Iakov Danilovich Shumskii

Shumskii, Iakov Danilovich


Year of birth unknown; died 1812. Russian actor.

Shumskii, a close associate of F. G. Volkov, helped organize a theater in Yaroslavl in the 1740’s. In 1752 he and the other actors of the theater were summoned to St. Petersburg to perform in the court troupe. In 1756, Shumskii joined the first permanent Russian public theater. Shumskii’s simple and straightforward style of acting, in particular his brilliant flair for comedy, was linked with the Russian folk theater. He mainly played humorous servants and young rakes, for example, Vasilii in Lukin’s The Spendthrift by Love Reformed and Sosie in Moliére’s Amphitryon. He also played humorous old women, creating the role of Ere-meevna in Fonvizin’s The Minor (1782).

Shumskii retired in 1785 and thereafter appeared on the stage only occasionally. He also worked as a teacher and director. In the 1760’s he directed performances at the School for the Nobility.


Aksakov, S. T. “Ia. E. Shusherin i sovremennye emu teatral’nye znamenitosti.” Sobr. soch., vol. 2. Moscow, 1955.
Aseev, B. N. Russkii dramaticheskii teatr XVII-XVIII vv. Moscow, 1958.