Symbolist Ideas in the Scripts of Gubpolitprosvet: The Theory and Practice of Proletarian Performance
During the period of the so-called Silver age of Russian culture, three outstanding translators of the Greek tragedy, Tadeusz Zieliński, Innokentiy Annensky and Vyacheslav Ivanov, put forward the idea of the third, Slavonic Renaissance – the new rebirth of Antiquity, with the leading role of the Slavic peoples, particularly the Russians. They claimed that while the first Renaissance was Romanesque and the second German (in the era of Winckelmann, Goethe and German classical philology), the third one was supposed to be Slavonic. In the early Soviet period, the idea of Slavonic Renaissance brought about some unexpected results, first of all precisely in the sphere of theater. The paper focuses on how symbolist ideas got to be expressed in the performances of classical tragedies. Ivanov authored the expression “creative self-performance” that later, in the Soviet era, acquired the meaning of “non-professional performance,” such as comedies staged by “sailors and the Red Army soldiers,” Adrian Piotrovsky’s “amateur theatre,” and the pioneer reconstruction of the scenic performance of Aristophanes’ comedies done by Sergey Radlov, Adrian Piotrovsky, and others.