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The Soviet TheaterA Documentary History$
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Laurence Senelick and Sergei Ostrovsky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300194760

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300194760.001.0001

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The Revolution, 1917–1919

The Revolution, 1917–1919

(p.15) Chapter One The Revolution, 1917–1919
The Soviet Theater

Laurence Senelick

Sergei Ostrovsky

Yale University Press

This chapter describes various events in the history of Soviet theater and arts from 1917 to 1919. It shows that the Bolshevik Party and Soviet government sought to make the Russian cultural legacy available to a proletarian audience and allow the disinherited to take possession of what had been withheld from them. In 1919, the eighth Party Congress adopted a program indicating that it was necessary to offer and render accessible to workers all the art treasures that emerged from the exploitation of their work and that heretofore have been at the exclusive disposal of the exploiters. The concern with preserving the theater as a medium of traditional culture is evident in the founding of the Bol'shoy Dramatic Theater in 1919. Its founders meant it to be a temple of high culture and traditional drama.

Keywords:   Soviet theater, Soviet history, Bolshevik Revolution, Bolsheviks, Great War, Russian culture, proletarians

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