Okhlopkov, Nikolai

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Okhlopkov, Nikolai Pavlovich


Born May 2 (15), 1900, in Irkutsk; died Jan. 8, 1967, in Moscow. Soviet stage and film director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1948). Member of the CPSU from 1952.

Okhlopkov made his debut as an actor in 1918. In 1921, in honor of May Day, he staged a mass pageant in Irkutsk’s city square, and in 1922 he staged Mayakovsky’s Mystery Bouffe in the Irkutsk Youth Theater. Beginning in 1923, he acted in the Meyerhold Theater while studying at the State Theatrical Studios directed by V. E. Meyerhold. From 1930 to 1937, Okhlopkov directed the Realistic Theater, from 1938 to 1943 he directed and acted in the Vakhtangov Theater, and between 1943 and 1966 he was chief director of the Moscow Drama Theater (from 1954 called the Mayakovsky Moscow Theater).

Okhlopkov favored plays whose nature was heroic, publicistic, and theatrical. He had a special affinity for tragic conflicts that reflected inner human strength, and considered an integrated expressiveness to be of great importance in the theater. His best productions at the Realistic Theater were The Mother, adapted from Gorky’s novel (1933), The Iron Stream, adapted from Serafimovich’s novel (1933), and Pogodin’s The Aristocrats (1935); at the Vakhtangov Theater, Solov’ev’s Field Marshal Kutuzov (1940) and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (1942); and at the Mayakovsky Theater, The Young Guard, adapted from Fadeev’s novel (1947), Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1954), Shtein’s Hotel Astoriia (1956), Arbuzov’s Irkutsk Story (1960), and Euripides’ Medea (1961). He also staged the operas Mother by Khrennikov and The Decembrists by Shaporin at the Bolshoi Theater.

In the 1920’s, Okhlopkov began directing and acting in films. Among his most important film roles were Vasilii Buslaev in Alexander Nevsky, Vasilii in Lenin in October and Lenin in 1918, Commissar Vorob’ev in The Story of a Real Man, and Batmanov in Far From Moscow. Okhlopkov was a professor at the A. V. Lunacharskii State Institute of Theatrical Arts. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and 1947 and twice in both 1949 and 1951. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and several medals.


Beilin, A. Narodnyi artist SSSR N. P. Okhlopkov. Moscow, 1953.
Iuzovskii, Iu. Zachem liudi khodiat v teatr. Moscow, 1964.
Shtein, A. “Povest’ o torn, kak voznikaiut siuzhety.” Znamia, 1964, no. 8.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.