All-Russian Theatrical Society

All-Russian Theatrical Society

 

one of the oldest creative organizations uniting theatrical workers of the RSFSR. Located in Moscow.

The society originated in St. Petersburg in 1883 as the Society for Aid to Needy Stage Artists. In 1894 this society became the Russian Theatrical Society, having the goal of aiding the development of the theater in Russia. The society’s founders and directors included such leading actors of that time as M. G. Savina, V. N. Davydov, N. F. Sazonov, E. N. Zhuleva, and D. M. Leonova; the playwright A. A. Potekhin; the writer D. V. Grigorovich; and the publisher A. A. Kraevskii. The society had representatives in most of the cities of Russia and held congresses of theatrical workers. Its activities, however, were primarily devoted to the struggle to improve the legal status of actors. During the Soviet period the work of the society (known since 1932 as the All-Russian Theatrical Society) took on a creative character; with the society’s assistance, independent theatrical societies began to appear in the Union republics.

In 1970 the All-Russian Theatrical Society united approximately 25,000 theatrical workers of the RSFSR and had 72 divisions in the capitals of the autonomous republics and in krai and oblast centers. The society devotes attention to all aspects of the theatrical arts. It renders creative aid to professional and amateur theater groups—for example, it assists in developing a repertoire; helps improve the thematic and artistic quality of productions by holding creative conferences, seminars, and discussions; and studies and disseminates the experiences of outstanding masters. The society has been publishing books on the theater since 1922. It sup-ports creative relations with unions of theatrical workers from socialist and other countries as well as with international progressive theatrical organizations.

During Soviet times the society’s directors have included the most important theatrical and public figures. From 1917 to 1964 the society was headed by A. A. Iablochkina and since 1964, by M. I. Tsarev.

The society’s system includes Actors’ Houses in Moscow, Leningrad, and other cities of the RSFSR; the Central Scientific Library (with a bibliographical consulting-room) in Moscow and its branches in the 72 local divisions; A. N. Ostrovskii’s Shchelykovo Museum-Preserve in Kostroma Oblast; a sound-recording studio; and factories for theatrical properties. The society renders social and everyday practical aid to its members; it maintains Houses of Creative Arts, resorts, Houses for Veterans of the Stage in Moscow and Leningrad, and children’s health-improvement institutions.

REFERENCES

Izvestiia Soveta Imperatorskogo Russkogo teatral’nogo obshchestva, issues 1-23. Petrograd, 1913-1917.
Grigor’ev, M. 60 let Vserossiiskogo teatral’nogo obshchestva. Moscow, 1946.
lablochkina, A. A. 75 let v teatre. Moscow, 1966. (The chapter “Obshchestvennyi dolg artista.”)

M. S. ZILOV

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