Russian Theater: The Twenty-first Century

An issue of: Theater

Russian Theater
Journal Issue Pages: 196 Volume 36, Number 1 Published: 2006 An issue of Theater
For the first time since the fall of state communism, Russia is experiencing a profoundly creative revival of playwriting and directing. A new generation of directors has arrived on the country’s major stages, bringing fresh political perspectives, breaking the normative use of formal language for slang and hybridizations of English and Russian, and introducing theatrical innovations such as live mixing of electronic music in performance. Featuring essays by Russian and American critics and scholars, Russian Theater presents major developments in the new Russian theater from 2000 to the present.

In the first English-language collection to examine twenty-first-century Russian theater, this special issue of Theater also includes the complete texts of two new Russian plays, published for the first time in English. Ivan Vyrypaev’s Oxygen is a poetic panorama of new Russian identity set to techno music, and Danila Privalov’s 5-25 explores traditional Dostoyevskian existential themes in the language of a new generation. One contributor chronicles the sweeping cultural and institutional changes in the Russian theater since 2000, while another provides an overview of the regional theater system in the world’s most geographically vast country. Another essay explores the development of the new playwriting movement, identifying its key writers and producers. This special issue also includes interviews with the movement’s directors and producers. Additionally, it contains letters, previously unpublished in English, from the Moscow Art Theater’s Olga Bokshanskaya to the Russian theatrical titan Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, reporting on the Moscow Art Theater’s legendary U.S. tour in 1920–22, which was recorded in theater history as a turning point for American acting.

Contributors. AKHE, Dmitri Chernikov, Nina Chusova, Marina Dmitrievskaya, Sasha Dugdale, John Freedman, Elena Gremina, Nina Karpova, Mindaugus Korbauskis, Ryan McKittrick, Arkady Ostrovsky, Danila Privalov, Victor Rizhakov, Yana Ross, Tom Sellar, Kirill Serebrennikov, Anatoly Smeliansky, Julia Smeliansky, Ivan Vyrypaev


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Table of Contents Back to Top

1. Up Front–Tom Sellar

2. Russian Theater in the Twenty-First Century: A Critic’s Journal–John Freedman

3. Russia’s New Drama: From Togliatti to Moscow–Yana Ross

4. Oxygenating Theater: A Translator’s Note–Sasha Dugdale

5. Oxygen–Ivan Vyrypaev, translated by Sasha Dugdale

6. Generation Vexed: Danila Privalov–Yana Ross

7. Five Twenty-Five–Danila Privalov, translated by Yana Ross

8. “My Vast Country”: Russia’s Regional Theaters in Transition–Nina Karpova, translated by Yana Ross

9. St. Petersburg’s New Wave–Marina Dmitrievskaya, translated by Yana Ross

10. AKHE Theater: Portfolio

11. Art Is Not for Fear: Russia’s New Directors in Conversation: Dmitrii Chernyakov, Nina Chusova, Yelena Gremina, Mindaugas Karbauskis, Viktor Ryzhakov, Kirill Serebrennikov–Interviewed by Tom Sellar and Yana Ross, translated by Yana Ross

12. The Information Machine: Letters to Nemirovich-Danchenko–Olga Bokshanskaya, introduced by Anatoly Smeliansky, translated by Ryan McKittrick and Julia Smeliansky


13. Renate Klett on Alain Platel, translated by Douglas Langworthy

14. Loren Kruger on Theater in South Africa

15. Cynthia Croot on the Damascus Theater Festival


16. Patricia Ybarra on Holy Terrors

Additional InformationBack to Top
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-8223-6656-0