Sunday, 23 February 2014

meyerhold

Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold: born 9 February1874, died 2 February 1940. He was a Russian and Soviet theatre director, actor and theatrical producer. His provocative experiments dealing with physical being and symbolism in an unconventional theatre setting made him one of the seminal forces in modern international theatre. Meyerhold began acting in 1896 as a student of the Moscow Philharmonic Dramatic School under the guidance of Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre. At the MAT, Meyerhold played 18 roles, such as Vasiliy Shuiskiy in Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich and Ivan the Terrible in The Death of Ivan the Terrible (both by Aleksey Tolstoy), and Treplev in Chekhov's The Seagull. After leaving the MAT in 1902, Meyerhold participated in a number of theatrical projects, as both a director and actor. Each project was an arena for experiment and creation of new staging methods. Meyerhold was one of the most fervent advocates of Symbolism in theatre, especially when he worked as the chief producer of the Vera Komissarzhevskaya theatre in 1906-1907. He was invited back to the MAT around this time to pursue his experimental ideas. After leaving the MAT in 1902, Meyerhold participated in a number of theatrical projects, as both a director and actor. Each project was an arena for experiment and creation of new staging methods. Meyerhold was one of the most fervent advocates of Symbolism in theatre, especially when he worked as the chief producer of the Vera Komissarzhevskaya theatre in 1906-1907. He was invited back to the MAT around this time to pursue his experimental ideas. The Russian Revolution of 1917 made Meyerhold one of the most enthusiastic activists of the new Soviet Theatre. He joined the Bolshevik Party in 1918 and became an official of the Theatre Division (TEO) of the Commissariat of Education and Enlightenment, forming an alliance with Olga Kameneva, the head of the Division in 1918-1919. Together, they tried to radicalize Russian theatres, effectively nationalizing them under Bolshevik control. Meyerhold came down with tuberculosis in May 1919 and had to leave for the south Meyerhold directed his theatre for nearly a year until his arrest in Leningrad on 20 June 1939. Shortly after that, on 15 July, his wife, the actress Zinaida Reich, was found murdered by multiple stab wounds in their Moscow apartment. Later that year Meyerhold was brutally tortured and forced to confess that he worked for Japanese and British intelligence agencies. He later recanted the confession in a letter to Vyacheslav Molotov. He was sentenced to death by firing squad on 2 February 1940, and executed the next day. The Soviet government cleared him of all charges in 1955, during the first wave of de-Stalinization. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vsevolod_Meyerhold

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