Sergei Obraztsov

Obraztsov, Sergei Vladimirovich

 

Born June 22 (July 5), 1901, in Moscow. Soviet Russian theatrical figure, actor, and director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1954) and Hero of Socialist Labor (1971). Son of V. N. Obraztsov.

Obraztsov studied in the department of painting at the Higher Arts Studios from 1918 to 1926. From 1922 to 1930 he performed at the Moscow Art Musical Studio of the Moscow Art Theater (from 1926, the V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater). He acted in strong character roles at the Second Moscow Art Theater from 1930 to 1936.

Obraztsov first used puppets in his performances in 1920. By the mid-1930’s he had become a popular variety performer, known for his parodies “romances with puppets.” The head of the State Central Puppet Theater since 1931, Obraztsov developed the theory and techniques of the theater, created the theater’s repertoire, and trained many actors and directors. His productions for children include Speranskii’s Kashtanka (1935), Tarakhovskaia’s By a Wave of the Wand (1936), Gernet’s Aladdin’s Lamp (1940), Marshak’s Mister Twister (1961), and Gernet’s Little Tiger Petrik (1965). Those for adults include Gogol’s The Night Before Christmas (1941); Speranskii’s The Deer King (1943); The Unusual Concert (1946); Shtok’s The Devil’s Mill (1953) and The Divine Comedy (1961); The Housewarming (1970); and The Central Puppet Theater Shows and Tells (1973).

Since 1956, Obraztsov has also worked in film as a screenwriter and director. Among his films are The Amazing Is Close at Hand (1962), The Movie Camera Accuses (1968), Improbable Truth (1970), and Who Needs Him, This Vas’ka! (1973). Vice-president of the International Puppeteers Union from 1957 to 1976, Obraztsov was made president in 1976. He has been president of the Soviet center of this organization since 1958. He has taught intermittently, since 1935, and in 1973 he became a professor. Obraztsov received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946 and the K. S. Stanislavsky State Prize of the RSFSR in 1967. He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and a number of medals.

WORKS

Akter s kukloi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Moia professiia. Moscow, 1950.
O tom, chto ia uvidel, uznal i ponial vo vremia dvukh poezdok v London. Moscow, 1956.
“Estafeta iskusstv.” Iskusstvo kino, 1966, nos. 1, 3, 7; 1967, no. 3; 1968, nos. 6, 11; 1971, no. 6.

REFERENCES

Smirnova, N. I. Sovetskii teatr kukol, 1918–1932. Moscow, 1963.
Smirnova, N. I. Teatr Sergeia Obraztsova. [Moscow, 1971.] [18–645–3; updated]
References in periodicals archive ?
When asked where it all began, Blundall cites a solo performance by Russian puppeteer Sergei Obraztsov in 1952.
This observation brings Gross to the work of the famous Russian puppeteer Sergei Obraztsov, who, in his Attitude to a Lady, used simple balls on the index finger of each of his otherwise bare hands to act out a scenario of courtship and seduction.
(The show is Gulliver, from Moscow State Puppet Theatre "Sergei Obraztsov," created by Yekaterina Obraztsova, the grand-daughter of the theatre's namesake.) Step inside and crane your necks at the boy who never grows up!
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