Plavil’shchikov, Petr Alekseevich
Born Mar. 24 (Apr. 4), 1760, in Moscow; died Oct. 18 (30), 1812, in the village of Khoneevo, in what is now Bezhetsk Raion, Kalinin Oblast. Russian actor and playwright.
Plavil’shchikov graduated from Moscow University in 1779. From 1779 to 1793 he acted in the St. Petersburg Theater and from 1787 to 1793 was the company’s supervisor. He later acted in Moscow. Plavil’shchikov performed in a number of tragedies, playing Iarbas in Kniazhnin’s Dido and Oedipus in Ozerov’s Oedipus in Athens. He acted successfully in comedies about everyday affairs and in dramas about the bourgeoisie; his roles included Pravdin and Skotinin in Fonvizin’s The Minor and the title role in Saurin’s Beverley. Plavil’shchikov believed that the arts should depict the third estate—the bourgeoisie and the merchant class; he wrote a number of programmatic articles on this topic in 1792 for Zritel’, a journai he published jointly with I. A. Krylov. Plavil’shchikov’s best comedies, The Bachelor (produced in 1790) and The Salesman (produced in 1803), were devoted to the everyday life of peasants and merchants. He also wrote the tragedies Riurik (produced as Vseslav in 1791) and Ermak, the Conqueror of Siberia (1803).