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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Common Courses

Postgraduate Course: Russian Theatre: From the Modernist Impulse to the Present (ELCC11015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEuropean Languages and Cultures - Common Courses Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionRussian Theatre: From the Modernist Impulse to the Present
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The course will enable students to enhance their skills of theatrical, literary and contextual analysis. Students will develop a critical understanding of different genres
and socio-political contexts in which the plays and productions occurred, and they will be able to have a clear understanding of the aesthetic experiments of the Russian
avant-garde and their links with other European and American modernist developments that took place in the 20th century. By the end of the course, students will be able to analyse the complex relationship between cultural and political context; engage with primary and secondary sources in a critical manner; develop their comparative studies skills, and demonstrate their research skills. The course will broaden students' knowledge of the correlation between theory and practice of performance.
Assessment Information
One 4,000 word essay to be submitted as specified in the programme handbook
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1. Introduction: Konstantin Stanislavsky as the main innovator of actor training, Stanislavsky's system of acting and Malyi Theatre.

Week 2: Chekhov's play "Three Sisters" and its Russian and English productions.

Week 3-4: Nikolai Evreinov's vision of 20th-century monodrama and his concept of
theatricality in everyday life. Evreinov's play "The Chief Thing" (1921), its links with commedia dell'arte, Graig's monodrama, Ballet Russe and cabaret modernist performances in Russia and France. Edith Craig's productions of Evreinov's plays between 1915-1931.

Week 5: Michael Chekhov as Actor, Teacher and Director in Russia and in the West: Chekhov as Hamlet in the Malyi Theatre's second production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet"; Chekhov's theosophical mystery pantomime "The Castle Awakens" (1931); Chekhov's book On the Technique of Acting; Chekhov's training of actors in the USA and England (Dartington Hall in Devon), and his acting in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945).

Week 6-7: Russian Futurist Theatre: from the Futurist Opera "Victory Over the Sun" (1912) to Vladimir Mayakovsky's plays. Meyerhold's production of Mayakovsky's satirical play "Mystery-Bouffe" (1921) and the Soviet Utopia.

Week 8: Russian Constructivism and Sergey Tretyakov's play "I want a Baby"
(1926). Tretyakov's vision of the discussion play and Brecht's drama.

Week 9: Yuri Liubimov's Taganka theatre and the legacy of the Russian avant-garde. Lyubimov's production of Dostoevsky's The Devils by the Almeida Theatre
Company in London : "The Possessed: A Dramatic Adaptation of Dostoevsky's
Novel" (1985). (The discussion of the video recording.)

Week10: Russian and European Drama through the Lens of The Postmodernist Irony:
Petrushevskya's play "Three Girls in Blue" (1985); Petr Fomenko's adaptations of
Pushkin's and Tolstoy's works; Roman Viktiuk's production of Oscar Wilde's "Salome" (1998) and Evgeny Panfilov's one-act ballet fantasy "A Cage for Two
Parrots" (1992; 2005) (that uses Shchedrin's version of Bizet's music for Carmen") as a philosophical parable which redefines the avant-garde vision of the actor as machine.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list A. Main Texts:
* Stanislavsky, Constantin. Creating a Role, [translated by Elizabeth Reynolds
Hapgood], London, Mentor. The New English Library, 1968. (some passages)
* Chekhov, Anton. "Three Sisters", in Chekhov, Anton. Plays, [translated by
Elisaveta Fen], London: Penguin Books, pp.247-330.
* Evreinov, Nikolai. The Chief Thing. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1926.
* The Theatre in Life. Trans. Alexander I. Nazaroff. New York: Brentano, 1927.
(some passages).
* Mayakovsky, Vladimir. "Mystery-Bouffe", in The Complete Plays of Vladimir
Mayakovsky. Trans. Guy Daniels. New York: Washington Square Press, 1968, pp.39-
* Meyerhold, V.E. Meyerhold on Theatre. Translated and edited by Edward Braun.
London: Methuen,1969. (some passages)
* Tretyakov, Sergei. I Want a Baby, [translated by Robert Leach], Birmingham:
Birmingham University Press, 1995.
* Chekhov, Michael. On the Technique of Acting, New York: Harper Collins
Publishers, 1993. (some passages).
* Dostoevsky, Fedor. The Devils, [translated by David Magarshak], Harmondsworth,
Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1969.
* Petrushevskaya, Ludmila. "Three Girls in Blue", in Cinzano: Eleven Plays,
[translated by Stephen Mulrine], Nick Hern Books, 1991.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Alexandra Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1381
Course secretaryMiss Natalie Carthy
Tel: (0131 6)50 6536
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