Central Children's Theater

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Central Children’s Theater


a children’s theater that opened in Moscow in 1921. The theater was originally called the Moscow Theater for Children and was directed by N. I. Sats. It assumed its present name in 1936. By collaborating with young playwrights, it has made a great contribution to the development of a new repertoire and to the formulation of the artistic and pedagogical principles of stagecraft for children.

The Central Children’s Theater was the first theater to stage N. I. Sats’ and S. G. Rozanov’s The Negro Boy and the Monkey (1927), N. Ia. Shestakov’s The Altai Robinsons (1928), L. D. Vepritskaia’s The Informer (1928), and V. A. Liubimova’s Serezha Strel’tsov (1935). The theater’s repertoire includes works of various genres, from fairy tales and vaudevilles to romantic dramas and tragedies. Notable productions include Kataev’s Son of the Regiment (1945), Mikhalkov’s The Red Tie (1947), The Sombrero (1957), and The First Troika, or the Year 2001 (1970), a dramatization of N. Ostrovskii’s How the Steel Was Tempered (1947, 1967), Kaverin’s Two Captains (1948), Rozov’s Good Luck! (1954), In Search of Joy (1957), and The Traditional Reunion (1967), Khmelik’s Kol’ka, My Friend! (1959), Aleksin’s The Return Address (1971), and a dramatization of Fadeev’s The Young Guard (1974).

Productions for younger audiences include Marshak’s Fairy Tales (1941), Gabbe’s City of Craftsmen (1944), Shvarts’ The Snow Queen (1948, 1971), a dramatization of Ershov’s The LittleHumpbacked Horse (1952, 1972), and Pushkin’s Fairy Tales (1966). The theater has also regularly staged productions of the classics, including Fonvizin’s The Minor (1939, 1950, 1964), Griboedov’s Woe From Wit (1951), Pushkin’s Boris Godunov (1957), Gogol’s Marriage (1963), and Gorky’s The Zykov Family (1968) and The Enemies (1975).

The theater has been headed by V. F. Dudin (1937–43), L. A. Volkov (1943–48), O. I. Pyzhova (1948–50), V. S. Kolesaev (1950–54), and M. O. Knebel’ (1955–60, 1966–68). Notable stage directors have included G. A. Tovstonogov, O. N. Efremov, and A. V. Efros. Outstanding actors who have performed in the theater include Z. A. Sazhin, T. D. Solov’ev, L. S. Chernyshova, and A. I. Dmitrieva. From 1945 to 1974 the administrative director of the theater was K. Ia. Shakh-Azizov, who was also the artistic director from 1960 to 1966.

As of 1977, the company included People’s Artist of the USSR V. A. Sperantova (died 1978); People’s Artists of the RSFSR I. D. Voronov, E. V. Perov, and G. M. Pechnikov; People’s Artist of the Tadzhik SSR G. D. Stepanov; and Honored Artists of the RSFSR M. T. Androsov, P. V. Dolzhanov, A. V. Eliseeva, V. A. Kalmykov, M. G. Kupriianova, M. S. Neiman, G. G. Novozhilova, V. I. Poluparnev, S. G. Sokolov, N. F. Ternovskaia, B. A. Chukaev, and A. M. Shchukin. People’s Artist of the RSFSR V. V. Kuz’min has been principal stage director since 1975.

From 1945 to 1976 the theater maintained a studio that is now the Children’s Theater Division of the Lunacharskii State Institute of Theatrical Arts. The theater has performed in the German Democratic Republic (1966), Bulgaria (1968), the Federal Republic of Germany (1970), Canada (1972), the USA (1972), and India (1974).

The theater was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1969.


Tsentral’nyi detskii teatr. (Photo album.) Moscow, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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