(full name, F. G. Volkov Yaroslavl Drama Theater), the first professional theater in Russia that was open to the general public.
The Yaroslavl Theater was founded in 1750 by F. G. Volkov, whose name it has officially borne since 1911. In 1751, money contributed by the local population was used to construct a theater building. In 1752 the principal members of the company, headed by Volkov, were invited to St. Petersburg. On the stage of Volkov’s theater appeared serf companies, as well as private theatrical groups featuring renowned figures of the Russian stage.
After the October Revolution of 1917, Soviet plays constituted the bulk of the theater’s repertoire. Among the plays presented in the 1920’s and 1930’s were Kamenskii’s Sten’ka Razin, Lunacharskii’s Poison, Verhaeren’s Dawns, Trenev’s Liubov’ Iarovaia (1926), Gladkov’s Cement (1927), and V. S. Ivanov’s Armored Train 14–69 (1928). Since the late 1930’s the Yaroslavl Theater has presented many works devoted to the life of Lenin, including Kapler and Zlatogorov’s Lenin in October (1939), Pogodin’s The Kremlin Chimes (1940), Popov’s Family (1951), D. Zorin’s The Eternal Source (1956), Pogodin’s Third Pathétique (1959), Nazarov’s Mutiny on the Volga (1967), Dangulov’s Ambassador’s Diary (1970), and Chepurin’s The Snows (1971).
In 1966 the Yaroslavl Theater was named an academic theater. Its presentations in the 1960’s and 1970’s included Sever’s Fedor Volkov in 1960 and 1963, Solov’ev’s Tsar lurii in 1967, Fonvizin’s The Minor in 1972, Moliére’s Tartuffe in 1973, and Miroshnichenko’s The Third Generation in 1976.
Major contributions to the theater have been made by People’s Artist of the USSR G. A. Belov and by People’s Artists of the RSFSR A. D. Chudinova and S. D. Romodanov. As of 1977, the theater company included People’s Artist of the USSR V. S. Nel’-skii, People’s Artists of the RSFSR S. K. Tikhonov, Iu. A. Karaev, and N. V. Kuz’min, and Honored Artists of the RSFSR L. Ia. Makarova, F. I. Razd’iakonov, T. V. Kanunnikova, and N. I. Terent’eva. People’s Artist of the USSR F. E. Shishigin was named the theater’s principal stage director and artistic director in 1960.
The Yaroslavl Theater was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1950 and the Order of the October Revolution in 1975.
REFERENCELiubomudrov, M. Stareishii v Rossii: Tvorcheskii put’ laroslavskogo dramaticheskogo teatra. Moscow, 1964.
G. M. IUSHKOV