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Entries / Drama Theatre (entry)

Drama Theatre (entry)

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

DRAMA THEATRE. The performances of the theatre of Tsar Peter the Great's sister, Tsarevna Natalia Alexeevna (from 1714) can be considered as the first attempts to establish a standing public theatre in St. Petersburg. Various foreign companies on tour, such as J.K. Eckenberg's troupe, had been giving performances in St. Petersburg since 1719. From the 1730s, foreign troupes were included in the system of the Russian Court Theatres, giving performances on regular bases. In 1756, by the decree of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, the first Russian professional public theatre was established in St. Petersburg (see Russian Theatre for Tragedy and Comedy Performances). The history of the Russian Drama School (see Drama College) and periodicals (see: Theatrical Periodicals) date back to this time. In 1779, the private Free Russian Theatre of K.P. Knipper was opened on Tsaritsyn Meadow (the Field of Mars), and from 1783 until 1796 it was overtaken and given the name Maly (Wooden) Theatre. Up to 1882, the monopoly of the Imperial Theatres (see Imperial Theatres, Alexandrinsky Theatre) remained in force, and only after the revocation of the monopoly did an intense development of private theatres begin, exemplified by the Suvorinsky Theatre (see Theatre of Literary Artistic Society), the New Theatre of L.B. Yavorskaya, the Public Theatre of the Ligovsky People's House (from 1903) and Travelling Theatre (from 1905) of P.P. Gaydeburov and N.F. Skarskaya, and the Komissarzhevskaya Theatre. Since 1908, commercial theatres of the so-called light genres (operetta, farce), exemplified by Nezlobin Theatre (see V.L. Yureneva) and including theatres-cabarets and miniatures theatres, proliferated in Saint Petersburg. This time is also noted as the time of numerous theatrical experiments at theater clubs and other stages (see V.E. Meyerhold, N.N. Evreinov, F.F. Komissarzhevsky, Old Theatre). The year 1913 saw the premier performances of the World First Theatre of Futurists (Vladimir Mayakovsky by V.V. Mayakovsky, and A.E. Kruchenykh and M.V. Matyushin's The Victory over the Sun, designed by K.S. Malevich). After the February Revolution of 1917, the Imperial Theatres were reorganised into state theatres. In the first post-revolutionary years, mass propaganda performances were widely staged, directed by such directors as N.V. Petrov, S.E. Radlov, K.A. Mardzhanov, and Evreinov. During Soviet rule, new theatres emerged, among them the Yuryev Tragedy Theatre (1918) the Bolshoy Drama Theatre. Various theatrical enterprises were also introduced under Radlov's guidance, such as the Bryantsev Young People's Theatre; various Puppet Theatres; the Comedy Theatre; the Red Theatre (from 1924) and Theatre of Working Youth (from 1925), which were united in 1936 into Leningrad Lenin Komsomol Theatre (see Theatre-Festival); the Baltysky Dom (Baltic House); the New Theatre (see Lensoveta Theatre); the Komissarzhevskaya Theatre; the MDT (see Maly Drama Theatre - Theatre of Europe); the Drama and Comedy Theatre (see Drama Theatre on Liteiny); and Molodezhny (Youth) Theatre. The evolution of theatrical education in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) during the Soviet period and after is reflected in the history of the Academy of Dramatic Arts. St. Petersburg boasts the oldest Theatrical Library in Russia, a Museum for Drama and Musical Art, its possessions and exhibitions representing all stages of Petersburg Theatre History, as well as public theatrical establishments and the Union of Theatrical Workers.

References: Петровская И. Ф., Сомина В. В. Театральный Петербург: Нач. XVIII в.-окт. 1917 г.: Обозрение-путеводитель. СПб., 1994.

A. A. Kirillov.

Bryantsev Alexander Alexandrovich
Eckenberg J.K.
Elizaveta Petrovna, Empress
Evreinov Nikolay Nikolaevich
Gaydeburov Pavel Pavlovich
Knipper Karl P.
Komissarzhevskaya Vera Fedorovna
Komissarzhevsky Fedor Fedorovich
Kruchenykh Alexander (Alexey) Eliseevich
Malevich Kazimir Severinovich
Mardzhanov Kote Alexandrovich
Matyushin Mikhail Vasilievich
Mayakovsky Vladimir Vladimirovich
Meyerhold Vsevolod Emilievich
Natalia Alexeevna, Duchess
Nezlobin Konstantin Nikolaevich
Peter I, Emperor
Petrov Nikolay Vasilievich
Radlov Sergey Ernestovich
Skarskaya Nadezhda Fedorovna
Yavorskaya (nee von Gubbenet) Lidia Borisovna
Yureneva Vera Leonidovna
Yuryev Yury Mikhailovich

The Field of Mars/Saint Petersburg, city

Петровская И. Ф., Сомина В. В. Театральный Петербург: Нач. XVIII в. - окт. 1917 г.: Обозрение-путеводитель. СПб., 1994

The subject Index
Literary and Artistic Society Theatre
Komissarzhevskaya Theatre
Starinny (Old) Theatre
Tovstonogov Bolshoy Drama Theatre
Akimov Comedy Theatre
Lensovet Theatre
Dramatic Theatre on Liteiny
Molodezhny (Youth) Theatre on Fontanka
Maly Drama Theatre - Theatre of Europe
Theatre Library
Museum of Theatre and Music Art
Theatre Workers of the Russian Federation, Union of
Russian Theatre for Tragedy and Comedy
Theatre College
Imperial Theatres
Alexandrinsky Theatre