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The Splitting of MKhAT and Collapse of Soviet Theatre

Hyeran Kim 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is focused on splitting of the first Soviet theatre, MKhAT and collapse of Soviet theatre. A close attention has been paid to Art Theatres's circumstances leading to splitting, critical conscience about division between ideal and real theatres and other concrete situation before the verge of collapse. Administrative reform of the Soviet theatre at the period of Perestroika and Glasnost', its results and conflicts, occurred in the process of transition into market system. These are considered under the premise of that the problems of MKhAT were not so different to the other soviet theatres at that time. As it is known that Moscow Art Theatre is a symbol of Russian theatre. And the status of MKhAT as a symbol of Russian theatre had formulated not only the well-known Stanislavsky' system and his legendary performance The Seagull, Three Sisters etc. It was made by party's effort to make MKhAT as the first Soviet theatre and by directors, artists and critics, they had believed and tried to protect idea of MKhAT as the 'battlements' of Soviet theatrical art. One of them is O. Yefremov, a former leader and artistic director from 1970 to 2000. Actually from the periods of Sovremennik Yefremov knew that does not exist the ideal MKhAT, excepting myths, legends and administrative attitudes. Nonetheless he chose the duty of MKhAT's artistic director to construct ideal MKhAT, theatre as the best moral institution, theatre as union based on common belief. It is same motive that he had led split of MKhAT. But split of theatre did not bring the expected results. After spliting MKhAT has become almost collapsed under the collapse of USSR and subsequent turmoil at 1990's. And as soviet theatre disappeared into history, Russian theatre became lost its special significance, the super-theatre's idea.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.