Poll

Which topic do you think is under represented on our site? Leave your comments and suggestions in the section “Comments and Suggestions”
Museum Collection
Exhibitions
Museum Events
Museum – to Children
Don Cossacks
Natural Monuments
Information for Tourists
View result

Results

Museum Collection
1 (7%)
Exhibitions
1 (7%)
Museum Events
1 (7%)
Museum – to Children
1 (7%)
Don Cossacks
4 (29%)
Natural Monuments
1 (7%)
Information for Tourists
5 (36%)
Polls archive

News

“The Theatre Met with the Writer Whose Work is Inexhaustible”

27.03.2019

Today is World Theatre Day celebrated very widely this year announced Year of Theatre in Russia. The Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov will hold a number of events dedicated to the theatre and embodiment of Sholokhov’s works on stage.

The life and work of M.A.Sholokhov are closely connected with theatre art. In his early years he wrote small plays for the drama circle and performed himself on the stage of the village club in Stanitsa Karghinskaya. In 1936, on his initiation and support there was founded the Vyoshensky theatre of Cossack collective-farm youth. “Virgin Soil Upturned” was the first performance of the circle.

The novel “Virgin Soil Upturned” was widely staged and entered the repertoire of many theatres. The novel gave a start in performing Sholokhov’s works, when in 1933, the theatre named after Leningrad Trade Union Council created a performance based on the first book of the novel.

In 1963, the Rostov M.Gorky Drama Theatre started the work over the performance “Virgin Soil Upturned”. By that time both the books of the novel had been published (1959), and during 1960–1961, the viewers saw the film “Virgin Soil Upturned” which became the leader of the film run. Understanding the complexity of the task Enver Beibutov, the chief theatre director, Pyotr Dyomin, a playwright, and the actors decided to present their interpretation.

On May 8, 1963, M.A.Sholokhov met with the theatre team and advised them to pay special attention to the heroes’ pronunciation and not abusing the Don language to keep the Cossack speech flavour. He suggested the actors to visit Don villages. “Theatre is the great art, but only when it goes from life, from the truth…”– Mikhail Alexandrovich underlined.

The first run of the performance took place in Rostov-on-Don, on July 6, 1963, and was attended by a group of Vyoshenskaya residents. They shared their impressions with the readers of the local newspaper “Sovetsky Don”. They noted that the spectacle shows the events of the 1930s in the villages and stanitsas of the Don country “truthfully, brightly and closely to the novel” and wrote about the drawbacks (“we do not know who, and according to whose sketches, made the pitchforks for the actors, but in the Don country they are different”; “annoying is the confusion of the Upper Don Cossack language and the Ukrainian one”; “Nagulnov steps from the barn immediately to the field camp”) and offered their help to correct them before the theatre started touring (“Let the Moscovites see real Sholokhov’s heroes on stage!”).

On August 1, 1963, the State M.Gorky Drama Theatre began touring in Moscow, and the theatre critic Y.A.Zubkov noted: “All the best in the performance indisputably shows that the great love of the theatre staff to Sholokhov and his novel leads the theatre by the right way of exacting creative work”. And further, speaking of the complexity of the task facing the theatre the author emphasizes: “The performance though repeatedly shown to the audience is being in search. Difficult. Persistent. Intense. And it is natural. The theatre met with the writer, whose work is inexhaustible”; “It’s not so easy and simple to make the viewers, who for many years have been charmed by the mighty poetry of the novel, believe in the authenticity of all the scenes, images appearing on stage.

The State M.Gorky Drama Theatre opened its 101st theatre season on October 5, 1963, with the tour in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya, where five performances were shown within three days. The performances were in a full house, and the district newspaper covered the event widely.

The audience marked the undoubted success of the chief director, good design and make-up, they willingly shared their impressions, noted drawbacks and advised the actors: “Makar Nagulnov is incomparable”; “Ustin is fine, a rich, colourful image”; “Loboda plays sincerely, but his old man is not Ded Shchukar. He is not active, and his dialect is not Cossack”; “The kulak nature of Ostrovnov is well expressed”; “Razmyotnov seems to be running errands. But he is a representative of the Soviet Power”; “The actors ignore the features of Cossack pronunciation”; “There are no real Cossack songs” (the newspaper “Sovetsky Don”, No128 of October 9, 1963).

The success of “Virgin Soil Upturned” staged by the Rostov drama theatre was marked by the Soviet and foreign press. In the Pleven Drama Theatre, E.Beibutov, the chief director of the Rostov Drama Theatre staged a performance with the joint cast of the Soviet and Bulgarian actors.

That year, the State M.Gorky Drama Theatre took patronage over the folk theatre of Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya, and in 1969, the stanitsa’s actors staged their own performance of “Virgin Soil Upturned”.

 

Tatyana Nektova