In the Russian theater of the early 20th century, theatrical Symbolism, art stylization, and productions based on Dostoevsky's novels marked a trend of alienation from contemporary life in theater art. Russian theater after the Bolshevik Revolution became a complex combination of resistance, tragedy, dream, propaganda, and lies. The Bolsheviks considered theater to be the most powerful way of creating a communist public mentality; however, an argument was still going on between the followers of conventional aesthetics (Lunacharsky) and those who wanted to create a "new" communist person through avant-garde culture (Trotsky). Censorship was introduced as a device for directing the national mentality. The issues to be covered in this course include: genesis of "socialist realism"; changes in Stanislavsky's method during the Soviet era; isolationism of Soviet culture and its interconnections with European art; the arts during the period of liberalization in the 1950-60s; the Soviet version of existentialism; and theater under perestroika. Students' discussion of Russian plays of the twentieth century will focus on the ways in which the life and characters depicted in them document Soviet and post-Soviet society, and also on the specific features of their literary and theatrical style. Lectures will be illustrated with slides, video recordings, and virtual models of performances.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture/Discussion
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RUSS Grading Mode: Student Option
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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