Boris Ivanovich Ravenskikh

Ravenskikh, Boris Ivanovich


Born June 14 (27), 1914, in Moscow. Soviet stage director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1968). Member of the CPSU since 1954.

In 1935, Ravenskikh graduated from the department of directing at the Leningrad Theatrical Technicum. From 1935 to 1938 he was assistant director of the Meyerhold Theater; he then worked at the Moscow Art Theater. From 1941 to 1950 he was a director at the Drama Studio (later the Moscow Stanislavsky Dramatic Theater). In 1950 he directed D’iakonov’s Wedding With a Dowry at the Moscow Theater of Satire.

From 1951 to 1960, Ravenskikh was a director at the Malyi Theater. His most important production of this period was L. N. Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness, which he treated as a lofty tragedy by developing the theme of man’s responsibility. From 1960 to 1970, Ravenskikh headed the Moscow Pushkin Dramatic Theater. He staged modern publicist plays, including Squarzina’s Romagnola (1963) and Mdivani’s Teresa’s Birthday (1961), as well as the heroic large-scale drama Virgin Soil Upturned (1964; adapted from Sholokhov’s novel) and the impassioned revolutionary play Dramatic Song (1971; adapted by Ravenskikh and Ancharov from N. A. Ostrovskii’s novel How the Steel Was Tempered).

Since 1970, Ravenskikh has been principal director of the Malyi Theater. In 1972, with Ungurianu, he staged Drutse’s Birds of Our Youth, and in 1973 A. K. Tolstoy’s tragedy Tsar Fe-dor loannovich. Ravenskikh makes skillful use of music and versatility of expression to reveal the inner meaning of a work. His productions are marked by psychological delineation of character and by vivid and powerful emotional impact.

Ravenskikh received the State Prize of the USSR (1951, 1972) and the State Prize of the RSFSR (1967). He has been awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and several medals.