Theatrical Journals

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Theatrical Journals


Theatrical periodicals were first published in Russia in the late 18th century. The first such publication was the German-language journal Russische Theatralien (St. Petersburg; 1784, nos. 1–3), which was put out by the actor Sauerweid, a member of the German theater company. Collections of plays in the repertoire of Russian theaters were also published in Russian: Rossiiskii Teatr, ili Polnoe sobrante vsekh rossiiskikh teatral’nykh sochinenii (The Russian Theater, or a Complete Collection of All Russian Theatrical Works; St. Petersburg, 1786–91, 1793–94), Dramaticheskii vestnik (Dramatic Journal; St. Petersburg, 1808), and Zhurnal dramaticheskii na 1811 god (Dramatic Journal for the Year 1811; Moscow, 1811).

Prominent theatrical journals of the 19th century included Panteon Russkogo i vsekh evropeiskikh teatrov (Pantheon of the Russian Theater and All European Theaters); this journal, whose name was changed several times, was published in St. Petersburg from 1840 to 1856 (with interruptions) under the direction of F. A. Koni. Other notable journals were Muzykal’nyi i teatral’nyi vestnik (Musical and Theatrical Journal; St. Petersburg, 1856–60), Artist (The Performing Artist; Moscow, 1889–94), and Teatral (The Theatergoer; Moscow, 1895–1900). Certain journals closely resembled newspapers in format, including Sufler (The Prompter; St. Petersburg, 1878–86) and Teatral’nyi mirok (Theatrical World; St. Petersburg, 1884–93).

A number of publications of the 19th century continued publication in the 20th century. These included Teatr i iskusstvo (Theater and Art; St. Petersburg–Petrograd, 1897–1918) and Dnevnik teatra i iskusstva (Journal of Theater and Art; St. Petersburg, 1898–1905). Two major journals of the early 20th century were Rampa i zhizri (Footlights and Life; Moscow, 1909–18) and Teatralnaiagazeta (Theatrical Gazette; Moscow, 1913–18).

All periodicals mentioned above were maintained by private individuals. State-financed periodicals and journals of individual theaters included Ezhegodnik imperatorskikh teatrov (Yearbook of the Imperial Theaters; St. Petersburg, 1892–1915) and Zapiski Peredvizhnogo obshchedostupnogo teatra (Notes of the Itinerant and Moderately Priced Theater; Petrograd, 1914, 1917–24). Theatrical journals were also published in the provinces, mainly as reference works.

Specialized journals published in Moscow and other cities were devoted to one-act plays, vaudeville, and the variety stage, for example, Teatr-var’ete (Variety Theater; Odessa, 1906–12), Artisticheskii mir (The World of the Performing Artist; Moscow, 1912–18), Var’ete i tsirk (The Variety Stage and Circus; Moscow, 1912–17), and Stsena i Arena (Stage and Arena; Moscow, 1914–18).

The USSR. After the October Revolution of 1917 the following theatrical journals were published: Vestnik Gosudarstvennykh teatrov (Journal of State Theaters; Petrograd, 1917–19), Biriuch Petrogradskikh Gosudarstvennykh teatrov (Herald of the Petrograd State Theaters; Petrograd, 1918–19; other collections were also published under this title, 1919–21), Zhizri iskusstva (Art Life; Petrograd-Leningrad, 1918–29; until 1922, a newspaper), Vestnik teatra (Theater Journal; Moscow, 1919–21), Vestnik ra-botnikov iskusstv (Journal of Workers in the Arts; Moscow, 1920–26), and Kul’tura teatra (Culture of the Theater; Moscow, 1921–22).

As the Soviet press developed, theatrical journals also became widespread; approximately 500 periodicals were published prior to 1961.

Significant publications have included Rabochii i teatr (The Worker and the Theater; Leningrad, 1924–37), Iskusstvo i zhizri (Art and Life; Leningrad, 1924–41), Novyi zritel (The New Spectator; Moscow, 1924–29), Rabis (Trade Union of Workers in the Arts; Moscow, 1927–34), Sovetskii teatr (Soviet Theater; Moscow, 1930–33), Teatr i dramaturgiia (Theater and Dramaturgy; Moscow, 1933–36), Teater (Theater; Moscow, 1937–41 and since 1945), Teatral’naia zhizri (Theatrical Life; Moscow, since 1958), Sovetskii tsirk (Soviet Circus; Moscow, 1957–63), and Sovetskaia estrada i tsirk (Soviet Estrada and Circus; Moscow, since 1957).

Journals of the Union republics have also included Radians’ke mystetsvo (Soviet Art; Kiev, 1928–32), Sabchota khelovneba (Soviet Art; Tbilisi, 1927–41 and since 1954), and Khorurdain arvest (Soviet Art; Yerevan, 1932–41).

Abroad. The publication of theatrical journals as a distinct form of periodical dates to 1776, when Journal des théâtres first appeared in Paris. In the 19th century similar publications appeared in a number of European cultural centers. In the 20th century, theatrical journals have become popular in many countries.

Major foreign journals include Maske und Kothurn (Vienna, since 1955), Wiener Bühne (Vienna, since 1924), Teatyr (Sofia, since 1947), Revista nacional de teatro (Havana, since 1961), Divadlo (Prague, since 1946), Ochotnicke divadlo (Prague, since 1955), Scenen (Copenhagen, since 1949), Theatre populaire (Paris, since 1953), Paris theatre (Paris, since 1947), Avant-scéne (Paris, since 1949), Szene (Berlin, since 1966), Theater der Zeit (Berlin, since 1946), Drama (London, since 1919), Plays and Players (London, since 1953), Theatre World (London, since 1925), Szinházes film-müvészet (Budapest, since 1950), and Film, Szinház, Muzika (Budapest, since 1957).

Other contemporary journals are Natya (New Delhi, since 1960), Scenario (Milan, since 1932), Rivista italiano del drama (Rome, since 1937), Sipario (Milan, since 1946), Theatre d’oggi (Rome, since 1953), Teatr ludowy (Warsaw, since 1921), Teatr (Warsaw, since 1946), Pamietik teatralny (Warsaw, since 1952), Dialog (Warsaw, since 1956), Teatrul (Bucharest, since 1956), Teatro (Madrid, since 1952), Teatern (Stockholm, since 1934), Theatre Arts (New York, since 1916), Theatre News (New York, since 1928), Worker’s Theatre (New York, since 1931), and Teatar (Zagreb, since 1955).


Teatral’naia periodika: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel, parts 1–2. (Compiled by V. Vishnevskii.) Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Smirnov-Sokol’skii, N. P. Rasskaz o knigakh, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1960.
Smirnov-Sokol’skii, N. P. Moia biblioteka, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is this change in the West End playwright's status that Stephens's book meticulously charts, using rich material gathered from memoirs, correspondence, state and theatre records, and Victorian theatrical journals. The Profession of the Playwright is an impressive volume of archival research, an achievement different in kind from Michael Booth's important new book, but in its own way destined to become a monument of scholarship in the field of Victorian theatre.