Twelfth night of 1917 and the Moscow art theatre

Arkady Ostrovsky


On 15 September, 1917, in a letter to Nemirovich-Danchenko,
Stanislavsky renounced the stage of the Moscow Art Theatre:

I cannot think about any other roles, because I will never be
able to do anything, at least in the Moscow Art Theatre.
Maybe in some other area or some other place I will be able
to rise. Of course I do not mean in other theatres, but in the
studios. Othello — free!...1

After the tragedy Stanislavsky had endured with Selo
Stepanchikovo, he threw himself into Studio work. He started
rehearsing Twelfth Night, a play he had put on at the Society of Art and Literature in 1897.
The Studio production of Twelfth Night was played on 25 December 1917, two months to the day after the Revolution. A few months later, Nikolai Efros published a book about the First Studio. It was dedicated to The Cricket on the Hearth but the words Efros used to describe the atmosphere in which Dickens’s production had opened were equally suitable for Twelfth Night: ‘You remember what sort of days those were?


English Language; English


Copyright (c) 1999 Arkady Ostrovsky

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.