Sobol’Shchikov-Samarin, Nikolai Ivanovich
(real surname, Sobol’shchikov). Born Mar. 28 (Apr. 9), 1868, in St. Petersburg; died July 20, 1945, in Gorky. Soviet actor and stage director. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1934).
Sobol’shchikov-Samarin began his career as an actor and stage director in 1892. From time to time he directed private troupes, primarily in cities of the Volga region. He helped establish acting ensembles of high artistic quality and promoted the plays of Chekhov and Gorky.
After the October Revolution of 1917, Sobol’shchikov-Samarin was one of the leading organizers of the Soviet theater. From 1917 to 1924 he worked in Odessa. In 1924 he became artistic director, actor, and stage director of a theater in Nizhny Novgorod (now the city of Gorky). Here, in 1927, he staged a new version of Gorky’s Smug Citizens (first staged 1903). Other plays included Griboedov’s Woe From Wit (1932), Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1932), Ianovskii’s Frenzy (1929), Afinogenov’s Fear (1932), Romashov’s Fighters (1934), and Arbuzov’s Tania (1940). Sobol’-shchikov-Samarin’s acting roles included the Actor and Satin in Gorky’s The Lower Depths, Bessemenov and Teterev in Gorky’s Smug Citizens, Neznamov in Ostrovskii’s Guilty Though Guiltless, and Rogozhin in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.
As a director, Sobol’shchikov-Samarin helped train many generations of actors and was a major theatrical organizer. He was awarded the Order of Lenin.
WORKSZapiski, 2nd ed. Gorky, 1960.
REFERENCESobolev, lu. Za kulisamiprovintsiarnogo teatra. Moscow, 1928.
A. IA. SHNEER