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(in Russian, Siniaia bluza), a Soviet theater that presented variety performances devoted to contemporary issues. It existed from 1923 to the early 1930’s.
The Blue Blouse, founded at the Moscow Institute of Journalism as a successor to the living newspaper (seeLIVING NEWSPAPER), was originally a variety theater group whose members performed in blue work shirts. Its founder, an author and one of the performers, was B. S. Iuzhanin. Soon 15 more such groups came into being.
The material presented by Blue Blouse was topical and combined the heroic and inspired with satire and humor; it consisted mainly of group recitations, chastushki (folk ditties, often humorous), and gymnastic dances. Blue Blouse groups performed in “red corners” (cultural and educational establishments), clubs, and factory and plant shops throughout Russia. Similar groups arising in other cities became professional theaters and helped develop new types of theatrical and variety performances. Many Soviet writers, composers, actors, stage directors, and artists began their careers in the Blue Blouse theater. A number of Blue Blouse groups toured abroad, in Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, and China, influencing the workers’ theater of various countries.
REFERENCESAl’bom Siniaia bluza SSSR. [Moscow, 1928.]
Ardov, E. Razgovornye zhanry na estrade. Moscow, 1968. Pages 75–79.