Moscow Art Theater

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Moscow Art Theater

Moscow Art Theater, Russian repertory company founded in 1897 by Constantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. Its work created new concepts of theatrical production and marked the beginning of modern theater. Rebelling against the highly stylized theater of the 19th cent., the founders set out to create instead a true ensemble theater based on a realistic method of acting and production. Their productions of Chekhov's plays, especially suitable to the company's subtle and intense style, brought fame to both Chekhov and the theater. Other memorable productions were Tolstoy's Czar Fyodor Ivanovitch, Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov, and Gorky's Lower Depths. The company made several successful tours of the United States. It has continued its classic repertoire while reflecting in new productions the political changes within Russia over the years.

See N. M. Gorchakov, Stanislavksy Directs (1954); N. Houghton, Moscow Rehearsals (1962) and Return Engagement (1962); O. M. Sayler, Inside the Moscow Art Theatre (1925, repr. 1970); P. A. Markov, The Soviet Theatre (1978).

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