Cheliabinsk Drama Theater

Cheliabinsk Drama Theater

 

(full name, S. Tsvilling Cheliabinsk Drama Theater), a theater in the city of Cheliabinsk.

Before the October Revolution of 1917 performances in Cheliabinsk were staged, primarily by amateur companies, in a room of the People’s House, which had been established in 1903. In 1920 an “agitational and demonstration troupe to aid the front” was formed as part of the political section of the Fifth Army. The actress and playwright L. N. Seifullina and the playwright V. P. Pravdukhin began their careers in the troupe, which staged their plays Egorkin’s Life and The New Schoolteacher. On Oct. 21, 1922, the newly equipped theater of the People’s House officially opened its doors. The finest productions of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s included Trenev’s Liubov’ larovaia (1927), Bill-Belotserkovskii’s The Gale (1927), Faiko’s Man With a Briefcase (1928), Kirshon’s The Rails Are Humming (1928), V. Ivanov’s Armored Train 14–69 (1929), and Romashov’s The Fiery Bridge (1930).

In the 1930’s Cheliabinsk developed into a major industrial center. The theater added to its repertoire plays that dealt with heroes of large construction projects, especially projects in the Urals; the new plays included Pogodin’s Tempo and My Friend, Bezymenskii’s The Shot, and Afinogenov’s The Eccentric. Notable actors of this period were E. I. Ageev, S. P. Vadova, P. A. Garianov, M. V. Kochubei, and E. O. Preis.

An important place in the theater’s repertoire was occupied by plays about V. I. Lenin, such as Pogodin’s Man With a Gun (1938), The Kremlin Chimes (1940), and Third Pathétique (1959); The Bolshevik, by Del’ (1940); Popov’s The Family (1965); and Shtein’s Between Downpours (1966). During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the theater staged Simonov’s The Russian People, Leonov’s Invasion, and Komeichuk’s Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the theater often turned to classical Russian and Soviet plays, for example, Trenev’s Liubov’ larovaia, Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, an adaptation of L. N. Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and Mayakovsky’s The Bedbug.

Productions of the 1970’s included Salynskii’s Mariia (1970), an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novella The Village of Stepanchikovo (1971), Vasil’ev’s The Final Day (1971), Dvoretskii’s The Man From the Outside (1972), Bokarev’s The Steelworkers (1973), and Simonov’s The Russian People (1975). Members of the theater’s company include Honored Artist of the RSFSR L. I. Varfolomeev, T. O. Zolotarev, O. V. Klimova, V. Ia. Konoplianskii, P. I. Kuleshov, and V. I. Miloserdov. In 1975, Honored Art Worker of the Tatar ASSR N. Iu. Orlov became principal director of the Cheliabinsk Drama Theater.

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