(full name, M. Gorky Volgograd Dramatic Theater). Regular theatrical performances began in the 1870’s in Tsaritsyn. Companies run by various theatrical managers performed in the city. The present theater came into existence in 1918 as a branch of a local society of the people’s universities. Until 1934 the theater was municipal; since 1934 it has been an oblast theater. The theater building was destroyed during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) and was rebuilt in 1952. Romantic and heroic plays make up the bulk of the theater’s repertoire. Staged in collaboration with the playwrights have been Chepurin’s Stalingraders (1944), The Last Frontiers (1948), and Conscience (1950); Kostin and Volokitin’s Stars on the Wings (1950); Lipovskii’s Redoubtable Weapon (1955); Sheinin’s The Big Step (1953), Sons (1958), and On the Long March (1962); and Nikolaev’s Where the Waves Storm (1958). Also among the best productions have been Kamenskii’s Sten’ka Razin (1925); Pogodin’s My Friend (1933), The Kremlin Chimes (1957), and Third Pathetique (1959); Prut’s Prince Mstislav the Bold (1933); Korneichuk’s The Destruction of the Squadron (1934, 1963) and Platon Krechet (1935); Shakespeare’s Othello (1934); Kats and Rzheshevskii’s Oleko Dundic (1956); Bulgakov’s The Running Away (1957); Schiller’s The Robbers (1958); Pavlova’s Conscience (1964); Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera (1965); Shatrov’s The Sixth of July (1966); Karim’s On the Night of the Lunar Eclipse (1970); Panferov’s Bruski (1970); and Shtein’s Between Downpours (1970).
Gorky’s plays occupy a significant place in the repertoire, and the theater has borne his name since 1929. These plays include Enemies (1932), Smug Citizens (1935, 1970), Egor Bulychov and Others (1935, 1949, 1967), Children of the Sun (1937), The Barbarians (1940, 1959), Vassa Zheleznova (1948), The Lower Depths (1952), and The Old Man (1965). The theater has been directed by V. M. Engel’kron, S. A. Maiorov, L. S. Fatin, V. A. Ivanov, F. E. Shishigin, N. A. Pokrovskii, and N. A. Bondarev. The actors who have worked at the theater include V. A. Bure, M. F. Gorbatova, N. A. Sokolov, A. N. Steshin, A. D. Krasovskii, E. P. Miazina, I. M. Smoktunovskii, I. G. Lapikov, G. I. Sal’nikov, P. V. lasnopol’skaia, V. A. Akimov, A. I. Mashkov, A. A. Vysotskii, M. N. Kashtanov, and E. la. Evgen’eva. Costume and stage designers who have worked at the theater include the artists F. P. Novikov and N. N. Medovshchikov. Members of the troupe (1970) include People’s Artist of the RSFSR and Honored Artist of the Uzbek SSR K. A. Sinitsyn; Honored Artists of the RSFSR T. B. Valasiadi, V. M. Kliukin, D. I. larskii, and S. P. Kukharenko; Honored Artist of the Byelorussian SSR G. P. Glinoetskii; Honored Artist of the Turkmen SSR lu. G. Lukin; Honored Artist of the Severnaia Osetiia ASSR V. P. Bondarenko; and Honored Artist of the Tatar ASSR G. A. Zharkov.
L. I. MEL’NIKOV