Gorky Theater of Drama

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gorky Theater of Drama


(M. Gorky Academic Theater), one of the oldest Russian theaters.

The origins of the Gorky Theater date back to 1798, when Prince N. G. Shakhovskoi opened a public theater in Nizhny Novgorod. After Shakhovskoi’s death in 1824 the theater was owned in turn by various entrepreneurs. The most important provincial actors, such as N. K. Miloslavskii, N. Kh. Rybakov. and E. B. Piunova-Shmitgof, performed on the Nizhny Novgorod stage. The following actors played there on tour: M. S. Shchepkin, A. E. Martynov, M. N. Ermolo-va, A. P. Lenskii, K. S. Stanislavsky, M. P. and O. O. Sadovskii, P. A. Strepetova, K. A. Varlamov, and P. N. Or-lenev. In 1896 a theater building was erected in the city (architect V. A. Shreter). From 1924 to 1945 this theater was directed by N. I. Sobol’shchikov-Samarin. The plays of M. Gorky have made up a large part of the theater’s repertoire—for example, Smug Citizens (1902, 1927), The Lower Depths (1903. 1967). The Barbarians (1906, 1943), The Last Ones (1917, 1936), Egor Bulychov and the Others (1932, 1951), The Summer People (1946), The Old Man (1950). and The Counterfeit Coin (1958). The theater has also produced the following plays by Soviet playwrights: Fear by Afinogenov (1932), Man With a Gun by Pogodin (1936), The Front by Korneichuk (1942), The Russian People by Simonov (1942), Invasion by Leonov (1943), An Optimistic-Tragedy by Vishnevskii (1957), and An Irkutsk Story by Ar-buzov (I960).

The directors E. A. Brill’, V. P. Lermin, N. A. Pokrovskii, M. A. Gersht, and B. D. Voronov have worked in the Gorky Theater of Drama. Since 1970 the theater’s principal director has been K. M. Dubinin. As of 1971, the theater’s company included People’s Artists of the RSFSR V. I. Kuz-netsov, N. A. Levkoev. and S. P. Ozhigin. Honored Artists of the RSFSR A. N. Gorianskaia, R. M. Vashurina, B. V. Kostin, V. V. Vikhrov, and N. G. Voloshin, and Honored Artist of the Byelorussian SSR L. S. Drozdova. The Gorky Theater of Drama was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1949.


Sobol’shchikov-Samarin, N. 1. Zapiski, 2nd ed. Gorky, 1960.
Surkov, E. Gor’kovskii oblastnoi teatr dramy. [Gorky] 1937.
Barsukov, N., and Iu. Volchek. Velikie sorok let (Stranitsv iz istorii Gor’kovskogo teatra dramy im. M. Gor’kogo). Gorky, 1957.
Beliakov, B. Letopis’ nizltegorodskogo-Gor’kovskogo teatra, 1798–1960. Gorky. 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.