Meyerhold: A Revolution in Theatre (Studies in Theatre History and Culture)
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Vsevolod Meyerhold began his career in theatre as an actor with the Moscow Art Theatre, and after a spell in the remote provinces he returned to Moscow at Stanislavski's invitation and founded a new, experimental studio for the Art Theatre. This biography recounts Meyerhold's extraordinary life of experiment and discovery, describing his rehearsal techniques and exercises, and provides as assessment of his continuing influence on contemporary theatre.
by Mayakovsky The Bee Bug, Scene One, With Bayan (Akxei Temerin), Madam Renaissance (Natalya Serebryanikova), and Prisypkin (Igor Ilinsky) TkeBedBug, Part Two, The defrosting of Prisypkin 186 190 191 191 192 194 197 198 199 201 201 202 204 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 215 216 217 218 218 220 224 226 228 232 232 234 237 239 240 241 244 245 246 249 250 250 Meyerhold and Shostakovich, 1928 The SecmáArmy Commander (1929). "The Firing Squad'. Construction by Sergei Vakhtangov 'The Sentries'
inspiration, even specific images, from painting. Now he discerned the key to the play's realisation in the art of II Perugino where 'the contemplative lyrical character of his subjects, the quiet grandeur and §8 Meyerhold A Revolution in Theatre archaic splendour of his pictures could be achieved only with compositions whose harmony is UHmarred by the slightest abrupt movement or the merest harsh contrast,*24 To this end a style of diction was developed incorporating 'a cold coining of the
re-create in precise detail the stages, costumes, settings, and theatrical conventions of past ages. Furthermore, an attempt was made to locate each play in its period by building *a stage within a stage'. In this way the spectator witnessed not only the performance but also the surroundings in wMch it might once have been presented, Yevgeny Znosko-Borovsky describes Yevreinov's production of Le Jeu de Robin et Marion: The pastorale was staged as it might have been in some castle in the Age of
condition seriously limit his mobility, but with his incorrigibly bad memory he was left helpless by the removal of the downstage prompter's box which the construction of the forestage necessitated. Rather than sacrifice his unique comic geniuSj Meyerhold and Golovin devised two ornate prompters' screens which were placed to either side of the stage. Before the performance, two bewigged prompters entered bearing large folios and lighted candles and seated themselves behind apertures in the
Petersburg setting took on these imagined attributes, and so became a true 'Venice of the North*, sharing its atmosphere of outward show and inner corruption, In the 1917 production the atmosphere of the supernatural, dominated by the Stranger as the emissary of infernal powers, tended to obscure the satirical aspect of the drama,* But this vision of man at the mercy of a malevolent capricious fate was familiar in Meyerhold'« work: it appeared first in Blok's Fairground Booth, it inspired the