Nikolai Vasilevich Petrov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Petrov, Nikolai Vasil’evich


Born June 21 (July 3), 1890, in Ekaterinburg (present-day Sverdlovsk); died Sept. 29, 1964, in Moscow. Soviet director. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1945). Doctor of art studies.

From 1908 to 1910, Petrov studied directing at the Moscow Art Theater under V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko. From 1910 to 1933, he worked at the Aleksandrinskii Theater (renamed in 1920 the Petrograd Academic Drama Theater), first as an assistant director, later as a director, and from 1928 as manager and artistic director. He was active in introducing Soviet plays into the repertoire. Petrov staged Bill’-Belotserkovskii’s Calm and Vsevolod Ivanov’s Armored Train 14-69 (both 1927), Ianovskii’s Rage (1930), and Afinogenov’s The Eccentric (1930) and Fear (1931). He was the artistic director of the Kharkov Theater of Russian Drama from 1933 to 1936 and staged Korneichuk’s The Truth in the Moscow Theater of the Revolution in 1937. As chief director of the Moscow Theater of Railroad Transport from 1939 to 1948, Petrov staged Romashov’s It Can Happen to Anyone (1940), Afinogenov’s Mashen’ka (1941), and other plays. He was a director at the Moscow Theater of Satire from 1948 to 1953 and the theater’s chief director from 1948 to 1953. In 1956 he became a director at the Pushkin Theater in Moscow. Petrov’s major productions included Mayakovsky’s The Bathhouse, which Petrov codirected with V. N. Pluchek and S. I. Iutkevich at the Moscow Theater of Satire in 1953 and at the Berlin Volks-bühne in 1958. He directed a stage version of Dostoevsky’s The Gambler in 1956 at the Pushkin Theater in Moscow.

Petrov wrote a number of books and articles on directing. He was involved in educational work from 1910. He headed the acting and directing departments at the State Institute of Theatrical Arts, where he became a professor in 1946. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1948 and was also awarded two orders and a number of medals.


50 i 500. Moscow, 1960.
Rezhisser v teatre. Moscow, 1961.
Puti k tvorchestvu. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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