Moscow, Free Workshop of V. E. Meyerhold
Moscow, Free Workshop of V. E. Meyerhold
Free Workshop of V. E. Meyerhold
Name’s existence
The Meyerhold Theatre — a Soviet theatre that worked in Moscow in 1920s-1938 under the direction of the producer, director, and actor Vsevolod Meyerhold. The turbulent story of the Meyerhold Theatre started in 1920, when Meyerhold established the First Theatre of RSFSR. In 1921, Meyerhold established the State Higher Director Workshops. There he worked on developing biomechanics — a system of exercises that helped actors to manage body movements consciously, accurately, and naturally. After the First Theatre of RSFSR was closed, Meyerhold organized the Vs. Meyerhold Free Workshop. In 1922, its collective and Konstantin Nezlobin’s troupe united to create the Actor’s Theatre. In the same year, the theatre was transformed into the GITIS Theatre; in 1923, it was named the Meyerhold Theatre (since 1926 - the Meyerhold State Theatre). Meyerhold’s performances were rebellious by form as well as by content. All plays were selected by Meyerhold; he participated in all stagings. The first premiere was "The Dawn" (by Emile Verhaeren). It was a solemn meeting-like performance decorated in constructivist style. Vladimir Mayakovsky characterized this event as the first revolution tendency at theatre. The trend to use theatre for agitation was further developed in "Mystery-Bouffe" (1921), "The World Turned Upside Down" (1923), “D. E.” (1924). The bright shows followed the tradition of fair performances. The theatre staged highly topical performances, such as "Roar China!" (1926), "The Bedbug" (1929), "The Bathhouse" (1930), "The Shot" (1929), "The Last Resolute" (1931), "Introduction" (1933). Meyerhold also worked with classical literature. "The Forest" (1924) was a kind of encyclopedia of left theatre: it featured the use of montage and film projection techniques, simplifying characters to social masks. Meyerhold also staged classical plays "The Government Inspector" (1926), "Woe from Wit" (1928), "Krechinsky's Marriage" (1933), "The Lady of the Camellias" (1934), "33 Swoons" (based on Anton Chekhov’s stories, 1935). In the second half of the 1930s, Meyerhold's art was criticized for formalism and foreignness to Soviet ideology. In 1938, the Meyerhold State Theatre was closed. The Meyerhold Theatre (GosTIM) collection of our museum is based on materials that were transferred in 1938 from the Meyerhold State Theatre's museum. There are more than 20 thousand items: books and journals, clippings, playbills and programmes, advertising materials, minutes, manuscripts, letters, scores, architectural drafts, photos and negatives, engravings and lithographs, scale models, dolls, and other items. Constructivist stage design became an important component of Meyerhold’s stagings. Our museum holds sketches by Sergei Eisenstein, Alexander Rodchenko, Akeksander Deyneka, the Kukryniksy, Georgy Yakulov, Victor Shestakov, Nikolay Ulyanov et al. In the Collections section, there’s an album that represents some items from our Meyerhold State Theatre's collection.