The St. Petersburg Imperial Theaters

Stage and State in Revolutionary Russia, 1900–1920

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About the Book

The opulent St. Petersburg Imperial Theaters were subsidized and administered by the Russian court from the eighteenth century until the collapse of the tsarist order in 1917. This close association raises many questions about the uses of these theaters and where their loyalties lay in early twentieth century Russia.
This history begins in 1900 with the theater flourishing but undergoing change, then chronicles the impact of war and revolution, as well as audience and administration, leading up to the effective re-establishment of state control over the theaters by the Bolsheviks in 1920. While the theaters were often allied with the forces of change, their grandeur harked back to the age of the tsars, creating an irony that is explored here in depth. Photographs and diagrams of the theaters are included, along with photographs of the central historical figures, and contemporary cartoons referring to the theaters.

About the Author(s)

Murray Frame teaches modern history at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He has authored or coauthored several books on the Russian Revolution and Russia in world history. He lives in Dundee.

Bibliographic Details

Murray Frame
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, diagrams, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4330-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0805-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

A Note on the Technical Apparatus      x

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. “The Emperor’s Theaters”      19

2. The Directorate and the Artists      44

3. The Audience      65

4. The Alexandrinsky Repertoire, 1900-1917      85

5. The Mariinsky Repertoire, 1900-1917      105

6. The 1905 Revolution and Its Aftermath      119

7. War, Revolution, and the Provisional Government, 1914-October 1917      136

8. Under the Bolsheviks, October 1917-1920      153

Conclusions      172

Appendix of Titles      177

Bibliographical Note      181

Chapter Notes      185

Index      207

Book Reviews & Awards

“useful”—Choice; “thoroughly researched and concisely written”—Slavonic and East European Review; “a unique and valuable contribution”—Russian Review; “clarifies and quantifies the place of the Imperial Theaters in St. Petersburg society before, during, and immediately after the Revolution”—Russian Theatre Past and Present; “offers relief from the surfeit of monographs that focus obsessively on a handful of avant-garde actors, directors, and playwrights prominent during the Silver Age”—Slavic Review.