Moscow, Blue Blouse Troupe
Moscow, Blue Blouse Troupe
Blue Blouse Troupe
Name’s existence
1923 - early 1930s
The Blue Blouse is an agitational theatre of small forms, existed from 1923 to the early 1930s. The actors often used worker's uniforms to highlight their belonging to the working class, hence the name. The first theatre group was created at the Moscow Institute of Journalism. It evolved from a ‘living newspaper’ circle where amateur actors read newspapers aloud. The journalist Boris Yuzhanin became the initiator of the movement. One of the key features of this theatre were the topicality of texts, acting, and scenography. The other feature was mobility: performances could happen at a factory, conference, or pub. The aim was to impress busy people with little time and theatrical means, and to avoid them getting bored from sheer agitation. The repertoire combined pathos and humor, political and social topics. The program included declamation, songs, dances, and acrobatics. Hundreds of such collectives appeared all over the country. The Blue Blouse troupes gave propagandist performances at clubs and factories, cities and villages across the country. The movement had its hymn; there was published a periodical of the same name, containing a repertoire and other useful materials. The collectives laid a basis for many professional theatres and gave impetus to the search for new theatrical forms. Many Soviet writers, composers, actors, directors, and artists started their careers in this movement. Our museum holds items mostly related to the Moscow Blue Blouse Troupe. There are photos and negatives, playbills and programmes, sketches of costumes and scenery, and also a newsreel.