Fedor Fedorovich Komissarzhevskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Komissarzhevskii, Fedor Fedorovich


Born May 23 (June 4), 1882, in Venice; died Apr. 16, 1954, in Darien, Conn. Russia director, teacher, and theoretician of the theater.

The brother of V. F. Komissarzhevskaia, he worked from 1906 in the theater founded by her. Later he directed plays in K. N. Nezlobin’s theater and in the Malyi Theater in Moscow. Komissarzhevskii endeavored to establish new forms of theater and dreamed of creating a romantic, philosophical theater. He staged adaptations of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and Goethe’s Faust. In 1910 he organized a studio in Moscow. Affiliated with it was the V. F. Komissarzhevskaia Theater, which opened in 1914 and produced such plays as Ozerov’s Dmitrii Donskoi and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In 1918, Komissarzhevskii worked in the studio-style Novyi Theater, where he presented Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. His goal was to train “universal” actors who could act in drama, sing, and dance.

Komissarzhevskii also worked as an opera director in S. I. Zimin’s theater and at the Bol’shoi Theater, staging Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Borodin’s Prince Igor. After 1919 he lived in Great Britain, France, the USA, and a number of other countries. He staged plays by N. V. Gogol, I. S. Turgenev, and A. P. Chekhov and operas by M. P. Mussorgsky and A. P. Borodin. Komissarzhevskii taught at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.


Tvorchestvo aktera i teoriia Stanislavskogo. Petrograd [1916].
Teatral’nye preliudii. Moscow, 1916.
The Theatre and a Changing Civilisation. London [1935].


Kryzhitskii, G. Rezhisserskie portrety. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928.
Il’inskii, I. Sam o sebe. Moscow, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.