr. Pickwick's landlady. 67 He consults with her as to the a d v i s a b i l i t y of taking a servant. She mistakes t h i s f o r a marriage proposal and accepts him, much to h i s dismay. This misunderstanding leads to the famous breach of promise s u i t of Bardell vs. Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick refuses to pay damages and i s sent to Fleet Street Prison. Mrs. Bardell's attorneys, unable to c o l l e c t t h e i r fees, have her arrested and sent to Fleet Street Prison. Her desperate p l i g h t arouses Mr. Pickwick's p i t y and he pays f o r the damages i n order to have her released and to free himself and Mr. Winkle, who had eloped with h i s love, A r a b e l l a A l l e n . The production of Dickens' Pickwick Club, i s remarkable f o r i t s excellent staging, designed by P.V. Williams, an excellent a r t i s t . He revived the painted f l a t s that the theater had used i n the f i r s t years of i t s existence. Each scene was b u i l t against a background of draperies, panels and frescoes which i n turn, were supplemented by f u r n i t u r e and a r c h i t e c t u r a l d e t a i l s . These panels emphasized the grotesque and s a t i r i c a l aspects of t h i s drama. The stage action was supplemented through painting. The background showed rows of toy s o l d i e r s , tents, and buglers set i n the clouds i n the manoeuver's episode. The foreground revealed people watching the movement on canvas which i n i t s e l f was a continuation of the actors on the stage. The d i r e c t o r was S t a n i t s i n , and the production bore none of the experiments of Stanislavsky or Nemirovich-Danchenko. T a r t u f f e Moliere's T a r t u f f e i s the Moscow Art Theater's most v i v i d presentation of a hypocrite, who preys upon the weaknesses of ordinary people. Despite the play's comic scenes, there i s a sadness that c l o s e l y approaches a t r a g i c g r a v i t y . 68 T a r t u f f e i s a r e l i g i o u s hypocrite and imposter who comes into the home of a substantial c i t i z e n , Orgon. Orgon befriends him and holds him i n high regard. T a r t u f f e t r i e s to drive Orgon 1s son away, marry the daughter, corrupt the wife, r u i n and imprison Orgon. He almost succeeds, not by hi s clever plots, but by hi s coarse audacity of h i s cunning d i s p o s i t i o n . Orgon's wife pretends to y i e l d to T a r t u f f e i n order to l e t her husband overhear the hypocrite. T a r t u f f e brazens out t h i s s i t u a t i o n by presenting Orgon with the deed to the house which he had given i n friendship to Ta r t u f f e . T a r t u f f e claims the house as hi s own and serves Orgon and hi s family with an e v i c t i o n notice. When a p o l i c e o f f i c e r a r r i v e s to carry out the evi c t i o n , the tables are turned. T a r t u f f e i s arrested by King Louis XIV's orders. T a r t u f f e i s branded as a notorious rogue and imprisoned. In 1938, The Moscow Art Theater produced T a r t u f f e . It was Stanislavsky's f i n a l work as a d i r e c t o r . He did not f i n i s h the production f o r he died before i t could be presented. S u r p r i s i n g l y enough, t h i s play does not contain any communist class c o n f l i c t s or s o c i a l messages. Stanislavsky f e l t that h i s play was a springboard f o r his experiments i n fi n d i n g new ways to improve the i n t e r n a l technique of acting. He decided that experienced actors should return to t h e i r studies i n order to capture the eternal youth of acting techniques. This new technique was never meant to be written down or included i n a manual. It exists only on the stage. Stanislavsky's 69 aim i n T a r t u f f e was to give once and f o r a l l to h i s favourite actors, the culmination of h i s l i f e ' s work as a l i v i n g heritage. The basis of the new study was h i s profound f a i t h i n the method of physical actions which determined the s i n c e r i t y of the r o l e . A profound b e l i e f i n the inner j u s t i f i c a t i o n of physical actions was a tremendous a r t i s t i c process that completely mobilized the e n t i r e psychology and soul of an actor. A f t e r so many years, Stanislavsky hoped to make the dream of an art theater come true. In order to f e e l the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the times i n which Moliere l i v e d , Stanislavsky had the actors l i v e i n Orgon's house. They ate, worked, and slept i n the atmosphere of the times. At the same time Stanislavsky led the actors away from the standard presentation of Moliere's comedy as he had done with Carlo Goldoni's Mirandolina. The actors had to place themselves i n the p o s i t i o n of the characters and action on stage. For the actor, such things as comedy and tragedy do not exist, only the actor revealing the inner t r u t h of supposed circumstances. T a r t u f f e was Stanislavsky's second attempt to apply h i s e n t i r e system to the actor's work. His f i r s t attempt came about with his presentation of Goldoni's play. His "method of physical actions," was the f i r s t attempt to score a r o l e i n such a way as to allow the supreme c r e a t i v e act i n theater. The School f o r Scandal In 1940, N.M. Gorchakov presented Sheridan's School f o r Scandal 70 to Moscow audiences who were preparing themselves for the hocalust that was to come i n the German invasion. The s a t i r i c a l comedy stands out alone among the "preparation f o r war" themes that were emphasized i n the repertoires of other theaters. The play contains an array of important and v i v i d l y contrasting characters. Charles Surface, i s a heedless, happy go lucky, but honest fellow. His brother Joseph i s a scheming hypocrite. Maria, the ward of S i r Peter Teazle, i s i n love with Charles. Joseph decides to woo Maria f o r her fortune while courting the young Lady Teazle at the same time. Joseph tempts Lady Teazle to h i s room where the untimely a r r i v a l of S i r Peter forces her to hide behind a screen while the men converse. F i n a l l y , the screen i s thrown down and Lady Teazle i s revealed. While t h i s action progresses, O l i v e r Surface, a wealthy uncle of Charles and Joseph returns unexpectedly from India. While he i s s t i l l unrecognized by the nephews, he decides to t e s t t h e i r character. Joseph's hypocrisy i s revealed to everyone and S i r Peter decides to give Maria i n marriage to the honest and cheerful Charles. He forgives Lady Teazle's i n d i s c r e t i o n and the c u r t a i n f a l l s on one of England's greatest s a t i r e s . The Moscow Art Theater produced t h i s play without any " s o c i o l o g i z i n g . " The characters are presented i n good fun, and the smiling hypocrisy that we prefer to see i n our neighbours and the vanity i n ourselves that makes us i t s victims was well presented. The superb g a l l e r y of comic and recognizable figures i s s t i l l a fa v o u r i t e with Soviet audiences. CHAPTER V Mikhail Bulgakov on the Stage of the Moscow Art Theater While analyzing the trends i n the rep e r t o i r e of the Moscow Art Theater one i s struck by the prominent p o s i t i o n held by the Soviet playwright, Mikhail Bulgakov. Three of h i s famous plays were presented on the stage of the Theater; The Days of the Turbins, Moliere, and an adaptation of Gogol's Dead Souls. The Moscow Art Theater f i r s t became acquainted with Bulgakov i n 1925. The Theater was impressed with h i s novel, The White Guard. The d i r e c t o r s wanted to adapt h i s novel i n the form of a play. Bulgakov accepted the idea and began to adapt h i s novel to the stage. Bulgakov was rea d i l y accepted by the young actors who had been trained since the days of the Revolution. The Theater had been i n a n t i c i p a t i o n f o r a play about contemporary events i n which the young actors could excel. The memory of the C i v i l War was fresh i n everyone's minds. The Days of the Turbins In 1926, Stanislavsky and I l y a Sudyakov presented Bulgakov's play, The Days of the Turbins. The play was a profound depiction of the motives and morality behind both Reds and Whites. In the beginning of the play, the Turbins and t h e i r friends are Whites. By the end of the play, except f o r Studzinsky, everyone has joined the Reds. The play dramatized the change i n allegiance and the reasons f o r i t . A f t e r i t s premiere, the play was attacked f o r being too sympathetic f o r the Whites and "not revolutionary enough" f o r the times. The play was taken o f f the stage under the pressure of o f f i c i a l c r i t i c i s m . A study of the plot reveals why i t was temporarily removed. Bulgakov depicted the t e r r i b l e c ollapse that occurred during the f i r s t few years of the Revolution. The action takes place i n the Ukraine which had been invaded by the Germans. The Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky was a German puppet on the throne at Kiev. The play depicts the f a t e of the Turbin family and t h e i r friends who are caught up i n the confusion of struggle. Many Russian o f f i c e r s joined the Hetman to t r y and save Russia from the approaching anarchy and c i v i l war. When the Germans returned to Germany i n 1 9 1 8 to q u e l l t h e i r own revolution, they l e f t Skoropadsky without any strong m i l i t a r y support. He runs o f f with the re t r e a t i n g German troops and leaves h i s supporters to defend the Ukraine. The Ukrainian peasants oppose the Hetman, under the leadership of the n a t i o n a l i s t , Symon P e t l i u r a . The Turbins, along with t h e i r o f f i c e r friends and cadets are l e f t to f i g h t o f f P e t l i u r a ' s f i e r c e n a t i o n a l i s t s . The Turbins have no chance of winning the c o n f l i c t . This resistance and f u t i l e struggle i s used to show the good and bad aspects of those who by fate fought under the banner of the "White" movement. One of the main characters i s Colonel A l e x e i Turbin. He i s a member of the old regime and the White Guard. His l o y a l t y to the old regime i s unquestionable and he i s determined to f i g h t despite the 73 knowledge that he w i l l be beaten. When the forces of the Reds are c l o s i n g i n on him he suddenly r e a l i z e s that he has backed the wrong side. Captain Myshlayevsky i s a t a l k a t i v e d u l l a r d . Before the play ends he also r e a l i z e s that he has served the wrong cause. He announces: "In front are the Red Guardsman, l i k e a wall; to our rear are the speculators and every kind of human garbage with the Hetman; and i n between I am. Your humble servant. I am fed up with being used l i k e dung to f i l l holes i n the i c e . Let them (the Communists) mobilize me! At least I s h a l l know that I am serving i n the Russian Army." Lieutenant Shirvinsky i s the symbol of the fashionable "perfumed cadet." He i s i n i t i a l l y portrayed as a pleasant young o f f i c e r with l i t t l e a b i l i t y to f i g h t . As the b a t t l e grows intense, he proves to be a b r i l l i a n t s o l d i e r . Nikolka Turbin has just f i n i s h e d h i s t r a i n i n g as a cadet. His f i r s t action comes i n defending Kiev against P e t l i u r a . He passionately seeks the glory of b a t t l e . In h i s romantic a t t i t u d e toward f i g h t i n g he does not comprehend f o r what he i s f i g h t i n g . The black sheep of the retinue turns out to be Captain Talberg who i s Elena Turbina's husband. He i s a man who puts i n appearances and i s incapable of action. He i s a coward and a m i s f i t . When the b a t t l e i s going against the White Guard, he decides to leave h i s wife and native land to f l e e with the German occupational army. This, b r i e f l y , i s the p l o t . P e t l i u r a ' s n a t i o n a l i s t s are seen i n darker colours than the Whites. This very fact made Bulgakov the 74 target of c r i t i c s who called him a "dangerous counter revolutionary." The audience's approval of the production saved Bulgakov from possible extinction. The war weary people hoped that this play was a sign that the Soviet authorities had declared a peace with the Whites. It appeared that the new regime had forgiven i t s enemies and had become reconciled. When the censorship saw a closed preview they were shocked and banned the play. When they learned that the Theater had invested an enormous sum on the production they preferred to remove the ban. Stanislavsky, himself requested from Stalin that the ban be removed. Stalin f e l t that the play should be shown because i t showed an "intelligent and powerful enemy." For this play, Bulgakov had been slandered as an "anti-Soviet dramatist." When Stalin showed his approval, the Soviet press dismissed i t s charges but kept a wary eye on Bulgakov. The Moscow Art Theater now f e l t that Stalin and the Party was on i t s side. Stanislavsky was confident that he had won a victory. To show his faith in the system, Stanislavsky decided to produce Ivanov's Armoured Train 14-69 in 1927. This time, however, the Whites were shown as cruel and decadent murderers who had sold their country and the lives of their countrymen to a vicious, hostile world of inter-ventionists. Moliere Bulgakov was alarmed at the controversy he had caused. He decided to turn h i s attention to more acceptable subjects and plays. In 1931 he f i n i s h e d w r i t i n g h i s tragedy, Moliere. In 1936, the play was produced by Stanislavsky. Moliere stands alone as a lonely i s l a n d i n a sea of Soviet plays. The play was condemned by Party c r i t i c s and the Theater was condemned f o r i t s presentation. What brought on such an unfavourable review? An analysis of the plot provides the answer. The t i t l e , Moliere, would immediately bring to mind a p o r t r a i t of the personal l i f e of the great French dramatist. Anyone f a m i l i a r with French drama would probably assume that the plot would be about the love i n t r i g u e i n Moliere's l i f e . His l i f e was ruined completely by s i n i s t e r and purely family circumstances, a common occurence i n his day. Bulgakov r e l i e d upon the theory that Moliere had, without r e a l i z i n g i t , married h i s own daughter. The prologue of Bulgakov's play reveals the wings of the stage during the premiere performance of a play i n which Moliere has a prominent r o l e . In the fashion of the time, the play i s being given a f i r s t audience i n King Louis XIV's court. Moliere informs hi s mistress, the actress Madeline Bejart, that he i s i n love with her s i s t e r , Armande. He has f u l l intentions of marrying the g i r l . Madeline i s quick to t e l l Lagrange, her lover's f r i e n d , that she has never been able to muster enough courage to t e l l Moliere that Armande i s not her s i s t e r , but i s i n f a c t , her own daughter. Madeline's secret leaks 76 out and rumors begin to c i r c u l a t e that Moliere has, i n fact, married h i s own daughter. Louis XIV's reaction i s complete disgust. He with-draws his royal protection and Moliere i s drummed out of the court despite h i s v i o l e n t protestations of innocence. Gradually, he grows old and sick under the continual r a i n of i n s u l t s . His very person i s shunned and former friends refuse to see him. His wife cannot stand the blot on her l i f e and she leaves him i n h i s sorrow. His favourite pupil despises h i s master and turns informer. The King f i n a l l y p u b l i c l y disgraces Moliere and h i s play Tartuffe i s forbidden. F i n a l l y , Bulgakov shows Moliere dying from a broken heart at a performance of Le Malade Imaginaire which i s i n i t s e l f , symbolic. Why did such a s t r a i g h t forward plot merit such v i o l e n t c r i t i c i s m ? The reason i s simple. Bulgakov did not intend t h i s play to be the story of Moliere's l i f e . The theme of the play was an expose of the "cabal of hypocrites." Moliere had produced a play, T a r t u f f e i n which the clergy and a r i s t o c r a c y are i n s u l t e d and humiliated. The comedy was directed against them and the "cabal of hypocrites" who are a secret society of feudal lords under the patronage of the reactionary Archbiship of P a r i s . This party of people believed that they alone, possessed the absolute truth. They t r i e d every e v i l t r i c k a v a i l a b l e to t r y and s i l e n c e the freedom-loving Moliere who posed a threat to t h e i r very existence. Bulgakov exposed the ruthless suppression of f r e e speech and c r e a t i v e endeavour. What the c r i t i c s saw was not an event i n French history, but an analogy to the present with Bulgakov as Moliere and the Party as the "cabal of hypocrites." Louis XIV was interpreted as a prototype of the d i c t a t o r , Joseph S t a l i n . The Party soon became aware of h i s intentions. The play was allowed a few performances and then removed. The c r i t i c s f e l t that Bulgakov's presentation did not " t r u t h f u l l y show the l i f e and works of one of the outstanding c l a s s i c a l playwrights on the stage." Was Bulgakov correct i n h i s analogy? Of the t h i r t y - s i x plays he wrote, only f i v e were permitted to be performed. In 1938, he reportedly died of a broken heart. The presentation of Bulgakov's Moliere i s s i g n i f i c a n t also from a h i s t o r i c a l and staging point of view. For several years before the presentation of Moliere, Soviet c r i t i c s had f e l t that i t was time f o r a tremendous upsurge i n Soviet theater. Instead of a r i s e , there was a marked decline. During t h i s decline, Stanislavsky t r i e d to r a i s e the Moscow Art Theater to i t s previous p o s i t i o n of importance i n the world of theater a r t s . He decided to present Bulgakov's Moliere and Moliere's own play, Tartuffe, early i n 1939. Stanislavsky entered i n t o the production of Moliere against the trend toward n a t u r a l i s t i c presentations. The properties f o r h i s production gave off a gloomy symbolism. The t h e a t r i c a l costumes i n Moliere*s dressing room were i n p i l e s on the f l o o r and thrown loosely on a v a i l a b l e f u r n i t u r e . The scene harkened back to the grotesque masks of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e . The wooden portals were decorated with monstrous clowns i n hideous masks. In the scenes which portray the "cabal of hypocrites" a l l i s masked i n a s i l e n t gloom. The reactionary group had tortured the actors into betraying Moliere. The stage was at a l l times immersed i n a mysterious and gloomy l i g h t . The gloomiest scene of a l l i s i n Moliere's bedroom where he l i e s dying, tortured by h i s conscience and completely despondent. This was the l a s t experiment i n staging that the Party allowed. Dead Souls In 1932, Stanislavsky decided to present Bulgakov's adaptation of Gogol's Dead Souls. The presentation was simple, restrained and a complete f a i l u r e . Let us examine Gogol's o r i g i n a l p l o t . In Dead Souls Gogol gave a p o r t r a i t g a l l e r y of some of the most grotesque characters i n Russian l i t e r a t u r e . The "hero" of the unfinished play i s Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov. Chichikov i s an adventurer and opportunist who makes h i s appearance at the turn of the nineteenth century. His main occupation consists i n buying "dead souls." These "dead souls" are the names of serfs who have died since the l a s t census but who s t i l l continue to cost t h e i r owners taxes u n t i l they can be written o ff i n the next census. Chichikov uses t h e i r names i n order to get from h i s uncle's estate the money refused him i n the old man's w i l l . Chichikov decides to mortgage h i s own "estate" with i t s dead souls to the Trustee Committee. To f i n d dead souls, he rides from v i l l a g e to v i l l a g e v i s i t i n g landowners and exerting h i s charm to obtain the names of t h e i r dead s e r f s . The v i l l a g e r s soon become aware of h i s a c t i v i t i e s and begin to t a l k amongst 79 themselves. They cannot guess what he i s up to so they accuse him of a l l sorts of crimes. He has a b r i e f encounter with the law and i s arrested. He i s f i n a l l y released by an unscrupulous lawyer who brings to l i g h t a l l the l o c a l scandals. The v i l l a g e r s are a f r a i d to prosecute Chichikov and are glad to see him get out of the town. Bulgakov was only one of many who had adapted Dead Souls to the stage. As a young man, Bulgakov was fascinated with Gogol's characters. He wrote a short novel, A Continuation of Chichikov's Journeys. Previous adaptations had shown only Chichikov's purchases of the dead souls. Nobody had attempted to continue h i s e x p l o i t s . Bulgakov succeeded i n culminating the "hero's" actions. His adaptation of Gogol's Dead Souls contains the same dramatic structure as Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Chichikov plans to make money by s e l l i n g the dead souls he has bought up. His plans develop rapidly, reach a peak of success and suddenly everything ends i n a complete f i a s c o . Stanislavsky concentrated on bringing to l i f e , the p o r t r a i t g a l l e r y of Gogolian characters that Bulgakov had worked so hard to adapt to the stage. The actors were required to reveal the complex natures of these characters and the emphasis was on revealing the inner t r u t h of the characters. Bulgakov was concerned with revealing the centre of the character's nature about which h i s l i f e revolves. Stanislavsky's method suited Bulgakov's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the famous types found i n the o r i g i n a l Dead Souls by Gogol. Bulgakov's presentation of Chichikov buying the "dead souls" 80 was magnificent. Why then, was the play a f a i l u r e ? Despite h i s research and understanding of the l i v e s of Gogol's characters, Bulgakov was attacked by the c r i t i c s . Bulgakov had neglected to c r i t i c i z e the old order. There was no " s o c i a l command" or " s o c i a l message." Party c r i t i c s c a l l e d the play a "step backwards." The Moscow Art Theater was accused of " r e j e c t i n g the past." The Theater did not present the p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , and psychological i l l s of Old Russia. The Theater did not portray a nation waiting f o r i t s release from the bonds of serfdom. Despite the e f f o r t s to please the Party, the crime had been committed - no propaganda content. 81 CHAPTER VI Modern Soviet Drama on the Stage of the Moscow Art Theater In 1927 the Bolsheviks celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The enthusiasm of the Party toward this event was f e l t in every f i e l d of endeavour. In the same year the Moscow Art Theater decided to give their f i r s t presentation of a purely Soviet topic. They adapted to the stage a novel by Vsevolod Ivanov called Armoured Train 14-69. This play is significant because i t marks Stanislavsky's acceptance of the regime, and i t marks a turning point in the Theater's history and repertoire. Armoured Train 14-69 The play is an outstanding drama dealing with the struggles of the C i v i l War. The action of the play takes place in a f o r t i f i e d Russian town on the Pacific Ocean. The town is occupied and controlled by White Guardsmen. The Red Army is slowly pushing the remnants of the White Guardsmen into the ocean. Captain Nezelasov is the commander of an armoured train that protects the retreating White Army. The train is bound for the f o r t i f i e d city, but i t must also break through a line of partisans who have surrounded Japanese and American inter-ventionist forces. One of the Communist heroes, Peklevanov, makes his appearance. He has just escaped from the prison in the town. He succeeds in convincing, Vershinin,1 a popular man with the r u r a l peasants. He becomes a deadly enemy of the old order when he learns that the Japanese have burned hi s v i l l a g e and k i l l e d h i s two beloved c h i l d r e n . The armoured t r a i n has halted at a railway s t a t i o n . Nezelasov i s portrayed as a confused and d i s i n t e r e s t e d commander. He i s incapable of making decisions and i s a f r a i d of an enemy that e x i s t s only i n h i s mind. He f i n a l l y decides to push on i n t o the c o r r i d o r occupied by Vershinin and h i s partisans. Vershinin has an army of peasants. He undertakes to capture the armoured t r a i n and use i t to attack the f o r t i f i e d c i t y . In scene V, the partisans are seen along the r a i l r o a d embankment awaiting the t r a i n . Their problem i s to stop the t r a i n without damaging i t or the r a i l s . A student, Mi t i a , decides that one of them must l i e on the r a i l s and pretend to be dead. According to the regulations of the old regime, the engineer must halt h i s engine and remove the corpse before t r a v e l l i n g any fart h e r . Everyone i s a f r a i d to volunteer. A peasant, Okorok, throws himself on the r a i l s but loses heart when the t r a i n approaches. F i n a l l y , a Chinese, Sing Wu, places h i s body on the tracks because "The Chinese want to show t h e i r importance to Russia." The engineer stops and i s k i l l e d . A f t e r a protracted b a t t l e , the White Guardsmen give up from sheer exhaustion. The student, Mi t i a , takes command of the t h r o t t l e and the t r a i n advances on the f o r t i f i e d town. 8 3 Peklevanov t i r e s of waiting f o r Vershinin and the captured t r a i n . He gives orders f o r the revolt to begin on the sixteenth of September, 1919. Just before the revolt he i s shot by a Japanese spy. As soon as the revolt i s underway, the armoured t r a i n a rrives on time. The partisans force t h e i r way i n t o the town. The red f l a g they were going to use f o r a banner i s used to cover Peklevanov's corpse instead. The play ends with Masha, Peklevanov's wife, s o f t l y c rying over hi s dead body. The main characters i n the play are Nezelasov, Vershinin, and Peklevanov. Each character i s s k i l l f u l l y portrayed as an i n d i v i d u a l rather than an idea. Nezelasov, a captain i n the White Army, sums up the desperate s i t u a t i o n i n which he finds himself. "...Russia has kicked us out. We a l l thought we were indispensable and suddenly we are given notice to q u i t . Not even a notice, we're just flung out, neck and crop. And we s i t here waiting f o r the f i r s t decent excuse to run to America. We run, l i k e pus out of a wound." Nezelasov does not want to engage the enemy. He i s a coward and wants to run away to America with h i s sweetheart, Nadia. His mind i s a vast p l a i n of confusion, jealousy, and s e l f - p i t y . In scene III he describes himself: " A l l my l i f e , I've believed i n myself; i t seems I was mistaken. Perhaps i t ' s good to r e a l i z e one's mistakes before death. I'm only t h i r t y years old. You can't mend s t e e l , you have to refound i t . You see him... (pointing to a Chinese) i f only he had some cocaine...." When the partisans attack the t r a i n , Nezelasov i s d e l i r i o u s and ruled by jealousy. He pictures h i s sweetheart, Nadia, i n the arms of an indolent White General i n the town. He orders h i s so l d i e r s to f i r e on imaginary targets. He i s f i n a l l y k i l l e d as he steps out of the t r a i n to view the enemy. The partisan, Vershinin, curses him and spares the l i f e of the sleeping white s o l d i e r s f o r "they are own own people and t h e y ' l l understand when we speak to them." Vershinin i s a strong and popular peasant leader. When he learns of the Japanese a t r o c i t i e s i n h i s v i l l a g e and the death of h i s ch i l d r e n he agrees to hide the members of the Revolutionary Committee. He cannot stand the thought of foreign s o l d i e r s destroying h i s land and people. During a meeting of the revolutionaries, a p r i e s t enters and threatens Vershinin with the wrath of God. He answers him i n deject b i t t e r n e s s : "A just God! They burnt down the v i l l a g e , but the Church was l e f t standing. And f o r years, I worshipped such a God." A peasant a r r i v e s , dragging behind him, an i n t e r v e n t i o n i s t , French-Canadian s o l d i e r . Everybody wants to shoot him. Vershinin i n a true p r o l e t a r i a n manner says: "Hold on comrades, there's been enough shooting. There's a better way comrades. Here's a young man, perhaps a peasant l i k e ourselves, who l i v e s i n a f a r country and ploughs the land l i k e the rest of us. We should be comrades but he doesn't know that. He doesn't understand, our language. They t e l l him l i e s as they t o l d us l i e s and send him to burn up our land." Here i s the theme of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l Communist revolution. A peasant 85 makes the s o l d i e r say Lenin's name and he i s soon singing a revolutionary song. Vershinin i s an able leader and a true p a t r i o t son. His mind i s c l e a r and h i s purpose i n l i f e i s to r i d h i s land of i t s enemies. He respects Peklevanov and c a r r i e s on the struggle a f t e r he i s dead. Peklevanov, i s the organizer of r e b e l l i o n . He i s a small man who wears glasses and appears as an i n t e l l e c t u a l throughout the play. He stands f o r the broom that i s sweeping the trash of centuries into the sea. As a wise and just member of the Party, he i s the source of i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the Russian peasants - the s a l t of the earth. In scene VII, Peklevanov shows h i s contempt toward h i s country's enemies by blowing hi s nose on a captured Japanese f l a g . Pekevanov i s so interested i n h i s country's freedom that he does not take precaution to protect himself. He i s shot and k i l l e d by a Japanese spy. Before h i s death, however, he has l a i d down the plans of r e b e l l i o n . When h i s body i s brought before the revolutionaries, i n the town, they pause i n reverence and cover h i s body with t h e i r banner, the red f l a g . They renew t h e i r attack on the c i t y with increased determination. His death i s the only sad moment i n the e n t i r e play. The Moscow Art Theater made the author change several passages depicting the main characters of the play before the presentation could take place. Ivanov did not resent the advice of the Theater. He was glad to have his characters humanized and separated from the stereotyped members of the Party. The play i s notable because i t was the f i r s t time i n theater h i s t o r y that Lenin's name was mentioned on 86 the stage. The scene i n which Okorok, the partisan, converts the captured s o l d i e r to communism was h a i l e d as superb. I t was an u n r e a l i s t i c scene made r e a l only by the enthusiasm of those who celebrated the Revolution's success* The c r i t i c s praised the presentation because i t showed a man who was both a leader and an ordinary fellow. He p e r s o n i f i e s the desires of the nation to mould a new society. Peklevanov resembled Lenin i n h i s modesty, character, and wisdom. The premiere of the Armoured T r a i n 14-69 took place on November 8, 1927. Stanislavsky had s u c c e s s f u l l y included a number of "inner innovations." He wanted to portray the Russian people who fought f o r the Revolution, and not the Party members^ This was Stanislavsky's f i r s t presentation i n which he welcomed the Bolshevik way of l i f e . The actors t r i e d hard to understand every phrase of Ivanov's play. They believed that the characters were t r u e - t o - l i f e . Stanislavsky revealed each i n d i v i d u a l i n the crowd scene, with h i s own p e c u l i a r mastery of the ensemble. The Moscow Art Theater gave Ivanov's play one of the most important innovations i n Soviet theater. The characters are not just " p o s i t i v e " and "negative." There are many l e v e l s of action f o r each character. The mass of people who struggled i n the Revolution are revealed as i n d i v i d u a l s with t h e i r own i d i o s y n c r a c i e s . There was no presentation of the stereotyped masses or the beastly Whites. The f r a i l i t i e s of Peklevanov were c l e a r l y shown. He was a slow-moving i n t e l l e c t u a l with a narrow f i e l d of experience. He was absent-minded and h i s ideas were not always c l e a r . Kachalov played the r o l e of Vershinin. He portrayed the profound f o l k wisdom and s p i r i t u a l s i n c e r i t y of the Russian peasant. He revolted against the cheap picture of the "revolutionary peasant." Stanislavsky gave s t r i c t i n s t r u c t i o n s to V i c t o r Simov, the set designer. Once more, the n a t u r a l i s t i c d e t a i l of the Moscow Art Theater was used to h i g h l i g h t each d e t a i l of the peasant's environment. Stanislavsky had accepted the r e a l i t i e s of the Soviet regime and had revolted against the "black and white" presentations of the Soviets. Squaring the C i r c l e In 1928, The Moscow Art Theater performed Valentin Katayev's Squaring the C i r c l e . The drama i s s i g n i f i c a n t because i t i s an amusing s e l f - c r i t i c i s m of the society the Soviets were bu i l d i n g . It was probably the l i v e l i e s t farce, that the Theater produced i n the 1920's. The play opens with two members of the Communist Youth, Vasya and Abram, sharing one room. The young men decide to get married and both bring t h e i r brides, Ludmila and Tonya to t h i s crowded l i t t l e room. At f i r s t , they draw a chalk l i n e to separate the two f a m i l i e s and o f f e r some privacy. Ludmila wants to pretty up the spartan-like surroundings. She stretches a c u r t a i n across the room. This c u r t a i n suggests a deeper d i v i s i o n between the couples. Vasya i s an earnest Communist, but h i s wife Ludmila, wants to wait on him l i k e an ordinary middle-class wife. Abram i s an earthy fellow concerned with himself and h i s wi*e, Tonya, would rather buy Soviet books than eat anything. 88 The i l l - a s s o r t e d couples develop tempers that go from bad to worse. F i n a l l y , a Communist Party o f f i c i a l , Flavious, l i k e a benevolent god from the Party machinery, gives h i s assent to the interchange of partners i n the marriages. The play has a dual q u a l i t y of s a t i r e and searching. It i s f i r s t of a l l , a l i v e l y knock-about farce making simple-hearted fun of the more obvious paradoxes of Soviet l i f e . Secondly, i t i s a play which manages very well i n r e c o n c i l i n g the boisterous s a t i r e with a subtly e f f e c t i v e profession of a fervent f a i t h i n the Communist enterprise. T h i r d l y , the play provides an e l u s i v e l y i r o n i c conclusion which leaves the audience wondering just how deeply the s a t i r e i s supposed to cut. This conclusion l e f t the Soviet censorship wondering whether or not the author had succeeded i n putting something over on them. Katayev's play i s a two-edged sword that hacks away at the shortcomings of the new society but does not s t r i k e hard enough to draw any blood. The characters of the play are f a m i l i a r to those who know the Soviet Union. The search f o r a new code of love, romance, and morality as w e l l as an end to the crowded housing conditions s t i l l continues. The youthful followers of Marx and Lenin are completely human and vunerable to the upheavals of love that confront the youth of other s o c i a l systems. Katayev has succeeded i n giving us four unforgettable characters: Vasya, Abram, Ludmila and Tonya. Vasya i s a member of the Communist Youth. He i s a serious-minded young worker, simple and abrupt i n h i s manners, sincere and possessing 89 no f r i l l s . He i s the opposite of Abram. Despite his honest nature he picks up a g u i t a r and begins courting Abram's wife, Tonya. Vasya cannot stand the bourgeois ideas and practices of h i s own wife, Ludmila. He says that he i s "beginning to rot i n t h i s bourgeois atmosphere." He wants to marry Tonya. He gives h i s ideas on the i d e a l married l i f e : "We'll a l l be happy. We'll read together, work together, love together, have a good time together." Tonya counters h i s words with the following Communist morality: "Today I r e g i s t e r with one man. Tomorrow I divorce him; the next day I r e g i s t e r with another man! What kind of an example are we s e t t i n g to our other party comrades, and to the most ac t i v e elements among the non-partisan youth and the poorer peasantry?" The two k i s s just as the Party o f f i c i a l , Falvious enters. This k i s s represents t h e i r r e a l i t y . The Communist youth come and tear down the p a r t i t i o n as something f a l s e and below the p r o l e a t a r i a t . Vasya and Tonya leave the room i n embarrassment as a poet, Emilian comes i n and reveals the t r u t h about the couples' marriages. F i n a l l y Vasya confronts Abram with h i s love f o r Tonya and the two stand shouting at each other. Flavlous a r r i v e s i n time to calm the two combattants down. Abram i s also a member of the Communist Youth. He i s Vasya's roommate and f r i e n d . He possesses f r i v o l o u s mundane appetites that contrast with Vasya's genuine serious nature. Abram discusses the basis of h i s marriage: "mutual understanding, equitable d i v i s i o n of labour, and worker's s o l i d a r i t y . " Abram becomes infatuated with Ludmila. His own wife Tonya, i s too interested i n reading to even feed him. Ludmila can cook and sew and t h i s appeals to Abram. Ludmila asks him to thank her f o r the sewing job she did on h i s torn trousers. She wants him to k i s s her hands. He runs into h i s room to consult h i s book on Communist ethics but someone has stolen i t . He always poses the question to himself: " i s i t e t h i c a l ? " I n f i d e l i t y i s not regarded as a good thing by the Party. The chance of friends breaking up and the resultant poor image i s a weapon to keep the youth i n l i n e . Every-thing revolves on being a respectable member of the Party. Abram sums up h i s dilemma: "Why does everything come out so unethical when every-thing r e a l l y f e e l s so e t h i c a l ? I must take a long walk and f i g u r e i t out." Abram i s ashamed of h i s deeds but h i s shame soon vanishes when Flavious says "If you love each other, what's to stop you? Rush down to the marriage Registry. You can't hurt the Revolution that way and there's no sense i n running away to a v i l l a g e . " At h i s declaration the poet, E m i l l i a n r e c i t e s an on the spot poem: "The c i t y has gnawed me to pieces I w i l l not see my native moon, I w i l l tear my c o l l a r wide open That I may hang myself soon." Ludmila i s a r e a l m a t e r i a l i s t i c woman. She does not belong to the Komsomol (Communist Youth) and i s c h i e f l y interested i n her own pretty face, domestic comforts, and her boy f r i e n d s . Ludmila i s the one who suggests a chalk l i n e and c u r t a i n to d i v i d e t h e i r room. For a l l her f r i v o l i t y , Ludmila keeps a clean and homey apartment while Tonya's i s bleak and d i r t y . Ludmila's fondling enrages Vasya. Her 91 fondling nature completely captures Abram. She can sew and cook but knows very l i t t l e of Party p o l i t i c s . She entices Abram to her apartment with d e l i c i o u s food. She knows that the way to a man's heart i s through h i s stomach. Ludmila plays hard to get and t h i s increases Abram's love f o r her. She decides to leave the apartment with a l l her belongings when she learns her husband i s u n f a i t h f u l to her. F i n a l l y she returns when she has no place to go. The two r i v a l g i r l s f i n a l l y embrace each other a f t e r the truth i s out that the couples are poorly matched. Tonya i s a serious-minded member of the Komsomol. She has no love f o r feminine f r i v o l i t i e s and she i s determined to be as tough and useful i n the world as any man. She i s pretty but completely unaware of her good looks. When she learns that the two couples must share the same apartment she simply r e p l i e s : " T r i f l e s . There's room fo r a l l of us here. Nothing t e r r i b l e . " Tonya i s so interested i n reading that she does not feed or love her husband. She does not know the graces of family l i v i n g . She i s as cold to her husband as the p r i n t on the pages she reads. She i s akin to Vasya i n her serious-ness and love of the Communist way of l i f e . She i s a simple g i r l and when asked by Vasya i f she loves Abram she r e p l i e s : "I don't understand why you place the questions so i d e o l o g i c a l l y . Do I love, or don't I love. I don't understand. I t ' s not c o r r e c t l y formulated." Tonya i s w e ll steeped i n Communist morality and i s ashamed when the poet, Emilian reveals her love f o r another woman's husband. She f i n a l l y says: "We s h a l l have to surrender our personal well-being i n the in t e r e s t of general s o c i a l well-being." Vasya simply r e p l i e s : "How unpleasant." She protests about the use of alcohol at her wedding party and only agrees when Flavious syas i t i s acceptable. She f i n a l l y reconciles he r s e l f to her shortcomings. The play ends i n the confusion of squeals and snatches of programs heard on Vasya's radio. The c u r t a i n does not f a l l , however, u n t i l Flavious has spoken; "Never mind kids. Don't be bashful. Go to i t . Love one another and don't play the f o o l . It can't hurt the Revolution." Fear Fear, written by Alexander Afinogenov i n 1930, deals with the r e l a t i o n between the i n t e l l e c t u a l s and the Soviet p r o l e t a r i a n regime. The play deals s p e c i f i c a l l y with i n t e l l e c t u a l s pursuing abstract s c i e n t i f i c projects, but the message deals with the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a also. The Communists believe that science cannot be a p o l i t i c a l . Science i s a weapon of the class struggle. The conversion of Professor Ivan I l i c h Borodin, prototype of Academician Ivan Pavlov, to the Soviet view point i s the subject of the play. Borodin, an honest, o l d -fashioned and i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c s c i e n t i s t , and Director of the I n s t i t u t e of P h y s i o l o g i c a l Stimuli, comes to the conclusion that the vast majority of persons i n the Soviet Union l i v e i n a constant state of fear. He concludes that eighty percent of human actions are stimulated 93 by fear.. The other twenty percent are stimulated by opportunism. He i s charged with treason f o r h i s views and imprisoned. He soon discovers that he has taken into account only the n o i s i l y d i s s a t i s f i e d people who work around him. He decides that the great bulk of the Soviet people, f a r from being victims of t h e i r fears, are swayed by a great and genuine enthusiasm. Having reached t h i s conclusion, he i s accepted as a true " f r i e n d of the people." Fear was banned i n 1931 as counter-revolutionary. Later, i t opened at the State Dramatical Theater i n Leningrad and at the Moscow Art Theater. I t was the most popular play i n the U.S.S.R. for. two years a f t e r i t s i n i t i a l performances. In 1938, a s h i f t i n the party l i n e saw a l l of Afinogenov's plays taken off the Soviet stages. The conversion of Borodin prophesied the 1948 s h i f t of a l l U.S.S.R. s c i e n t i s t s to the party l i n e , p a r t i c u l a r l y to the s h i f t of b i o l o g i s t s to the support of the imposter, the Academician Trofim Lysenko, and the abandonment of the u n i v e r s a l l y accepted p r i n c i p l e s of genetics. Afinogenov i s unsparing i n h i s picture of i n d i v i d u a l s t r y i n g to adjust themselves to the Soviet order. A professor, Zakharov, i s dismissed because he has no background i n Marxism. Former a r i s t o c r a t s beg i n the streets, among them an admiral's daughter, whose son denies h i s parentage i n the hope of being accepted by the Communists but i s nevertheless thrown out of the party to r e j o i n h i s mother i n begging. It would be wrong to f e e l that the c i t i z e n s accepted i n the play as l o y a l Soviet subjects escape the dramatist's s a t i r e . Afinogenov 9 4 s a i d of the f e a r f u l eighty percent: •The dairymaid fears c o n f i s c a t i o n of her cowsj the peasant, f o r c i b l e c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n ; the Soviet worker, perpetual purging by the Party; the p o l i t i c a l worker, the accusation of lukewarmness; the s c i e n t i f i c worker, the accusation of idealism; the t e c h n i c a l worker, the accusation of sabotage." Of the opportunistic twenty percent he wrote: "They are the owners of the country. They enter i n s t i t u t i o n s of science with arrogant faces, stamping t h e i r boots, laughing and chattering loudly. But f o r them there i s brain fear; the brain of the worker fears the overtaxing of h i s a b i l i t y that develops a persecution mania." Despite the fact that the l a s t was re-written by the censors, no one could be more c r i t i c a l of the shortcomings of Marxism as applied by S t a l i n and h i s followers, than Afinogenov. Borodin, i s a s c i e n t i s t of the pre-Revolutionary stamp. He i s an i n t e l l e c t u a l possessing a l l the Russian i n t e n s i t y and excitable nature. His theories are stated i n the f i r s t scene of the play: "Since the very f i r s t dawn of the e a r l i e s t human specimens on earth to the l a s t sunset of the human race, always - love, hunger, rage, fear." Borodin i s upset to f i n d that a g i r l from the working class, Elena Makarova, has come from a worker's school to a responsible s c i e n t i f i c p o s i t i o n . Borodin i s indignant over the l a t e evening v i s i t of Kimbayev, a Kazak workman, who has come to work at the I n s t i t u t e . The Kazak's impertinence, roughness, and suggestions to Borodin to c r i t i c i z e himself, eats away at h i s good nature. 95 Borodin i s dismayed at his old f r i e n d , Professor Bobrov, who changes to the side of the Communists early i n the play. He f e e l s that everyone has l o s t t h e i r p r i n c i p l e s . Borodin's discontent i s heightened by the constant comments of Kastalsky, a graduate student. He needles Borodin with the idea that the uncultured masses are r i s i n g to the top with t h e i r unprincipled t a c t i c s . In Act I I I , Borodin decides to oppose the Communist regime. Kastalsky says: "The world i s awaiting f o r the f i n a l accusing words of science." Borodin i s s t i l l l o y a l to the system. He t e l l s Kastalsky: "But our I n s t i t u t e f i r s t began to l i v e with the Revolution." Borodin i s hesitant about publishing an anti-Soviet paper abroad. Borodin i s getting old and sentimental. When he d e l i v e r s h i s speech he i s unaware that h i s theories w i l l be rejected and a strong r e b u t t a l thrown i n h i s face. Borodin faces the Secret P o l i c e as a broken man. A secret conspiracy turns against him and accuses him of crimes he did not commit. Kastalsky turns against him i n a double dealing move. Borodin's predictions about the un-p r i n c i p l e d people were correct. These people, however, are remnants of the old order f i g h t i n g to survive i n the Soviet system. Borodin dismisses the hangers on i n h i s house, making a clean sweep of the old order. He i s t r u l y sorry f o r h i s mistakes. A f t e r c r i t i c i z i n g himself i n the Communist fashion, the old, sincere professor i s welcomed into the ranks of the progressive Communist s c i e n t i s t s . Kastalsky i s Borodin's fav o u r i t e p u p i l . Kastalsky i s a graduate of the I n s t i t u t e and comes from the a r i s t o c r a t i c c l a s s . He i s 96 frightened to see so many of the p r o l e t a r i a t come into science and push him out. When he learns that there i s a competition open f o r the a s s i s t a n t s h i p with Borodin he says: "The son of a member of the Academy and a senator cannot become an a s s i s t a n t . But a metal worker's daughter, Elena Makarova, w i l l become your assistant - and she w i l l be sent abroad too." Kastalsky wants to go abroad to watch the antics of night club dancers. He does not want to study. Kastalsky personifies a l l the double-dealing and idleness of the old order. The c o n f l i c t a r ises when he opposes Elena, Makarova and her progressive ideas. He even l i e s about h i s association with Professor Borodin, thus putting the old man i n a poor l i g h t . He denounces his own professor. Elena Makarova i s g u i l t y of misplaced enthusiasm., She i s unaware that she i s annoying the professor with her constant p o l i t i c a l remarks: "Look out f o r me! Before long I w i l l replace Bobrov and be i n charge of Bobrov's department. Then you w i l l be my (to her husband) graduate student." She says about p o l i t i c s : "Our p o l i t i c s are to transform people. Feelings that were considered innate are now dying out. Envy, jealousy, anger, fear, are disappearing. C o l l e c t i v i t y , enthusiasm, the joy of l i f e are growing. And we w i l l help these new s t i m u l i to grow." These comments better than any long digression reveal the c o n f l i c t between the new and old order. During the play, Bobrov, a former old regime professor becomes a Communist, Tsekhovoi, Elena's husband becomes infatuated with power 97 and becomes a f r i e n d of the old order characters. Borodin's daughter Valentina i s a sculptress who f i n a l l y gets her i n s p i r a t i o n from the struggling worker and i s won to the cause. Klara, i s the old Bolshevik, who gives the party reasons f o r t h i s play: "The old order was f o u l and decaying. The new order i s making a clean sweep of the rubbish of the past." Platon Krechet By 1935, the trend toward the production of Soviet plays was well-established. Stanislavsky was aware that the q u a l i t y of the Soviet plays was slowly diminishing. Under pressure he chose one of the f i n e s t propaganda plays a v a i l a b l e and produced Platon Krechet by Alexander Korneichuk, i n 1934. The Moscow Art Theater's production was a success. Platon  Krechet posed serious questions about the new l i f e under communism. Platon Krechet i s a surgeon who has grown up during the period of N.E.P. (New Economic P o l i c y ) . He i s a talented young man and a brave innovator i n the science of surgery. His e n t i r e l i f e i n surgery i s orientated toward better s e r v i c e f o r h i s people. He wants to conquer and eliminate the causes of immature deaths. Platon Krechet has an unbelievable s p i r i t u a l c l e a n l i n e s s and honest a t t i t u d e toward his work. In the play h i s plans are opposed by Arkady Pavlovich, the manager of the h o s p i t a l . Arkady i s a self-admiring c a r e e r i s t who i s constantly occupied with hair-brained schemes and vulgar ideas. An example of h i s ideas i s the scene i n which he proclaims a system of 98 stupid d i a l e c t i a l methods f o r curing tuberculosis. He c a l l s meetings f o r p o l i t i c a l i n d o c t r i n a t i o n and has no understanding of medicine. At every opportunity he b e l i t t l e s Platon. He i s i n the way of the great innovator's important work. The party o f f i c i a l s see the predicament and attempt to remove Arkady and h i s misplaced enthusiasm. Toward the end of the play, Arkady, who i s jealous over Platon*s love f o r Lyda, his former g i r l f r i e n d , decides to write up a p e t i t i o n against him. He cooks up charges of many accidental deaths caused by Platon's experi-menting. The plot i s complicated by an operation that Platon performs on Lyda's father, who dies. When Lyda learns the t r u t h that her father was too f a r gone to be saved and that Arkady was e v i l toward Platon, she decides to be tolerant toward him. Arkady's e v i l designs are revealed a f t e r Platon saves the l i f e of a Party Commissar who was injured i n an auto accident. The Party chastises Arkady f o r h i s deeds and gives Platon and Lyda t i c k e t s f o r a long deserved rest i n Moscow. The play has excellent comical scenes. The new and advanced ideas of communism gradually conquer the forces of reaction, but some of the characters i n t h i s play are portrayed i n true s a t i r i c tones. These characters are those communists who through t h e i r incompetence and misplaced z e a l were sabotaging the e f f o r t s of the s c i e n t i s t s . The play opens with a birthday feast l a i d open f o r Platon Krechet. He i s busy i n surgery and does not a r r i v e . Styopa, an o c u l i s t , says of Platon and h i s work; 99 "I see Platon as the engine-driver of our medical t r a i n . Ever since he has been at the t h r o t t l e our t r a i n has been h u r t l i n g forward at a furious speed. You, a passenger on that t r a i n (to Terenty Bublik, an old p r a c t i t i o n e r ) have been scared by Platon*s speed, as you are now, by the way. Our spurt i n t o the future s t i l l frightens you. Wake up, Terenty Osipovich, the t i c k e t inspectors have boarded the t r a i n . . . . " The characters i n the play speak of the "stratonauts" and "stratosphere" just as our age speaks of the "cosmonauts" and "cosmos." When Platon a r r i v e s home he i s met by Berest, a party o f f i c i a l who needs surgery on h i s arm. Platon sets to work immediately to help him i n h i s own home. Platon f i n i s h e s h i s work and plays h i s v i o l i n f o r Lyda, but she does not understand the importance of h i s work or h i s c r e a t i v i t y . Platon has s e r i o u s l y c r i t i c i z e d her proposed plans f o r a sanatorium. She, l i k e Arkady, are unaware of the r e a l issues of medicine. He says of her project; "In designing your project, you ought to have made sure that every l i n e , every angle of the sanatorium should a f f o r d a maximum of. sunlight, f o r sunlight means joy and good cheer to those who w i l l l i v e i n i t . And what a s i t e to choose -a g u l l y ! Think how damp i t w i l l be." In Act I I , the human side of Platon i s revealed i n his conver-sation with Lyda. Despite the f a c t he has c r i t i c i z e d her work, he does not c r i t i c i z e her person. He says to her; "Lyda....Lyda.... you wouldn't l i s t e n to me...How could you know of those interminable sleepless nights...when despair seizes you...and your heart aches with weariness." Once more he picks up h i s v i o l i n to play f o r her. As he does, the r a i n f a l l s i n the patio outside. The r a i n i s symbolic that Lyda's father has died i n the h o s p i t a l . The r a i n i s used again as a symbol 100 of trouble when The People's Commissar i s hurt i n an auto accident. Platon goes to the h o s p i t a l despite h i s fatigue. When the operation i s completed Platon collapses i n a heap at the bottom of the s t a i r s . This u n f a i l i n g devotion was not the only cause of h i s collapse. He was driven to l a t e hours by Arkady. Arkady i s chastised and loses h i s p o s i t i o n i n the h o s p i t a l . Platon i s rewarded with the t r i p to Moscow with Lyda. Arkady i s portrayed throughout the play as the antagonist to Platon. He i s t i r e d of his existence i n the small p r o v i n c i a l town and says; "...And one day we'll wake up i n the c a p i t a l . I t ' s s t i f l i n g here. How can one do anything worthwhile i n a sleepy hollow l i k e t h i s ? I t ' s so hard to work among a l l these narrow-minded craftsmen. We got to get to a big c i t y . . . . " Arkady i s i n love with Lyda. He supported her plans for the sanatorium. Therefore, he i s upset and incensed when Platon c r i t i c i z e s her plans. Arkady i s not alone i n his stupid plans to handle medicine through d i a l e c t i c s . He has an assistant, Bochkaryova, who was an assistant i n a candy factory before becoming the Chief of the Health Department. She t r i e s to run the h o s p i t a l as a factory and has doctors inspecting l a t r i n e s . Her comments are; " I t turns out you have to know something about medicine to run a health department. Well, l i v e and l e a r n . " This woman i s a further embarrassment to Arkady and h i s p o s i t i o n as h o s p i t a l manager. Berest, the communist o f f i c i a l has plans to get r i d of both i n d i v i d u a l s . Arkady has busied himself wit£" s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r the h o s p i t a l s t a f f . He becomes t e r r i b l y jealous of Platon and seeks the a i d of Terenty Bublik, an old p r a c t i t i o n e r , i n w r i t i n g some-thing against Platon. The old man defends Platon and changes the wording of the p e t i t i o n to read l i k e a mild report. When Arkady meets t h i s f a i l u r e he demands an audience with Berest, to d i s c l o s e the supposed increase i n mortality caused by Platon's experiments. When thi s f a i l s , he t e l l s Lyda that Platon operated on her father without her permission and l e t him die. Lyda immediately turns against Platon but does not go to seek comfort i n Arkady. A f t e r the operation on the party commissar, Arkady meets h i s enemies, at the hands of the Party. Lyda i s one of the many females i n the play. She i s a.symbol of the h a s t i l y trained soviet technicians. She i s an a r c h i t e c t who cannot understand such basic p r i n c i p l e s as making the function of a bu i l d i n g a consideration i n design. Despite her mistakes, she i s sincere. She does not appreciate Platon's s u r g i c a l a b i l i t y and cannot see any c r e a t i v i t y i n i t . She d i s l i k e s Platon f o r h i s operation on her father and his c r i t i c i s m . Despite the incidents, she i s f i n a l l y won over to respect and then love f o r Platon. Terenty Bublik, the old p r a c t i t i o n e r , says of himself: "I have taken ninety thousand pulses, l i s t e n e d to ninety thousand hearts, I, the mechanical c i t i z e n , Terenty Osipovich Bublik." Bublik symbolizes the hard work and devotion of the older doctors who are t r a i n i n g the new ones. He i s the old s p e c i a l i s t who had been educated i n T s a r i s t Russia. He i s portrayed with great sympathy. He t e l l s one of Platon's a s s i s t a n t s ; "No, I am only b u i l d i n g the a i r f i e l d , you are the one who w i l l f l y . " Bublik reveals the rotten plans of Arkady to the communist party o f f i c i a l s , and i s a f r i e n d of Berest. Berest, i s one of the communist o f f i c i a l s i n the play who has something to say and do. The r o l e of the party i s s l i g h t i n t h i s play but the message i s everything. Nothing must impede the progress of science. Berest understands the problems of the over zealous and incompetent party members and takes steps to remove them. The author has c a r e f u l l y s a t i r i z e d the absuses of these members and uses Berest as a symbol of the wise, and a l l powerful party, that corrects such s i t u a t i o n s i n i t s wisdom. There are other characters who form an important part of the background. These characters give t h e i r impressions of events and report the p o s i t i o n of contemporary Soviet society. The play i s quite r e a l i s t i c and demands no exaggeration of the t r u t h . In 1934, Platon Krechet was produced by the direc t o r , Sudakov. The Moscow Art Theater produced, The Pickwick Club and The Thunderstorm i n the same year. These plays reveal three aspects of the Theater's re p e r t o i r e : the Soviet play (Platon krechet), the Russian c l a s s i c s (The Thunderstorm) and the West European c l a s s i c s (The Pickwick Club). None of the above mentioned plays were produced by Stanislavsky, i n that season. The play was produced to show that S t a l i n ' s p o l i c i e s were the best. Stanislavsky was opposed to the use of the Art Theater as a 103 sounding board f o r propaganda. He did not produce any plays u n t i l 1938, when he presented T a r t u f f e . The Orchards of Polovchansk This play written i n 1938 by Leonid Leonov, i s the l a s t i n the series of plays to be discussed i n t h i s t h e s i s . It i s probably the best example of the many plays depicting the healthy progress of the Soviet Union before the years of the German invasion. The Moscow Art Theater produced the play i n 1938. It recaptured much of the charm of Chekhov's plays, because here was an orchard and a family gathering i n i t . Leonov's play has a s t r i k i n g contrast with Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. The f r u s t r a t i o n and f u t i l i t y of The Cherry Orchard are replaced by a profound joy i n communal achievement. The orchard that Chekhov made famous was sold and cut down. Leonov's orchard belongs to the state and y i e l d s more abundant and magnificent f r u i t each year. This play dramatizes the struggle of the Soviet Union f o r c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n of the land and establishment of industry. Both are the necessary precursors of a strong national defence. The action of t h i s play proceeds against a background of s i n i s t e r figures lu r k i n g i n the background. These are Russia's enemies who give, even i n the cheerful moments, a sense of the ever present menace of invasion. The play opens i n an orchard i n the Ukraine. The orchard i s s u f f e r i n g from drought. Adrian Maccaveyev, the Sovkhoz d i r e c t o r , - i s waiting f o r news of h i s chil d r e n . There i s a war going on somewhere and he wants h i s ch i l d r e n home. His wife, Aleksandra Ivanovna, reveals that she has had an a f f a i r many years ago with her husband's former f r i e n d , Matvey Pylyayev. The res u l t of t h i s a f f a i r i s a young c r i p p l e d lad, Issayka, about 18 years old. Everyone i s tense, awaiting the a r r i v a l of Maccaveyev*s sons. The sound of s o l d i e r s p r a c t i c i n g war games i s heard throughout the play. Pylyayev a r r i v e s and i s immediately made welcome despite h i s sordid a f f a i r with Aleksandra years ago. Maccaveyev f e e l s he has a r r i v e d to see his bastard son, Issayka, but the reason f o r h i s a r r i v a l i s a mystery. In Act II, Maccaveyev i s seen explaining the merits of a new s t r a i n of apple he c a l l s "Fatherland." Pylyayev t r i e s to influence Aleksandra again. She s t i l l retains some inte r e s t i n him despite h i s eighteen years absence. Pylyayev wants some money. She agrees to give him her son's money that was being saved f o r an operation on h i s c r i p p l e d legs. Y u r i , a son who has become a doctor i s suspicious of Pylyayev and h i s motives at the orchard. The brothers a r r i v e and s i t themselves around the table. Two places, however, are vacant. The sons pledge all e g i a n c e to the fatherland and old Maccaveyev makes p a t r i o t i c speeches. He indicates h i s country's enemies; "The Japs and the Germans are climbing...crawling...crawling nearer a l l the time." Pylyayev does not drink a toast to Russia and throws doubt on h i s allegiance. Maccaveyev's only daughter Masha, has news that V a s i l i , one of the missing sons i s on a secret mission. A v i s i t o r a r r i v e s and i s set upon by the boxer son, Anatoly. The stranger beats him. The v i s i t o r i s Otshelnikov, a Red Commander and good f r i e n d of V a s i l y . The young man i s courting Masha also 105 In Act I I I , the orchard serves as a hiding place f o r various lovers and t h e i r a n t i c s . Pylyayev receives Issayka's money and pretends to be waiting f o r another strange guest. The guests of Maccaveyev are making merry with c i d e r when i n comes Maccaveyev, dejected and carrying a newspaper. Everyone runs into the woods at h i s a r r i v a l . This f l i g h t scene was shown well on the Moscow Art Theater's revolving stage. The stage turned to reveal apple trees f i l i n g by endlessly. Masha quizzes Otshelnikov about the f a t e of her brother who has been l o s t i n war. The empty places at the t a b l e were symbolic of sons who would never return. Toward the end of Act III s o l d i e r s appear at the house while guns boom i n the distance. In Act IV, the action takes place i n the orchard's old mansion. The brothers are packing t h e i r bags to leave. The boys disapprove of Pylyayev who has i n s u l t e d t h e i r father and been a bad influence on the house. Maccaveyev sums up h i s l i f e to h i s boys: "They say i n that other world there i s no trouble and g r i e f . But I always loved my troubles...I adore conquering them and breaking them. (He looks at h i s hands). Look at them. They are dear, my hands, and a l l i n veins." This scene i s very symbolic. It i s a continuation of Dostoevsky's image of the peasant Marei i n "Diary of a Writer"and h i s love f o r the s o i l . Out of t h i s s o i l comes the strength f o r Russia to f i g h t and defend the fatherland. Pylyayev eats h i s l a s t supper i n the home and prepares to leave. He turns to go out but i s seized by some men who have entered the home. Otshelnikov reveals that Pylyayev was a t r a i t o r and a spy 106 who had returned to get Information on the Russian manoeuvres. Maccaveyev goes to the door and i n v i t e s the wind to enter. This wind i s a symbol of a cleaning power that sweeps the l a s t traces of e v i l out of h i s home. The boys leave and Masha confirms her love f o r Otshelnikov. Otshelnikov receives news that he i s needed immediately i n case the Russians must engage the enemy* The c u r t a i n f a l l s on the l a s t act covered i n - s i n i s t e r suspense of a coming c o n f l i c t . The plot has been discussed i n d e t a i l because i t means almost as much i n the play as. the action of the characters. The constant sound of guns, the s i n i s t e r figures i n the orchard, the missing sons, a l l contribute to a f e e l i n g of suspense that i s d i f f i c u l t to describe. Maccaveyev i s the d i r e c t o r of the state owned orchard. He i s an old man who has given h i s l i f e to making the s o i l produce good things. He has also contributed s i x f i n e sons and a daughter to the future of Russia. He i s the symbol of a l l that i s good i n the Russian peasant. When he i s confronted with Pylyayev he welcomes him rather than throwing him o f f the premises. Maccaveyev's soul i s as big as the orchard he planted. He awaits h i s talented sons because he f e e l s he w i l l not survive the coming war. He i s getting old and he wants to impart h i s wisdom to his boys i n the time honoured p a t r i a r c h a l custom. Despite h i s bad heart he goes out into the night to repair the fencing around h i s orchards. He i s a f r a i d that the s o l d i e r s w i l l destroy the orchard. Maccaveyev knows l i f e very well and predicts that h i s young daughter, Masha w i l l run away. He c a l l s her "sparrow," i n the t r a d i t i o n a l manner of naming the youngest daughter a f t e r a b i r d . He has only forgiveness f o r h i s errant wife. He loves her bastard son, Issayka as he loves h i s own. He married Aleksandra, a f t e r h i s f i r s t wife died. Maccaveyev i s fi r m l y convinced that the s o c i a l i s t system i s the right way of l i f e . Throughout the play he expounds a l l the good things that w i l l come i n the future. His part i n the new world i s the production of bigger and better apples. His supreme contribution i s i n g i v i n g h i s sons to the f i e l d of bloody harvest, - the war. At the news of h i s son's death he i s s i l e n t . He knows that some must die so that others must l i v e . As h i s sons leave the home he says: "Let them break t h e i r heads against your chests." Just then a thunderous noise breaks out i n the background and the r a i n pours s i g n a l l i n g the end of the drought and the preparation f o r war. Just as Maccaveyev symbolizes a l l that i s good about the Russian peasant and c o l l e c t i v e labour, so Matvey Pylyayev symbolizes the e v i l that threatens Russia. He returns to h i s birth p l a c e to shame Maccaveyev*s wife, Aleksandra. He did not come to see h i s bastard son, Issayka, but to spy on h i s own people. He asks f o r h i s son's operation money and steals from Maccaveyev. The e v i l that emanates from hi s being permeates through to the brothers who are uneasy i n h i s presence. Aleksandra Ivanovna, i s Maccaveyev's young wife. She married him long a f t e r h i s f i r s t wife died. While Maccaveyev was away on the front during the F i r s t World War, she had an a f f a i r with Pylyayev. She describes h e r s e l f : 108 "Look how my face has broadened out and how d u l l my eyes have become (Maccaveyev caresses her hand). It was very simple Adrian, much simpler than these words. I married you when I was a l i t t l e g i r l . I had grown up together with your c h i l d r e n . And my s i s t e r Nastenka, when she was dying, made me promise never to leave the chi l d r e n . Then you l e f t f o r the front. And then Matvey came here. It began i n the morning, and I thought i t would be over by evening. I was walking on the road and he met me by accident. He stopped h i s horse and kept following me with h i s eyes." Aleksandra's daughter comes to her and t e l l s her i n a fuzzy way about her dream i n which "everything f e l l and broke to b i t s . " Masha i s l i k e her mother i n that she has hidden the fa c t she had a lover outside of the orchard. Aleksandra maintains a g u i l t complex throughout the play. It i s d i s p e l l e d when she learns that Pylyayev has turned t r a i t o r . She loves her c r i p p l e d son Issayka. Maccaveyev had forgiven her many years ago. The love and wisdom of her husband have kept her i n order f o r years. Otshelnikov i s a symbol of the young Soviet youth bravely defending the fatherland. He i s honest, decent, brave, and determined to r i d the world of e v i l and war. His love f o r Masha i s as pure as the r a i n that f a l l s f i n a l l y on the orchard. Before he leaves he comments to Issayka i n words that describe himself: "Everybody loves you here, everybody has f a i t h i n you." The theme of f a i t h and love versus the forces of e v i l ends as a b e a u t i f u l close to one of the f i n e s t Soviet plays every produced by the Moscow Art Theater. CHAPTER VII IN CONCLUSION The Moscow Art Theater grew out of the hopes and aspirations of two great men, K.S. Stanislavsky, and V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko. From i t s inception i n June 1897, to i t s opening performance i n 1898, the basis f o r one of the world's greatest theaters was l a i d . On the eve of the 1905 Revolution, the Theater had already proven to i t s audiences that i t was a center of i n t e l l e c t u a l fervor and experiment. One of Russia's greatest l y r i c writers, Anton Pavlovich Chekov r e a l i z e d the po t e n t i a l of the new enterprise and wrote The Cherry Orchard f o r the theater that was to make him famous. Against t h i s background of experimentation, fervour and development of t h e a t r i c a l arts, the Moscow Art Theater grew into a company that commanded the attention of the world. In 1924, the troupe went to New York f o r i t s presentation of Gogol's The Inspector  General. The actors were given standing ovations at every performance. In 1965, the Theater appeared again i n New York with another of Gogol's works, Dead Souls adapted by M. Bulgakov. This time the audience was cool and held many reservations about the Theater f o r the new performances were only shadows of great ones i n the past. What happened to t h i s magnificent giant? The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s was to analyze the trends i n the repertoire of the Moscow Art Theater. The subject could have been treated i n many ways which would have revealed b a s i c a l l y the same trends. It i s d i f f i c u l t to appreciate these trends without some understanding of the h i s t o r y of Soviet Theater. Indeed, the trends which have been revealed by a sampling of the better plays are dependent upon forces which gradually assumed control over the c r e a t i v e endeavour of the Theater. The Moscow Art Theater which had been conceived as a theater that would present plays from the point of view of art, completely divorced from f i n a n c i a l , r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l considerations met tremendous opposition. Gradually the Theater presented i t s r e p e r t o i r e free of any r e l i g i o u s or f i n a n c i a l considerations but within f i v e years of the Revolution of 1917 i t began to f e e l the pressure of p o l i t i c a l forces. These forces with t h e i r " s o c i a l commands" and " s o c i a l messages" made themselves f e l t i n every area where art was present. The tremendous heritage that was possessed by the Moscow Art Theater was turned slowly but surely into an e f f i c i e n t organ f o r the propagation of Party slogans and philosophy. The trends that have been studied reveal that the Theater gradually engulfed these plays of propaganda into i t s r e p e r t o i r e . At the same time the theater t r i e d desperately to temper i t s productions with the works of the c l a s s i c a l Russian playwrights and European dramatists. By the advent of World War II, the Theater was completely devoted to the presentation of plays which g l o r i f i e d the Soviet e f f o r t i n the war. This feat was commendable but i t sealed the fate of the Theater that had once aspired to the slogan of "art f o r arts sake." I l l Since the end of World War II the Moscow Art Theater has preserved the c l a s s i c a l r epertoire i t established before the advent of war. Presently presentations are mostly from the works of the great dramatists and the actual staging follows the methods of the great d i r e c t o r s . There i s very l i t t l e experimentation or innovation. Despite the fact that the Party turned the free theaters into organs that g l o r i f i e d the Communist way of l i f e , there i s one c r e d i t which i s indisputably due to the members of the regime. The theater was made accessible to the borad masses of a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n the land ruled by the Soviet government. This service was immense and extremely c o s t l y . It was done to spread the Communist 'gospel' and thus, the pri c e was j u s t i f i e d . The subsidized theaters had to pay an even higher p r i c e - the loss of t h e i r freedom of c r e a t i v e endeavour. The f e e l i n g s aroused by the plays included i n Chapter VI continued to be f e l t i n the audiences who attended the Theater's presentations a f t e r World War I I . Today, i n 1965, the words "formalism" and "estheticism" are used to cow the f l i c k e r i n g flames of c r e a t i v i t y into submission. Any deviation from s o c i a l i s t realism i s considered a crime. The Moscow Art Theater has a long way to go before i t can recapture the freedom and va r i e t y i n rep e r t o i r e that i t possessed before the Revolution of 1917, and up to 1927. There i s one comforting thought, however. The Communist regime does believe i n progress and that t h i s same progress i s i r r e v e r s i b l e . Possibly the abuses and r e s t r a i n t s so l i b e r a l l y employed i n the past w i l l be gradually removed to permit a rennaissance of t r u l y glorious past. 113 BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ENTRIES A- BOOKS Abalkin, N. Slstema Stanislavskogo ± s o v e t s k i i t e a t r . Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1950. Al'pers, B. Teatr s o t s i a ^ n o i maski. Moscow, 1919. Aswell, M.L. The Dickens Digest. New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1943. Bakshy, A. The Path of Modern Russian Stage. London, Palmer and Hayward, 1916. BOwers, F. Theater and Entertainment i n the USSR Today. New York, Nelson Press, 1959. Bulgakov, M. P'esy. Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1962. Coleridge, E.H. The Works of Lord Byron; Poetry, v o l V. London, John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1901. Dostoevski, F.M. Povesti i rasskazi. 2 vol s . Moscow, Gosudarstvennoe Izdatelstvo, Khudozhestvenni L i t e r a t u r i , 1956. Elagin, I u r i i . Ukroshchenie iskusstv. New York, Chekhov. 1952. Freeman, J. Voices of October. New York, Vanguard, 1930. Gorchakov, N.A. The Theater i n Soviet Russia. New York, Columbia Un i v e r s i t y Press, 1958. Gorchakov, N.M. Rezhisserskie kommentary k knige N i k o l a i a V i r t y  "Zemlia". Moscow and Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1938. Rezhisserskie uroki K.S. Stanislavskogo, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1951. Gorky, M. F i v e Plays. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1959. Gregor, J. Russian Theater; Character and History 2 vols. London, Harrap Press, 1930. Houghton, N. Moscow Rehearsals. New York, Harcourt and Brace, 1930. Jelagin, J. Taming of the Arts. New York, Dutton Press, 1951. 114 Lunacharskii, A.V. Osnovy t e a t r a l ' n o l p o l i t i k i sovetskoi v l a s t i . Moscow, G o s l l t i z d a t , 1926. Stat' i o teatre j. dramaturgii. Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1938. Teatr: sbornik s t a t e ! o novom teatre. St. Petersburg, Shipovnik, 1908. MacLeod, J. Actors Across the Volga. London, A l l e n Press, 1946. New Soviet Theater. London, A l l e n Press, 1943. Makogonenko, G.P. Russkiye Dramaturgi, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1959. Markov, P.A. Soviet Theater. London, V. Gollanoz, 1934. Mgebrov, A.A. Zhizn' v teatre. 2 vols. Moscow and Leningrad, Academia, 1932. Morozov, M. Shakespeare on the Soviet Stage. London, Soviet News Press, 1947. Nemirovich-Danchenko, V. My_ L i f e i n the Russian Theater. London, G. Blessing, 1937. Nelidov, V.A. Teatral'naia Moskva: sorok l e t moskovskikh teatrov. B e r l i n and Riga, 1931 Rubtsov, A. I_z I s t o r i i Russkoi Dramaturgii. 2 vol s . Minsk, 1962. Sakhnovskii, V. Rezhissura _ i metodika ee prepodavaniia. Moscow and Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1939. Shkhlovskii, V. Khod konia. Moscow and B e r l i n , Gelikon, 1923. Slonim, M. Russian Theater; From the Empire to the Soviets, New York, C o l l i e r Books, 1962. Smirnova, N.A. Vos'pbmiha'n'iia. Moscow, Vserosskkskoe Teatral'noe Obshchestvo, 1947. S t a n i s l a v s k i i , K. E t i k a . Moscow, Muzei M;KhAT, 1947. Moia zhizn* v iskusstve. Moscow, Acadiemia, 1933. Rabota aktyora nad soboi. Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1951. Toporkov, V. S t a n i s l a v s k i i na r e p e t i t s i i . Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1950. Van Gyseghem, A. Theater i n Soviet Russia. London, Faber & Faber, 1943. 115 Varneke, B.V. History of Russian Theater. New York, Macmillan Press, 1951. Wiener, L. Contemporary Drama of Russia. Boston, L i t t l e , Brown & Co., 1924. Zograf, N. Vakhtangov. Moscow and Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1939. B. BOOKS: PARTS OF SERIES Blok, Alexander. Sobranie s o c h i n e n i i . 14 vols. Moscow, S o v e t s k i i p i s a t e l , 1936. Lenin, V.I. Sochineniia, Moscow, 4th E d i t i o n , Vols. 21, 24. Marx, K a r l and Engels, F r i e d r i c h . Sochineniia. Vol. 25. Moscow, 1924. Ostrovski, A.N. Sobranie sochinenii, torna 7-8. p ' e s i . Moskva, Gosudarstvennoe Izdatelstvo, Khudozhestvenni L i t e r a t u r i , 1960. Six Soviet Plays. Edited by Lyons, E., Boston & New York, Houghton & M f f f l i n Co., 1934. Seven Soviet Plays. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1939. Three Soviet Plays. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1959. C. PUBLICATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT, LEARNED SOCIETIES, AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. Dela 1 dni Bolshogo dramaticheskogo teatra. Petrograd, No. 1 (1919). Gorn. Moscow, Protekult, No. 1 (1919). Gudki. Moscow, Protekult, No. 1 (1919). Iskusstvo kommuny. Moscow, No. 1 (1918). M&stera MKhAT. Moscow and Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1939. 0 teatre: Sbornik state!. S.S. Danilov and S.S. M o k i l ' s k i i , e d i t o r s . Moscow and Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1940. P u t i r a z v i t i i a teatra: Sbornik. S.N. Krylov, editor. Moscow, Teakinopechat', 1927. Sbornik dekretov 1 postanovlenii po narodnomu obrazovaniiu. Moscow, Vol. 1 (1919). VKP (b) v r e z o l i u t s i i a k h i resheniiakh s'ezdov, k o n f e r e n t s i i , i plenumov TsK, Partizdat TsK VKP (b) part 1, Moscow, 1936. Z a p i s k i Gosudarstvennogo I n s t i t u t a Teatral'nogo Iskusstva imeni  Lunacharskogo. Moscow and Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1940. D. PERIODICALS Ezhegodnik Moskovskogo Khudozhestvennogo Teatra (Ezhegodnik MKhAT). Moscow, 1943-1947. Klubnaia stsena. Nos. 1, 2, 4-6, 1927; No. 9, 1930. Molodaia Gvardiia. No. 21 (1929). Na literaturnom postu. Moscow, No. 16, 1929. Novosti dnia. Moscow, Nos. 2-4 (1891). Ogonek, Shchedrin S. v o l . 3. Moscow, Ogonek, 1951. Pro l e t a r s k a i a kul'tura. Moscow, No. 3 (1918). Pr o l e t a r s k a i a r e v o l i u t s i i a . Moscow, No. 13/14 (1930). S o v e t s k i i t e a t r . Nos. 2/3, 4, 7, 9, 1931; Nos. 1-12, 1932; No. 2/3, 1933; No. 11, 1946. Teatr: Moscow, Nos. 1-9, 1937; 1939; 1945; 1950-52. T e a t r a l ' n y i al'manakh. Moscow, Nos. 1 (3), 2 (4), and 3 (5), 1946; No. 6, 1947; No. 7, 1948. Vestnik t e a t r a . Moscow, No. 33, 1919. E. ESSAYS AND ARTICLES IN COLLECTIONS Lenin, V.I. " T o l s t o i i proletarskaia bor'ba," Sochineniia, Moscow, 4th edition, No. 21. 117 F. NEWSPAPERS I z v e s t i l a VTsIK, September 9, 1919. Komsomol'skala pravda. August 12, 1925; September 12, 1925; December 8, 1925. Novoye Russkoye Slovo. New York, February 4-9, 1965. Pravda. Moscow, No. 2171 (1922). Sovetskoe iskusstvo. Moscow, December 21, 1939. Zhizn' iskusstva. Moscow, A p r i l 3, 1919. 

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