Aleksandr Grigorevich Kramov

Kramov, Aleksandr Grigor’evich

 

Born Dec. 23, 1884 (Jan. 4, 1885), in Kiev; died May 17, 1951, in Kharkov. Soviet Russian actor and director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1944).

Kramov graduated from E. A. Lepkovskii’s Theatrical School in 1905 and joined the troupe of the Kiev Solovtsov Theater. He graduated from the law department of the University of Kiev in 1908. Between 1909 and 1912, Kramov acted in Kherson, Samara, and St. Petersburg. Among the roles he played were Khlestakov in The Inspector-General by Gogol and Mitrofanushka in The Minor by Fonvizin. Beginning in 1919, Kramov acted in Moscow theaters, including the Theater of the Revolution and the former Korsh Theater. In his work in the MGSPS Theater (1924 to 1933), he created a gallery of characters who typified the new, revolutionary order, including Raevich and the miner Patsiuk in The Gale and Voice of the Womb by BilF-Belotserkovskii and the title role in the stage version of Furmanov’s novel Chapaev. It was here that Kramov revealed the distinctive features of his talent, marked by a keen feeling for the contemporary, lofty civic spirit, and the ability to portray the outstanding traits of the Soviet people. In 1933, Kramov became an actor and director with the Kharkov Russian Drama Theater and in 1936 was made its artistic director. The roles of V. I. Lenin in Pogodin’s plays Man With a Gun (1938) and The Kremlin Chimes (1947; he directed both plays) and Polezhaev in Restless Old Age by Rakhmanov were his most successful acting portrayals.

His rare charm, true acting gifts, and humane qualities enabled Kramov to create a number of highly interesting stage roles. Among them were the subtly delineated and deeply psychological character of Protasov (The Living Corpse by L. N. Tolstoy), the grotesque character of Krutitskii (Even a Wise Man Stumbles by A. N. Ostrovskii), and the touching and humorous Epikhodov (The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov). As a director he concentrated on Soviet plays such as Egor Bulychov and Others by Gorky (1934), The Aristocrats by Pogodin (1935), The Front by Korneichuk (1943), For Those at Seal by Lavrenev (1947), and The Family by Popov (1950). Between 1936 and 1941, Kramov was the artistic director of the studio affiliated with the theater and in 1947 became a teacher at the Kharkov Theatrical Institute (from 1948 on as a professor). He was a deputy to the first and second convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR. Kramov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and a medal.

REFERENCES

Kublanov, B. “Tvorcheskii put’ Kramova.” In A. G. Kramov: 30 let na stsene, 1908–1938. Kharkov, 1938.
Bukvin, V. A. G. Kramov. Kiev [I960].

P. R. REZNIKOV